Vivienne Westwood Acts Up

Controversy on Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

BY: Tiffany Goldstein

One-of-a-kind fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood has molded the British fashion industry since the early 70s, with her punk-rock and erotic style. So, Lorna Tucker, the director of Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, found inspiration within the fashion icon’s life and brought it alive on the big screen. However, before the film was launched at the Sundance Film Festival in January, a vigorous statement was released by Westwood herself on Twitter.

“The Vivienne Westwood documentary set for release this year ‘Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist’ has been made and produced by a third party and as it stands isn’t endorsed by Vivienne Westwood,” wrote Westwood. “Lorna Tucker asked to film Vivienne’s activism and followed her around for a couple of years, but there’s not even 5 minutes’ of activism in the film. Instead, there’s lots of old fashion footage which is free and available to view online. It’s a shame because the film is mediocre, and Vivienne and Andreas are not.”

According to Vanity Fair, Tucker was not shocked by the designer’s remark. Within the three years of filming, the two got to know each other and Tucker stressed that she wanted to “make a movie that showed a complex, challenging life over time, about a woman who had often been cast out by the larger fashion world and had fought to make her mark.” Although, Westwood would show great effort throughout the years to redirect the film to make it about environmental activism.

The documentary captures the queen of punk’s inner circle, fashion collaborations, her struggles that eventually turned into success, and how Westwood allows her clothing to speak for themselves.

Tucker says that she wanted to capture the vulnerable side of Vivienne Westwood. “She’s trying to teach the world about activism, but unless people care about her or understand why she’s valid to have that point, you’re not gonna listen,” she explains.

While the documentary falls short on giving Westwood’s viewpoint on environmental activism and political campaigning, the designer’s voice has made a difference in the fashion industry, and we still perceive her as a female inspiration, a remarkable and spunky creator, and lastly, a matchless individual.