Restraint and normalcy have never been Dame Vivienne Westwood’s strongest suits—and thank God for that. Speaking at a New Economics Forum event at Southbank Centre in London late last month, the legendary British fashion designer extolled the virtues of giving up shopping for at least six months. Her other advice? “Wear a towel instead of a coat, it’s very chic,” she proclaimed. “Or your husband’s boxer shorts with a belt, or something from your grandmother. It’s all about do-it-yourself at the moment.”
Despite the role she plays in creating clothing, Westwood says that people need to stop pursuing trends. Consumerism, she added, will be the death of us. “I’m so upset and worried. Our beautiful planet…what’s going to happen to us?” she said. Don’t mistake her exhortation as a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” either. Westwood’s Gold and Red Label collections have been becoming progressively, how shall we say, derelicte?