Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

Film, Documentaries
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

British fashion maven Vivienne Westwood gets the doc her fascinating life and career demands.

The best fashion docs often focus on the personalities and chance meetings that kick-start cultural movements. Here it’s punk that forms the edgy backdrop to a look at the life of Vivienne Westwood. It features plenty of access to the fashion designer, although it’s not always welcome: Westwood has since distanced herself from this project and, when speaking directly to camera, she’s clearly bored of talking about her past. Still, the three years director Lorna Tucker spent on it have yielded peppery insights into this complicated but fiercely talented woman.

Born in 1941, the characterful Westwood was a prolific bedroom artist from her youth. We find her bluntly declaring her innate talent for the intricacies of tailoring. Eventually, her rebellious spirit led her to Malcolm McLaren and their Chelsea boutique Sex, although the subject of McLaren feels glossed over here. You’re left craving a bit more on punk’s famous coupling.

Happily, another riveting relationship is waiting in the wings. Westwood’s current husband is Andreas Kronthaler, a younger, highly opinionated seamster who’s risen through the ranks of her company. There are rolling eyes from staff as he wrests control of designs, and the company is summoned to a meeting where Westwood’s loyalties feel torn and the fashion house is plunged into drama. It makes this the perfect film to double bill ‘Phantom Thread’ with. 

By: Anna Smith



Release details

Release date:
Friday March 23 2018
83 mins

Cast and crew

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4 out of 5 stars

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2 people listening

This weekend Dogwoof release Westwood a documentary style film on the life and times of the incredible Vivienne Westwood.

The words 'Icon' 'Rebel' 'Activist' are plastered all over the advert and totally sum up this beautiful very smart caring lady.

My relationship with Miss V started when I was around 17 years old, a friend took me to one of her stores and I walked in and fell in love. It was my first experience really of shopping by myself in a designer boutique. I remember it being dark, colourful and sooooo aspirational. I spent £200 on a pencil skirt in charcoal and a matching jacket ( if i'm honest think it was closer to £350 and i borrowed the rest from the friend)

Vivienne Westwood as a designer just knows how to make clothes that totally exaggerate and emphasise a womans body.

I think when I wear her pieces I do feel sexy but also very strong. She has never been one not to voice her opinion and share it through her collections in a big 'F*ck you' way.

Watching 'Westwood' I learnt so much more about her but nothing that surprised me. Firstly she really does give a damn about people and the world she lives in. Her passions are driven by wanting better for our planet, seeing people healthier and happier not about ego and money.

Her drive to create is incredible and although she is the name and face of the brand, watching her share the lime-light with her partner Andreas Kronthaler alongside giving him as much credit as herself for the success and designs makes me love her even more.

There are not a lot of people that are not humble and comfortable enough in themselves to share their light and shout out someone else. Here is a woman that has been working on her art since the 80's, accomplished so much but has managed to separate herself from the rest and live in her own lovely slightly crazy world.

Did you know she was independent and is one of the only fashion houses that can say that. Her sense of business, design, family, love, activisim is all shared in this funny rather intriguing doc.

I highly recommend you check it out this weekend, it will not only leave you enlightened but also wanting to pull out something loud and incredible from your wardrobe to wear.

it's showing at the PictureHouse Cinema.

Max xxx