Wild, Wild Westwood

Maybe there’s hope for one or two of the big names in high fashion after all. Dame Vivienne Westwood, who was married to Malcolm McClaren back when he was managing the Sex Pistols (who took their name from the couple’s SEX boutique), will forever have cred for her ties to punk rock and the anti-establishment credos of its original players. That being said, she is still in the big business of fashion, which has often gained more notoriety amongst environmentalists for its disregard of the planet and the planet’s fur and skin-bearing creatures (see last week’s post on Donatella Versace).

The outspoken Viv is already long established on the progressive end of the profession: her clothes are designed to fit real women’s bodies, not emaciated sticks. And to her, less fabric doesn’t equal sexy: "So many women don't seem to even understand what sexy means. Sexy is about looking powerful and important." She has also campaigned alongside recently departed green giant Anita Roddick against weapons of mass destruction, and one year ago, she renounced the use of fur in her designs.

But this week, following a retrospective exhibition in Milan of her 35-year career, the 66-year old fashion designer dropped a most non-high-fashion-like bombshell on a reporter for the Telegraph: "If you ask me what I think people should be getting next season, I'll tell you what I'd like them to buy—nothing. I'd like people to stop buying and buying and buying."

Can I get a witness? Granted, she is coming at this from a fashion perspective, but she is still a powerful voice speaking out against our disposable culture that’s harming the planet. “There's this idea that somehow you've got to keep changing things, and as often as possible. Maybe if people just decided not to buy anything for a while, they'd get a chance to think about what they wanted; what they really liked."

And supposedly Westwood’s Fall 2007 collection had a green theme, although this manifested in a tree on the runway and leaf designs in the fashions, not in the use of any sustainable materials. She’ll have to try a bit harder the next time on that count.

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I wish more designers would follow Vivienne Westwood's lead, especially in the animal fur department. It's just so unnecessary and cruel.

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