Dame Vivienne Westwood is without a doubt an important figure in fashion. Westwood rose to fame for bringing the punk movement to the mainstream through her partnership with Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren. Ripped graphic tees and tartan patterned skinny jeans didn’t get the spotlight until Westwood launched them into popularity back in the 1970’s. She’s been shredding fabric, provoking boundaries and serving looks ever since. Now, at the age of 77, the dame is finally getting her own documentary (rightfully so) recognizing her zany designs, outspoken opinions, eccentric personality and contribution to the world of fashion which has cemented her legacy. It’s surprising that she hasn’t had a biopic at this point.
The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it was met with positive feedback. The feature is said to focus on Westwood’s life, career, and contribution to fashion and activism. Director Lorna Tucker, who has created videos for Westwood in the past, set out to capture the designer’s life using a combination of archival footage, candid recordings of Westwood’s daily business, and interviews. Tucker spoke to several close family members, friends, and collaborators that include Westwood’s sons, her current partner Andreas Kronthaler, Vivienne Westwood’s chief executive officer Carlo D’Amario, and supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell about their relationships with Westwood and their thoughts on her legacy.
The documentary will also focus on Westwood’s work on environmental activism since the designer has taken a firm stance against climate change and pollution. Her fight against environment injustice – titled “Climate Revolution” – has been prevalent in several of her past collections and has become a consistent theme of her brand. Tucker told WWD that Westwood “was only interested if it was going to be just about her environmentalism, but I said, ‘No, it has to be about everything because people will only be interested in the activism side if they see your journey to becoming an activist.”
The documentary will have a limited run in UK theaters starting on March 23rd. A US release date has yet to be announced but there is no doubt that this film will find its way onto a streaming service and sit proudly amongst its fellow fashion documentaries. But if you happen to be in the UK around the film’s release date, why not hit the cinema, learn a bit of fashion history, and get to know the queen of punk?