It was just a year ago that Karl Lagerfeld sent models down the Chanel runway in a “feminist protest,” carrying picket signs with dumb slogans like “Be Your Own Stylist” that meant virtually nada other than co-optation for a trend. And it was just Sunday that Dame Vivienne Westwood, who has spent a good amount of the last 12 months actually protesting, flipped his dumb idea and had her models hold picket signs with slogans of the causes she’s been out here working to raise awareness, like climate change and global economic crisis. Ooh, Karl, you got told.
The Spring 2016 show for Vivienne Westwood Red Label, which was entitled “Politicians R Criminals,” began with Westwood and her models (and models) walking down the street to the venue, with signs that read “Austerity is a Crime” and “Fracking is a Crime.” (Her son, Joe Corre, is the head of the non-profit Talk Fracking Organization.) They all ended up on an elevated ramp overlooking the runway, after which more models walked in easy, loose-fitting designs and prints, some with smears of black make-up over their eyes like masks.
“I have a voice because I’m a well-known fashion designer,” Westwood told the Press Association, “and this gives me the opportunity to open my mouth.” Who says you can’t viably and explicitly combine fashion with politics? Westwood’s doing her thing.
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