A woman full of words: Dame Vivienne Westwood back in the spotlight
Vivienne Westwood’s first victim was the Duchess of Cambridge. When the Sunday Times Magazine asked about the Duchess of Cambridge’s look in a 2011 interview, the fashion designer called it “ordinary”, finding particular fault with her eye make-up. “I think she’s got a problem with eye make-up. The sharp line around her eyes make her look hard. Either she should be smudgy or wear none.”
Only recently did the designer slam Jemima Khan and label her as “irresponsible” and a “blind feminist” for denouncing Wikileaks rape suspect Julian Assange. She criticised Jemima’s condemnation of Assange for his refusal to face allegations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden.
Now it seems she has a new victim – a powerful figurehead to say the least, Michelle Obama. She criticised Michelle Obama’s style, referring to her fashion sense as dreadful. “Don’t talk about her; it’s dreadful what she wears,” she said of the US First Lady. “I don’t want to talk about it, really. She’s a very nice looking lady but it’s a non-starter regarding clothes that suit her.”
When women such as Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama hold a high-standing position in society, they are scrutinised for everything – be it their sense of style, their words to the public, or even their figure. It is like living under a microscope.
However, there is one First Lady whose fashion sense Westwood admired. “Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether – it just had to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous,” she said. “That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.”
This dame is in fact not a great fan of the United States of America. She told the New York Times: “I think it’s ridiculous. I’m also rather bored with American journalists. Every time punk comes up, they think of me as a kind of trophy, and then you hear nothing from them in between. You know, America is an isolated territory, with all those editors who think they are so powerful. Mostly, I think they are rubbish.”
What a way to speak your mind… only Vivienne Westwood is able to get away with it. Feisty she certainly is! We only wonder what she will say next.
Photo: Ambra Vernuccio