Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vivienne Westwood says "Stop Buying Clothes"

I've been saying fashion is one of the most pure expressions of how rotten the capitalist consumerist system is. So let's read Vivienne Westwood's take.

From Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds:
Vivienne Westwood’s pointedly anti-consumerist remarks backstage at London Fashion Week after her big show were taken by some as more “dotty” remarks by the great British designer, but they didn’t seem that way to me. Yes, there is certainly a, uh, tension between showing a new collection of clothes and then telling everyone assembled not to buy them, but do you think Westwood doesn’t know that?

And besides, since when is the pure act of telling the truth, somehow dotty in the first place? Have I missed something here? The woman’s 1000% correct. She should be commended for her commitment to the future of mankind—and speaking with common sense—and not mocked.

I actually met her once about ten years ago and she was a trip. My close friend Oberon Sinclair was doing some PR work for the opening of the Westwood boutique in New York and there was a big sit down dinner for a lot of people. Westwood didn’t know a lot—if any—of the people present and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, who I attended the dinner with, gallantly and sweetly, sat down with Westwood to put her at ease. So I was along for the ride and we sat across from her for about two hours and she was a delight, if a little non-sequitur at times. (Not a judgement, just a description. People must say that about me all the time…)
One-of-a-kind designer Vivienne Westwood Sunday night presented a gorgeous collection of autumn and winter outfits at London Fashion Week, then went backstage and told reporters she hopes people stop buying her clothes.

“Stop all this consumerism,” said Westwood, the former high priestess of punk who has increasingly used her catwalk shows to spotlight her concern about climate change.

“I just tell people, stop buying clothes. Why not protect this gift of life while we have it? I don’t take the attitude that destruction is inevitable. Some of us would like to stop that and help people survive,” she said.
Below is part one of Dame Westwood’s interview on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross last year. I thought she was fucking awesome when I saw this. Part II is here. Both parts are well worth watching. When is the last time you heard a public figure speak this passionately about something?

Westwood Condemns Consumerism After London Show (ABC News)
Vivienne Westwood meets James Lovelock and talks climate change on video (Dazed Digital)


  1. I have so much respect for VW. Makes me proud to be a British citizen knowing she's alive and speaks out.

  2. I agree that the purchase of clothing encourages excessive consumer society in which we live, but just as inevitable and need to buy clothes because you can not go naked.

    Izzy Mayok
    how to bowling