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Vivienne Westwood Tells Occupy London: An Art Lover Is A Freedom Fighter

by Alexander Cavaluzzo on November 25, 2011

Vivienne Westwood joining the protest at Occupy London (photo via graziadaily.co.uk)

Celebrities have lent their support and clout to the numerous incarnations of the Occupy movements over the months. But, there’s only been one fashion designer to grace the protests with her presence (in the fashion capital of London, nonetheless) so far: Vivienne Westwood.

According to Graziadaily, Westwood made her first pilgrimage to the British version of the Occupy protests earlier this month with her sons, Joe Corré and Ben Westwood. This past weekend, her fiery henna-dyed mane popped up again outside St. Paul’s Cathedral for an extended visit and an impassioned speech, tying the financial situation to the dangers of climate change, and imploring everyone to visit the National Gallery because, as she says in her manifesto, “an art lover is a freedom fighter.”

Before you cry “HYPOCRISY!” at a fashion designer Occupying London, there’s a lot of logic and savvy in her personal brand of anti-consumerism, summed up in her phrase “Buy less, choose well.” We all need clothes, and it’s probably better for our wallets as well as the environment to save up for a few expensive articles rather than buying cheap, disposable clothes in bulk.

Besides, Dame Westwood has been a political activist through most of her career, from engendering the polemic look of Punk, to her 2005 collection “I Am Not A Terrorist,” to her Ethical Africa Bag collections. And her manifesto, “Active Resistance to Propaganda,” is a plea to the masses to liberate our minds through art, telling us that, “culture is the antidote to propaganda.”

It’s more than just fashion for her to begin Occupying.

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  • http://twitter.com/ardmara hilary robinson

    Great that she’s doing this. Just a little technical aside: The proper form of address is Dame Vivienne. If she were a Baroness, it would be Baroness Westwood. It would be Lady Westwood, if she had been given a title in her own right, but Lady Vivienne if the title came simply because she was married to someone who became a lord or a knight. For the boys: it would be Sir Johnny, but Lord Rotten. (It’s a brit-thing). Occupy the aristocracy.

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