Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Vivienne Westwood: The whole 20th C was a mistake

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Via The Guardian:  “A status symbol is a book… that’s status.” “Punk was just an excuse for people to run around…it was just a fashion that became a marketing opportunity.” “The whole 20th C was a mistake… throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” “Study art and you become a freedom fighter.”

More from Westwood here.

“Wear a towel instead of a coat, it’s very chic.”

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Am tired of the Shit_____Says meme, but do look at Shit Vivienne Westwood Says anyway. It’s via the green fashion site Ecouterre. A few samples from it are reproduced here.

Westwood’s design work has always been interwoven with politics and philosophy. I mean, this is true of everyone—aesthetics are always the thin end of the wedge of a philosophy that is always present whether admitted or not—but with Westwood it’s conscious and overt. Her work disrupts the expected in terms of class, national traditions, the history of fashion, gender, the constraints of conformity, everything. She is completely unafraid of being a designer who talks about politics. See also Vivienne Westwood’s London (promo embedded below).


“In Italy they take cheap cloth and make it look expensive, but I take expensive cloth and make it look cheap. They just don’t understand.”
—Vivienne Westwood in 1986, after losing a contract with Armani.


“I try to concentrate on quality clothing and accessories that are worth having, and to get my people to take fewer trips by air and stay longer each time they travel. It’s more human, especially if they take time to visit an art gallery while there.”
—Vivienne Westwood speaking in the June 2011 issue of British Marie Claire.


“For every tree they cut down, a future child dies, and there are more trees than children. Some people know these things but they plan to end the rainforest in one generation.”
—Vivienne Westwood at the launch of her People Tree T-shirt dress in May 2011.


“There is a real connection between culture and climate change. We all have a part to play and if you engage with life, you will get a new set of values, get off the consumer treadmill, and start to think, and it is these great thinkers who will rescue the planet.”
—Vivienne Westwood, speaking on television on February 2010.


“I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution.”
—Vivienne Westwood, at her Spring/Summer 2012 show at Paris Fashion Week.


“Within one generation, Los Angeles will be uninhabitable if people don’t do something about it. The world is going to get smaller and be uninhabitable and impossible to live in.”
—Vivienne Westwood at the opening of her store in Melrose in April 2011.


“Governments…are so slow that we can’t wait for them any more. We have to get this thing moving and hope that they’ll join in.”
—Vivienne Westwood in November 2011, after pledging £1 million to mitigate climate change.


“Wear a towel instead of a coat, it’s very chic. Or your husband’s boxer shorts with a belt, or something from your grandmother. It’s all about do-it-yourself at the moment.”
—Vivienne Westwood at the New Economics Forum in November 2011.


“People have never looked so ugly as they do today. We just consume far too much.. I’m talking about all this disposable crap. What I’m saying is buy less, choose well. Don’t just suck up stuff so everybody looks like clones. Don’t just eat McDonald’s, get something a bit better. Eat a salad. That’s what fashion is. It’s something that is a bit better.”
—Vivienne Westwood, speaking to reporters after her Autumn/Winter 2012 show at London Fashion Week


“How impossible it is for us to imagine ourselves victims of disaster. We suffer for the poor people who were thrown into the sea from their cruise ship off the coast of Tuscany, some losing their lives. Imagine a world of accelerating natural disasters, one after the other so that nobody can help anyone else.”
—Vivienne Westwood, speaking in a statement in January 2012.


“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.”
—Vivienne Westwood in the Oct. 4, 2007 edition of 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.”
—Vivienne Westwood in the same interview.


Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

I was there by accident. These people were not.

Apparently it’s “anything goes” in fashion right now, but that’s been true for a while. Anyway, it’s never really “anything goes” – there are always those weird, arbitrarily-imposed rules. But it does feel like a confusing, shifting mishmash right now. Like the economy.

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

Seen after stumbling upon NY Fashion Week by accident

NY Fashion Week

In the nomad style

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Vogue shoot, nomad/ethnic

Every few years this romance of ethnic plus nomad comes back around. For a previous example, see 2008. This year it seems to have returned as the usual Siberian/Mongolian nomad style, but hybridized with a specific pastiche of ethnic costumes and craft embellishments. Fashion in the west loves to memorialize whatever is recently lost, especially if it’s lost thanks to the West’s own economic encroachments. Or, conversely, is it also that our political unconscious dictates that the troubling rise of the mega-economies of Russia, India, Brazil and  China be managed aesthetically, say via the untroubling romance of their charming pasts? This shoot could be an amalgam of all of those costume traditions. Not to psychologize fashion overly much, but when has fashion (or aesthetics in general) not been the thin end of the wedge of politics? And when has it not been prescient? Depression Chic appeared a full year before the global economic crash: coincidence? Top four photos, Steven Meisel, 2010. Bottom, Meisel photos from Vogue 2008. Not going to elaborate further on the obvious imperial/post-colonial paradox of all this, except to say it’s a bit like naming a mine after the lake you just drained in order to dig it. This look is magical, though. Partly for that reason. By the way, what does “we are the world” mean?

Vogue shoot, nomad/ethnic

Vogue shoot, nomad/ethnic

Vogue shoot, nomad/ethnic

From 2008:

Vogue spread, Bhutan, in 2005 by Steven Meisel

Vogue spread, Bhutan, in 2005 by Steven Meisel

Hunt & Gather, summer clothing sale at the Ouno studio

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

In Vancouver this weekend? Vancouver designer Natalie Purschwitz’s Hunt & Gather clothing line will be showing its late summer/early fall 2010 clothing at the Ouno studio this Saturday, August 7, 3-7 pm at 636 Keefer Street, a few blocks E. of Main. There will be skirts, dresses, tops, pants, jackets – come by and browse. I’m not sure if it’s Purschwitz’s experience in costume design, or just the architecture of her work, but her pieces seem to hang uniquely well. Right now she is just at the tail end of her Makeshift project, in which she has worn nothing, including shoes, that she has not made herself. Not surprisingly the project and its blog have received a lot of international press. Among many other things the project highlights craft, the real labour of clothing manufacture, what DIY really means, and the relationship between utility and fashion. (See a longer post about that project here.) It will be interesting to see how Purschwitz’s new work has been influenced by the experience of wearing her own designs for the past year. Come by! Easy parking.

Test Pattern Dress by Douglas Coupland

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Doug Coupland (author of “Generation X” as well as an artist and designer) has done a line of casual clothes and accessories for the Canadian company Roots. The t-shirt dress is instantly classic. I bought one. Buy via USA or Canada sites.