The words that encompass who Vivienne Westwood is, as a designer and as a person, speak to the fashion industry as a whole. To be outspoken and unforgiving in your opinion is the only way to achieve success in pursuing your true vision. The film glosses over the momentous events of her life, and rather focuses on the details of what made Vivienne a sensation, loved or hated.
The opening sets the tone and theme for the rest of the film as Westwood tells the little heard off screen narrator how the interview will go. Throughout her life, whether up or down, she always maintains control in how her vision is portrayed. The audience can see this as the film juxtaposes the glamour of her fame with the reality of the difficult work it takes to make masterpieces of fashion and art, showing the entire process of her career in its various steps from her punk activist beginnings to the meticulous concern she places on every detail and piece she puts her name on today.
Everyone interviewed in the film seems at war with their love and awe of her. It is clear that anyone who can command such loyalty from talented artists from all over the world, and yet be so scorned by mainstream fashion and media, is a character to behold. The music crescendos and tension builds between characters to finish in a finale that is as raw and real as Vivienne is.
For anyone interested in art, fashion, revolution, or life itself, this film is a unique look at Vivienne Westwood’s life and not what she has done, but rather, why she has done it.
More information about this film can be found at the VIFF website: http://goviff.org/westwood-punk-icon-activist
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