In August 2018, I took a trip to the V&A for their ‘Fashioned From Nature’ exhibition. I initially went for Dissertation research as it showcased Victorian Fashion, but the exhibition also included how the industry is damaging the environment as well as how the industry is creating sustainable alternatives. But, my favourite part of the exhibition had to be Vivienne Westwood’s political fashion.
Vivienne is a designer known for her avant-garde fashion. She is against consumerism and uses her fashion to fight against climate change and global warming. Her ‘activism is rooted in practicality,’ and her runway shows are not merely a showcasing of clothes, but a political message. Vivienne grew up during the war and had to live with rationing, making her a ‘naturally frugal and unwasteful person.’ She uses her power as a designer to highlight the damaging nature of the industry and redefined the fashion world with her activism.
Vivienne’s designs present a clear message. It isn’t really about the clothes, but the message they portray. I remember watching the AW19 show at LFW and being in awe. It was so unlike any show I had watched before. Each model spoke about the current political and social climate, showing just how important it is to Vivienne that she uses her platform to speak on such issues. The show highlighted so many topics, like Brexit, the #MeToo movement, and of course, sustainability and consumption. One model said ‘Fashion is all about styling, buy less, choose well, make it last.’ Vivienne didn’t stop there. She announced that she was aiming to raise £100million to save the rainforest! I’ll link the full show below because you don’t want to miss it.
I’ve always been intrigued by Vivienne and her political fashion. I can’t wait to see what collections we see in the future.
Linda Watson, Vogue on Vivienne Westwood, (London: Conde Nast Publication LTD, 2013).