Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist
The 70s saw the fast-paced and aggressive punk movement sweep over the United Kingdom. A rock music and fashion genre that had such a vast influence over the younger generations of the period, those who felt the need to be liberated and break away from the societal chains in an anarchic fashion. Who was behind the movement? Offbeat British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood – “the last genuine Punk”. Now, director Lorna Tucker has taken it upon herself to epitomise the strength and will of the fashion icon, as difficult as she may be, and the result is as wild and untamed as Westwood’s latest catwalk selection.
Distributed by Dogwoof, this biographical film focuses on how the designer lives, her styles, muses and the public figure that Westwood poses both in the fashion industry and behind closed curtains. A tempestuous character both in her work and in her being, her life is explored through a series of intimate interviews in which her vivacious attitudes and traits are exposed through regurgitating the past and dwelling on relationships that lay dormant in her personal history. In an exploration of an understood yet underappreciated artist, Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist delves deep into the chambers of the many different aspects of its subject’s life, from fashion to music to her environmental activism, posing no questions over her authenticity, but suggesting that, although loved, a wild and passionate artiste can often be an unpalatable flavour for others.
Through the use of past and present interview footage with Westwood, Tucker creates an intimate 79-minute documentary in which the audience have the opportunity to connect with the real fashion designer. Through behind-the-scenes footage at catwalks, in studios and in personal spaces, the picture capably demonstrates how frantic and expeditious the industry and life of such a woman can really be – something that is ultimately truly appreciated by her colleagues and companions thanks to her extravagant personality. Much like Dame Vivienne’s life, the film begins at a hastened tempo, edited together with sharp interlude’s of pictures and footage from various events, protests and family albums. Thankfully, the viewer is carried along on this ride with the help of quiet moments of reticence with Westwood’s husband Andreas Kronthaler and son Joseph Corre.
The soundtrack follows a periodical movement, associating itself with the decade of genres in question at the time, whilst also embracing the more eloquent and affluent nature of the fashion industry with a collection of classical works. The creation of an inspiring wall of sound builds a sense of anticipation through a number of scenes, and when paired with a rich narrative, the documentary holds a warming flame up to a shrine of Vivienne Westwood’s life and achievements, through the bleak and the bright, commemorating an artist that, through all of her early hardships, finally received the recognition she truly deserved.
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist is released in selected cinemas on 23rd March 2018.
Watch the trailer for Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist here: