Vivienne Westwood: The whole 20th C was a mistake

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.

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5 Responses to “Vivienne Westwood: The whole 20th C was a mistake”

  1. Doug C. Says:

    If one truth is no different then any other truth then you should go to The Tate Modern, their truth is just as valid by her own argument.
    I’m not surprised she views Punk as just a fashion statement, that was her relationship with it as a designer but not mine and my friends.
    I like Vivienne but she is rambling like an old lady here. An interesting old lady.

  2. LB Says:

    You’re right. And yet it interests me that she continues to champion substance over style. She is clearly oversimplifying (and the criticizing of the Tate, well she’s being a punk) but the problem of style over substance plagued punk as much as other subcultures or movements that were supposedly countercultural. I just think she’s talking about the inevitable process by which styles become generic and loses impetus over time. Anyway I was really more interested in her statement about a status symbol being a book. Not that any 18 year old is going to listen to her.

  3. Doug C. Says:

    “Anyway I was really more interested in her statement about a status symbol being a book. Not that any 18 year old is going to listen to her.”
    Hilarious and true, my kids look at me blankly when I discuss the ideas contained in great fiction, as if I’m promoting sending letters by mail. I’m not sure it does any good at all except to make you sound crankily out-of touch.

  4. Polly Says:

    I have to say I agree with you Doug, she personally made a lot of money from her expensive (missing the point perhaps?) “punk” clothing. Punk was and is an attitude, not something you can purchase. I do laugh to myself that biker jackets are now huge in the luxury goods market, a boutique owner recently told me that she has an increasing number of older ladies who are ‘experimenting’ with biker jackets who would have never considered doing so previously..perhaps because the £1000+ tag makes it seem adequately exclusive…

  5. LB Says:

    Doug and Polly, you’re not wrong. And usually I can’t bear faux-radical, marxist chic sort of stuff, and yet I love her. Not totally sure why. Because she actually speaks about environmental things from a fashion platform, maybe, or because somehow I feel she doesn’t totally flatten an oppositional stance as pure style – something of the original (for me) remains.

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