Fashion Week Warning: Don’t Buy Clothes!
Last night iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood ended her S/S 2011 Red Label collection show at London Fashion Week with an unusual message. The 69-year-old Westwood flatly told fans not to buy her clothes- or any new clothes.
“My message is choose well and buy less,” said Westood, “Don’t buy anything new for six months and recycle your clothes.”
The anti-consumerism message wasn’t the first of its kind from the lips of Westwood. The outspoken designer has a history of political activism, taking strong stances on hot-button issues including nuclear disarmament, the writ of habeas corpus, and climate change. In a 2007 interview with The Guardian, Westwood first warned against the “drug of consumerism.” Since then, she continued to campaign against excessive buying habits while maintaining anti-consumerism and a love for fashion aren’t contradictory by nature.
Westwood encourages fans to buy her clothes only if they can afford it, and even then, to practice restraint and refrain from buying too much. She pushes fashion lovers to appreciate the art of design and create DIY pieces for themselves at home.
Whether you agree with Westwood’s message or not, I think it’s fantastic to see a designer reach beyond the fabric and attempt to bring a real-world message to her followers. Fashion has always been most interesting, and arguably most legendary, when catwalk boundaries are pushed into the arenas of politics and social commentary. This desire to interact with the bigger picture is what truly turns fashion into art.