Vivienne Westwood Calls for a Climate Revolution: Will the Fashion Industry Listen?

Posted by Yasha Wallin

Legendary designer Vivienne Westwood's Autumn/Winter 2013 Menswear runway show came and went in Milan this Sunday. What stuck with audiences as much as her stunning collection was her message: Climate revolution. Ever the pioneer, the 71-year-old designer has been an outspoken voice for the environment and sustainable practices in an industry that has been slow to adopt change. "Climate revolution is the only means toward a sound economy. When the general public massively switches on to this fact we will win," Westwood wrote in her fashion notes for the show.

The collection was inspired by global warming, and urban traveling—biking in particular. Westwood's chiseled models strutted down the runway in street wear, tailored trousers, and cashmere sweaters, juxtaposed with t-shirts reading "Climate revolution," with others sporting tote bags with the same slogan made in Kenya through the United Nations International Trade Center Ethical Fashion Program. The models also appeared battered—black and blue with bloody lips—perhaps to indicate they were fighting for the revolution. With a simple message, "buy less, choose well, make it last" Westwood speaks of the kind of revolution we should all be able to get behind—the bruised and battered look is optional.