Punk. Dame. Designer. Rebel. Millionaire. Mother. Radical. All words one could use to describe Vivienne Westwood, a woman who is perhaps the most influential British designer the world has ever seen.
In an industry predominantly created to showcase beauty, Westwood uses her skills to advocate higher causes, through her passion for art, history and social justice. In doing so she redefined what being a designer could represent, inspiring a wave of others dedicated to using fashion as a means of sparking cultural change.
The UK has a history steeped in revolution, change that was ignited by trailblazers like Westwood herself, whom whilst still actively charging against injustice is ensuring that her legacy that will extend beyond her own years.
It is this dedication to a cause, her natural authenticity, that has made Westwood the voice for not just any one generation nor institution for that matter. Whether designing for the Royals or the “pirate commoners”, Vivienne makes ideas accessible by transforming the fashion world into a discourse for those very ideas, symbols that just happen to be great clothes. She has fulfilled her own prophecy as a young girl becoming the hero – nay – Queen of the fashion world, that British renegade who defined the rebellion behind the punk movement and gave us originality in spades – the one and only, Dame – Vivienne – Westwood.
To the casual outsider the Fashion Industry can appear to be a cauldron of creativity with endless innovation and risk taking, as every new season designers have to forget their past successes and milestones and return alone to a blank canvas, to create their next collection, and this cycle repeats itself every 6 months. Granted there are principles, codes, legends and motifs that inform a designer’s agency, but essentially it’s starting over. But to those in the know, the fashion industry is a also a giant sales machine, grinding out mega-dollars as ruthlessly as Goldman and Sachs.
According to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index, the global fashion industry is now worth an estimated US$3 trillion per annum. In fact, not only does it touch just about everyone, but it would be the world’s seventh-largest economy if ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP. Even if you hold only the most casual interest in the world of fashion, it’s hard to deny the fascinating life stories of every person we have chosen to showcase in this Series.
Director – Paul G Roberts
Screenplay Adaptation- Paul G Roberts, Jess Bregenhoj
Producer – Paul G Roberts
Assistant Producer – Emily Smith
Original Story – Charlie O’Brien, Renegades of Fashion, Publisher Fashion Industry Broadcast
Narrator – Annalisa Astarita
Camera Operators – Jake Bugeja, Rami Slayman
Sound Recordist – Eduardo Castro
Editor – Jackson Banks
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