Protest is an oh-so-familiar word right now. Lately, we’ve seen burning collective responses to issues like systemic racism, climate change, and the Government’s delayed reaction to the pandemic. In Vivienne Westwood’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection, the iconic designer embraced this spirit of protest and directed the turbulent energy into another rebellious clothing range. She then showcased key pieces at the digitized London Fashion Week in a fierce fashion film.
Westwood is not shy about making socio-political statements—especially when it comes to the environment. In fact, the ahead-of-her-time designer has been pushing for sustainability in the fashion industry for decades. To maintain her sustainable principles, Westwood is only releasing one new collection a year. This behavior will hopefully encourage shoppers to buy less and remind everyone to make the most out of the clothing they already own. In her own words, “Dress for the time of day, or don’t dress for the time of day – wear your evening clothes to the office if you go back to work, mix seasons.”
For this collection, Westwood revisits the past and updates her beloved punk aesthetic for today’s disillusioned youth. The fashion film, captured by Louis Simonon; the son of The Clash’s bassist, featured an abundance of anarchic looks. During the film, Brian Nasty recited an empowering poem on freedom as a range of creatives modeled the clothing. Some of these creatives included the poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and Skinny Girl Diet members Ursula and Delilah Holliday.
Suffice it to say, the collection had plenty of iconic Westwood motifs. Plaid prints and asymmetric silhouettes were everywhere, while a pair of bright red, tie-up platforms accompanied many of the looks. Standout ensembles included a purple plaid co-ord, a striped jumper violently layered over a collared shirt, and a black harness placed over a black trouser suit.
Chrissie Hynde—The Pretenders frontwoman and a long-standing friend to Westwood—designed one of the busy prints from the collection. Her abstract painting was printed onto shorts, dresses, shirts, joggers, and jumpers. On top of that, Westwood donated to Hynde’s charity Ahimsa Milk, an ethical farm that does not kill their cows.
Finally, Westwood maintained her sustainable ethos by sourcing eco-friendly textiles for the collection. Among them were mulesing-free wools, tree-derived viscose, and lastly, organic silks, cotton, and linens.
If you’re feeling rebellious and want to see more from Vivienne Westwood’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection, see it for yourself here.