Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label S/S 12 (1/2)



The family tree starts with the marriage of GAIA the Earth Mother and Science. They have two children so we have two branches.

The child of the right hand branch is Quantity and it’s what happens when Progress marries Quantity. They produce unlimited Profit and unlimited Consumption and lead to disaster. This is our world.


The left hand branch is a parallel world. It doesn’t yet exist but it could if we had respect for Science. Its first child is Quality who marries Stability, and this, I believe, leads to true Progress and quality of life. The most important child of this branch is Hierarchy of Values, whose pinnacle of Achievement is Art, which gives culture and ethics and structure- instead of today’s free for- all and chaos. That is why the Art lover is a Freedom Fighter for a better world.


The World Family Tree will be printed on T-shirts and bags.


The collection has three main influences : China, because their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help to save the planet; the desert because of climate change; and 17th century corsets.



"There is a blow-up oversize jacket called the Mao jacket and I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution. Perhaps our love of uniforms comes from a wish to look alike, be part of a group – and maybe a group not happy with the status quo." explains Vivienne Westwood.




The desert inspired Vivienne to look at the Berbers with their burnous and the Tuaregs with their layers and their sunlight blue. There is a lot of black, indigo and copper fabric plus whites. Dresses are long.





Pictures are property of Vivienne Westwood.

I agree that profit-oriented economy and unlimited consumption are leading us to disaster and collapse. Traditional chinese wisdom and Confucianism are a valuable heritage and these ideas may be one alternative for sure, but I still find the China-reference a bit odd in this context, since today`s China is one of the worst countries in terms of environmental destruction, uncontrolled growth and exploitation of workers.

How do you like this part of the collection? What do you think about the family tree?


  1. This is the most gorgeous collection I have EVER seen!

  2. great post! love the collection xo The family tree shirt is one of my favorites

  3. I dot think the Chinese reference is odd. After all, so much of what is manufactured today is manufactured in china! And don't get me into the human rights issues...
    I think it's beautiful visually, but maybe not very well though out in terms of concept?

  4. I quite like this idea of the family tree. It feels like there's a lot of really evocative and powerful abstract ideas that are woven into this collection. Really quite attractive and mysterious... I really feel the passion in the designs, a depth that's more than meets the eye.

  5. Also, that family tree look, absolutely love the lightness of that plaid skirt. Amazing!

  6. @ Heather: good & important point! China is probably THE symbol for production nowadays. At the same time it`s also the symbol for all the wrongs & problems of mass production: exploitation of humans and the environment.
    I`m waiting for the day when they see that growth is in fact NOT all comes down to that old Greenpeace slogan: "In the end you will realize that you can`t eat your money."

    We are all surrounded by "Made in China" products and I guess if we consequently boycotted them at least 70% of the things around us would disapear.

    On the one hand we are critical about their terms of labour - and the problems they create for our own economys. We think it`s unfair that a chinese factory worker earns 2 Euro a day. On the other hand european companies have their products manufactured there because if they paid the 50 Euro day-wage of a european worker their product`s price became so high that it couldn`t compete on the market anymore.

    I think China is not the origin of that unfairness - they are just executing it with the exploitation of their people.

    The core-problem of that whole issue is that the REAL value of a thing is no longer determined by it`s material & production but by economy.

    PS: Yes, traditional chinese design, as used by Westwood here, is beautiuful & I love it too!

  7. You know what? If I lived in an ideal world I would be wearing VW every day. I kind of feel, erroneously maybe, that I would feel, at the same time, more free and more in place.
    Great post btw.