Vivienne Westwood on Shopping, Individuality and Survival

If there was ever a real connection between rock and fashion, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren (of Sex Pistols fame) are the living proof of that. Their little shop “World’s End” could now be considered a historic site both in fashion and music.

I always loved her style and her clothes, even though they were out of my reach. Underlying her collections through the years is one theme, pure self expression. Regardless of the inspiration or whatever time period this inspiration came from, it was always about how you felt. You could be a pirate today and a 50s rocker tomorrow. To me that is art to wear, regardless of what form it may take.

In 1981 I had the privilege of meeting Gene Krell, then manager of World’s End, during a visit to Rio de Janeiro.

Gene is a really sweet guy and we both stuck out in the crowd in Rio back then. He was there to research and to introduce the collection to the local media. I had the honor of having my jewelry used for the “Pirates” collection photo shoot. That collection was inspired by the 1800’s and Modernism. An odd mix, but quite stunning and just right for the time. After all this was the 80s. Living in the East Village I was very aware of what was happening then, it was part of my everyday life. Unfortunately, my copies of the magazines were lost in time in my many travels. I still search for them and hope to find them at some point. I returned to New York and he returned to London. We stayed in touch for a while but then lost track of each other.

In the meantime, he has written Dame Vivienne Westwood’s biography for the book series “Fashion Memoir”, a must read as her history is fascinating.

This past Friday during an interview with British Jonathan Ross at his TV Show, she discussed shopping, style, consumerism and the survival of our species. I am glad to know we still have much in common as people in spite of our geographic and life style differences.

Looking beautiful as always, dressed in 7 meters of silk (about 7 yards) she talks about making do with what we have, shopping our own closets and preserving the environment. I believe she did not mention vintage as after all, she still needs to sell her own collections. It was a very interesting interview and both parts are embedded below. Enjoy! (Sorry, video was removed)

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