Vivienne Westwood Spring 2014 Runway | Paris Fashion Week

Vivienne Westwood Spring 2014: The Darker Side of Green

Vivienne Westwood Spring 2014 Runway | Paris Fashion Week

There was perhaps no better indication that Vivienne Westwood's Gold Label Spring 2014 show was going to be theatrical than the line from Shakespeare's Measure For Measure that she put in her show notes. "But man, poor man, dressed in a little brief authority . . . like an angry ape."

It didn't take long to see that this show and its commentary were about the way people treat the earth. All of the models' faces were splattered with makeup that looked like mud, and many of the dramatic looks included either floral prints or actual bouquets affixed to the hair or waistlines. The clothes themselves looked like the costumes of very modern wood nymphs, fairy princesses, and at one point, even Little Red Riding Hood.

But what's the point of theater if it doesn't speak to real life? Westwood included a few looks — like a sharp white-and-orange striped dress and a sleeveless black dress with an asymmetrical hem — that were just as practical as they were fashionable.