Vivienne Westwood

Active Resistance against Propaganda

Culture versus dogma
Lecture by the English fashion designer and political activist
Introduction: Joachim Sartorius

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

© Christian Chambenoit

  • In English with simultaneous translation

Past Dates

“Queen of Punk” was a title and a label that Vivienne Westwood received in the 1970s. But she says: “The only reason I am in the fashion business is because I want to disrupt the principle of conformity.” From the extravagant punk outfits that revolutionised the branch, the S&M latex pieces that were sold in her London shop called SEX, to the precious fashion sculptures of haute couture – what really drives her is a profound aversion of conformism and the seductions of indifferent consumerism. Her garments have been labelled resistance fashion; they combine an intrepid non-conformism and a British sense of tradition, and her anarchic attitude has not abated over the years but only become more ingenious. In Berlin, where from 1993 to 2005 she taught fashion design as a visiting professor and did much for the city’s development towards a new fashion metropolis, she will not talk about fashion but about her recent campaign “Active Resistance against Propaganda”. With her manifesto – to be complemented by political actions and a new fashion line – she wants to fight a progressive global ignorance. What, Westwood asks, is the actual meaning of culture? What can art do? Why do we today live the way we do and what should our life really be like? Within the circle of topical artists, Berlin is considered the hottest place to be, precisely because of its lively cultural industry.

Vivienne Westwood, who was appointed Dame Commander by the Queen in 2006, will now return here to defend the significance of objective, truly great art against fashionable, subjective nonsense and the oh-so-hot irrational arts market. And: discussions expressly desired!