The designer addressed climate change through a merging of punk and fashion activism for her Fall 2019 collection at London Fashion Week.
Vivienne Westwood is no stranger to the realm of politics. Notorious for forcing fashion to step outside of its microcosm and confront the sociopolitical turbulence around it, Westwood presents collections unafraid of protest. For Spring 2016, her runway became a march against fracking, and for Spring 2014, her models transformed into zombies denigrated by climate change—which was the chief message for her Fall 2019 show.
Westwood’s signature rebellious streak landed with checkered, broad-shoulder blazers, hooded capes, and leggings striped with color and painterly whimsy. Her diverse cast of models, activists, and actors such as Rose McGowan walked down the runway with messages about unfair taxation, Brexit, and over-consumption. Oversized Ace of Spades T-shirts read “Motherfucker,” and others declared “All profit belongs to me, so long as you keep buying crap.” Models’ faces were obscured by gold dust and masks of green and scarlett and paint. They were accessorized with pink and yellow crowns reminiscent of Le Petit Prince and slouchy bags scribbled with “CRAP.”
Many fashion collections that admonish consumption are ones that innately have the desire to sell. It is one thing to adopt the talk of sustainability but how is it actually being implemented? How are we using fashion as a tool to actively subvert climate change and become more sustainable? Westwood again amps us up to figure out the solutions.