Vivienne Westwood has designed new outfits for the Monteverdi Choir, one of the world’s most well-respected vocal groups. Her Wrap Jackets will be worn by the women of the choir at all future concerts.
The jacket was co-designed by Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler. Its asymmetrical shape is a familiar motif in Westwood’s work, with both its cut and its grey silk-cotton material designed for comfort.
‘For us their music-making is different, the sound is brighter and clearer, the music lifts you. It’s bliss to hear them, a tremendous experience,’ commented Westwood, who has long been a fan of both the choir and classical music in general. It is a far cry from her early career, where she was associated with punk bands like the Sex Pistols.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, artistic director and conductor of the Monteverdi Choir, commented: ‘There is an element of ritual to each concert performance, and dress and presentation have always been very important to us. It is important that the choir’s uniform is not only striking, but practical: it needs to be able to withstand long journeys in crammed suitcases and to look smart in venues which at times can be either freezing cold or uncomfortably hot.
‘Having attended quite a few of our concerts recently, Vivienne and Andreas came up with a beautiful design which is not only incredibly stylish and distinctive, but also eminently sensitive to the singers’ practical needs.’
Founded by Gardiner in 1964, Monteverdi Choir has recorded over 150 albums and toured to dozens of countries. In August it has a trip to Spain, before touring Germany in September and October.