Dame Vivienne is known as a nonconformist, artist, and an activist. The exhibition features garments, accessories, and fashion show footage that highlight her innovative pattern making, instinctual use of fabrics, and distinctive technique. The exhibition exalts a masterful application of color and features the unique fabric patterns and materials that capture both fashion culture and British history.
Dame Vivienne’s work epitomizes the issues of its time, ranging from her participation in shaping the Punk movement in London, to her work as an activist for the environment. “My clothes are more subversive than they’ve ever been,” said Dame Vivienne. “In a world of conformity, they offer a real choice.” Her oeuvre remains a poignant representation of contemporary life, as she skillfully deconstructs and arranges symbolic cultural elements into new and surprising creative designs.
Curator of the exhibition André Leon Talley took inspiration from an eccentric British celebration, describing the exhibition as “A post modern romp of a weekend party where the swells meet the activists, where the rogues go vogue, and the vogues go rogue.”
Selections from the SCAD Museum of Art’s Earle W. Newton collection of British and American paintings, hung salon style, create a backdrop for the revolutionary flair of the garments. Dame Vivienne adds, “Our costumes are romantic and theatrical, inspired by history. We know the characters they belong to. Whoever chooses to wear them re-creates the clothes in her own image making them classics. She inhabits a parallel world – like this one but more ideal. Andreas and I have been designing for 25 years, living and working together. It’s our story. We always dress up.”
“The SCAD Museum of Art continues to deliver innovative and dynamic art experiences that inspire students and visitors of all ages,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “SCAD is honored to celebrate Dame Vivienne’s illustrious work.”
The exhibition offers a glimpse into the creative process of one of fashion’s most provocative minds, offering a cross-section of Westwood’s history and major fashion accomplishments from the last 25 years.
View May 19 through September 13, 2015.