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    Lily Cole Fondly Remembers the Activist Fashion Icon Vivienne Westwood

    The world of fashion lost an icon in December 2022 with the passing of Vivienne Westwood, a designer who blurred the lines between fashion, art, and activism. As an actress, model, and dear friend of Westwood, Lily Cole has shared her fond memories of the maverick designer who lived life on her own terms.

    A Memorable Encounter in New York

    One spring morning in 2013, Lily Cole found herself in a New York hotel room with Vivienne Westwood, discussing the latter’s “Climate Revolution” DIY top. The outfit featured a young soldier with the word “TRUTH” emblazoned underneath her tentative smile in white font and a red box, similar to Barbara Kruger’s art.

    Lily was shocked to learn that the photograph on the shirt was that of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Vivienne explained the message behind the shirt and expressed her surprise that many people were unaware of Manning’s contribution to the world.

    As Lily interacted with Vivienne and her husband Andreas Kronthaler, she was struck by the passion and intensity of their commitment to various social causes. The duo shared their thoughts on designing an Amazonian wild rubber dress for Lily to wear to the Met Gala that evening and discussed Chico Mendes, the activist who lost his life fighting to protect the rainforest.


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    Vivienne’s Activism

    Lily Cole’s encounter with Vivienne Westwood was just one of many instances of the designer’s passionate activism. Vivienne’s activism went beyond fashion and encompassed environmentalism, human rights, and anti-capitalism.

    For over 30 years, Vivienne was at the forefront of fashion activism, using her platform to draw attention to the issues that mattered most to her. In her younger years, she caused a stir with spiked hair, rubberwear, and provocative T-shirt slogans that led to her prosecution under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act.

    Over time, Vivienne’s activism only intensified. She wore silk dresses that parodied the upper classes and famously cosplayed as Margaret Thatcher for Tatler in 1989. In 2020, she dressed as a yellow canary in a cage outside Downing Street to protest Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.

    Despite her age, Vivienne remained a punk at heart and never compromised her principles. She was a true iconoclast who used fashion as a medium to communicate her message to a broader audience.

    The Vivienne Foundation

    Towards the end of her life, Vivienne founded the Vivienne Foundation, a charity whose mission was to save the world by halting climate change, ending war, defending human rights, and protesting capitalism. It was a lofty goal that epitomized the breadth of her activism and her unwavering commitment to the cause.


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    The Legacy of Vivienne Westwood

    Vivienne Westwood was a trailblazer whose impact extended far beyond the world of fashion. She was a visionary whose activism was as important as her design work. Her message and her style were intertwined, and her influence can still be felt today.

    Google News and other media outlets continue to cover the many tributes pouring in for Vivienne Westwood from all over the world. Friends, admirers, and fellow activists have come forward to celebrate her life and legacy. Helena Bonham Carter, who starred in several of Westwood’s fashion shows, paid tribute to the designer, saying, “Vivienne started off a punk and ended as a dame, without compromising an inch.”

    In a heartfelt tribute, Lily Cole, the acclaimed model and actress, fondly reminisces about the enduring legacy of the activist fashion icon, Vivienne Westwood. In an exclusive interview with Google News, Cole reflects on Westwood’s remarkable contributions to the world of fashion and her unwavering commitment to social and environmental causes. Cole’s words paint a vivid picture of a visionary artist who used her creative platform to challenge conventions and spark meaningful conversations. Through her powerful recollections, Cole ensures that Westwood’s pioneering spirit and profound impact on the industry will continue to resonate for generations to come.

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