Here I am in Paris at our fashion show which is “Unisex”. But right now in London there is a demonstration called “Time to Act” demanding action to stop climate change. At the same time as the march our models are on the catwalk. I cannot be there in person but I’ve sent a message.
There is massive rise in opposition to governments all over the world and after we vote in the UK May election there will be new MPs – Scottish Nationalists and the new Green MPs who will join this opposition. The main parties won’t change anything but the Public Debate will. The debate is all over the Internet but that’s not good enough. We must vote and demonstrate.
So I hope what happens this year will be literally life-changing. We had a great time doing the collection. “Unisex”! – as usual with a collection we went through hell. But we came out the other side. Trousers for women, yes! Dresses for men, the same dresses that women wear? Do that! It takes a lot of trial and error. Dresses without a woman’s waist! But then you, the woman, look like a king or queen (from history or a parallel universe)- you the man look like a king or a queen!
I love the change in proportion: the big shoulders give a small head- it’s so sexual because it’s new, it makes you look at the person from outside, it’s all so sexual because we’re looking at people with new eyes.
What about the fabrics? Start with the hula skirt- we put them on belts; they’re bisexual. The pagan wools i.e. bio- friendly matted sheep’s wool. A shepherd? A Sumerian? (we know almost nothing about them except for their sheepskin skirts). What are we talking about? Time: human beings have forgotten more than we know. But we sort of know what’s human. Let’s go for it: Study the past. There’s a hint of it in the future.
UNISEX clothing, as an idea is something Vivienne and Andreas have been promoting for a number of seasons now, predominantly through the knitwear. This season we decided to build on this further after research we made into a tailoring / made to measure service initially for our male clients.
Vivienne and Andreas really want to promote this idea of clothing for both sexes for a number of reasons. Firstly, they think it is a very modern way of looking of clothing, why should certain garments be only for one sex? Secondly, it has an historical context, from ancient times this classification of clothing- men’s / women’s didn’t really exist (until everything changed at end of the 1700s, during the French Revolution essentially, in Europe at least). The other thing to consider is that right from the beginning of Vivienne’s design career, a large amount of what was created was designed with the idea of them being worn by either sex, so this concept has always been a part of the Westwood DNA.