You can't take the punk out of Vivienne Westwood.
While most designers prefer to shyly pop their heads out at the end of a runway show, take a quick bow, and GTFO, Dame Viv made a scene of her entrance, purposefully, it seemed, upstaging the collection she'd just shown. Why? Well, she's trying to start a revolution.
Westwood held her spring show at London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A perfect venue to stick it to the man. As the last look cleared the runway, Westwood emerged shrouded in brown material, gingerly making her way down the stairs (because she couldn't see over the bundle of material she was wrapped in) where she was flanked by Alice Dellal and Charlotte Free holding flag poles. Slowly, she emerged as Dellal and Free attached each end of Westwood's wrap--which turned out to be a banner--to their respective poles. "Climate Revolution" it read in big block letters, and the 71-year-old designers was wearing nothing but ripped tights over some boxers and a "Climate Revolution" tee underneath. She had a black moustache painted on and a circle around one eye.
It's not the first time Westwood has pulled this trick to support the environment, her long-standing cause. She pulled this off at the Paralympics closing ceremony, too. "The fight is no longer between the classes or between the rich and poor but between the idiots and the eco-conscious," Westwood's line sheet read.
If you've noticed I haven't mentioned the collection at all, I think that was the point. Westwood's line sheets only mentioned her cause and how you can join her revolution (you can find out more about it here and here). The clothes were secondary. In fact, she told Reuters, "I wish they wouldn't buy this new collection...Don't buy any clothes for ages until you really have to."
To add more fuel to some kind of fire, Westwood also had front row attendees wearing t-shirts with her picture that read "I'm Julian Assange." Um, what?
But since we're a fashion site, and since Westwood did actually present a full collection, we should mention it was a quirky subversive take on Hitchcock's heroines--or maybe, more accurately, a lady from a John Waters flick. There were prim twin sets with pencil skirts and printed '60s day dresses--all the better to clash with the models' faces which were painted ghastly shades of green, yellow and pink.
Click through to see the collection. Photos: IMAXtree