Monday, April 6, 2009

Hort Couture

What do the catwalks of Milan and the art of gardening have in common, absolutely nothing,
until now.

Meet Fashion Designer Vivienne Westwood's latest muse, her gardener Andy Hulme........

Among the images of Vivienne Westwood's menswear show for autumn/winter 2009/10 one lanky, elegant, bearded model stands out from the skinny young men. There's a clue to his identity: the collection, full of tweeds and leather, was tramped up and down a catwalk covered in gravel. Knee pads, thick gloves and even the odd trowel complete the look, for the model is Westwood's own gardener Andy Hulme, muse and inspiration for the whole collection.

above + below
Westwood's gardener Andy Hulme

Asked if gardening in Vivienne's creations was uncomfortable, Andy replied:

"Well, in 20 years, I've investigated every type of military, industrial, country clothing. And you can't beat Westwood!
"I mean, the idea we have now of work clothes, leisure clothes, sports clothes… it's quite a new idea. If you look back, people wore suits to do everything."

At first, he thought the idea of a collection based on his look was a joke. "People were mentioning it to me and I kept thinking they were making fun of me. I even thought, this is a bit evil, they are all joining in on it!" And then he went through the strange process of watching the collection evolve. "The first time I turned up and saw a couple of photos of myself on the wall of the studio, it was a bit weird, but then I thought, what an interesting thing to happen."

collection photos by: Davide Maestri

Some fashion-industry commentators were rather dismayed at the idea of a mere horticulturalist kitted out in Milan's finest productions. The website opined that a gardener would hardly be likely to go out pruning in Lanvin-inspired high-tops. Yet all the evidence would suggest they are wrong. Today, Andy is wearing the most extraordinarily composed three-piece suit, topped off by a doubled pair of jaunty hats. In one hand is a roll-up; with the other he's digging out peonies.
story via The Independent


  1. Great post, what a fun story! Just goes to show that one can draw inspiration from anywhere!

  2. woot woot! Super hot and super cool! Not all of us wear birkenstocks and Mom jeans in the garden. Awesome!!!

  3. Inspirational story :)
    I always like to read about what inspires designers.