“Westwood:” Visually Tour the Life of a Punk, an Icon and an Activist

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

vivian westwood

Right from the beginning of Westwood, we can see what a restless, complex and creative woman Dame Vivienne Westwood has been and continues to be. After helping to ignite the punk moment of the ‘70s with her extreme designs, Westwood and her ex-partner Malcolm McLaren (who managed the Sex Pistols, who she also dressed), Westwood went on to become one of England’s most distinct and lauded fashion figures of the last hundred years. Born into a working class family, she still has that telltale accent, those crooked teeth, and all her rough charm. She knows what she thinks and is never afraid to say it. Westwood also hates talking about herself, yet somehow manages to make it through the film’s interviews about her long and fascinating life. But even more than her past, the film shows her in present time, where she struggles to keep a tight hold on her still-privately-owned company. It’s become too big, she says, and puts out products that she doesn’t necessarily like. In spite of the potential profits, she has no interest in producing things that she doesn’t personally care for. Born with a crusader’s spirit, Westwood has long championed important human rights causes and environmental issues such as climate change. She is smart enough to know that there is plenty that she does not know, yet she also sees the bigger picture: that her rebellious designs are not truly rebellious, but part of “the market” and the great distraction that might very well doom us all. THE WORD: Together with her flamboyant Austrian (much younger) husband, Vivienne Westwood continues to aggressively be herself, and it’s gratifying to get to know her in this documentary by freshman director and ex-model Lorna Tucker. COMING TO: Theaters

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Last modified: August 2, 2019