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Vivian Westwood

  • Date Submitted: 04/02/2012 10:04 PM
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Vivienne Westwood
By Alyssa Currie
Assessment Task 2
Design Ideas and Concepts
Submission Date: 30th September 2011

Vivienne Westwood radically altered our perception of design and helped to define her era through her manifesto, for Vivienne Westwood fashion has never been simply about the clothes.(Rebecca Arnold)  

Summary of manifesto

Active Resistance to Propaganda

Vivienne Westwood has written her manifesto in the form of a play, with many characters ranging from Pinocchio – Hitler. All her characters are symbolic of herself and it is almost as though she is arguing/conversing with herself in order to make sense of her philosophy on life. She takes us on a journey to find art to help us understand that art gives culture and that culture is the antidote to propaganda.

Her manifesto she says, “penetrates to the root of human predicament and offers the underlying solution” and it is “the result of a lifetime’s thinking on the fields of heretical opinion” she believes if “you change, your life will change, and if you can change you, you can perhaps change the world” (the guardian) for Westwood clothing is the key to change she states “you have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes”. Her vision is “utopian” she searches for perfection, she has the need to question everything, “we are looking for standards to imitate”(manifesto) “I’m making something new all the time – the technical, physical fact of doing it introduces me to other possibilities all the time” (Book Claire Wilcox). Her designs are for a culture that no longer exists in fact one that never really existed except in the portraiture that inspires her, referring it to the mythical characters from fantasized stories like Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio. A rather simplified idealistic, and almost unrealistic view on how to change society.

When Vivienne Westwood met Malcolm McLaren in 1965 it was a relationship that electrified twentieth century fashion music and...


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