Words of the Wild
Crusader is as much of a job descriptor for Vivienne Westwood as fashion designer. And among her agendas, no cause resonates more acutely than her crusade to fight climate change. For Spring ’14, the designer sent out models in plastered-and-fractured makeup at Vivienne Westwood Red Label, the effect of which she likened to animals being “trapped” in the headlights. One look, a strapless brocade dress in pale gold and lavender, topped a ratty T-shirt that read “Climate.” Here, the message rang loud and clear. Moreover, Westwood gave out pre-addressed postcards to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, instructing editors to write down their own ecological apprehensions.
But Westwood wasn’t the only designer who expressed her environmental concerns this season. Christopher Kane showed metallic teardrop cutouts on dresses—”Sterilized petals,” he called them. He also offered diagrammatic outlines of botanicals, paired with blocky letters spelling “Petal” and “Flower.” His wares appeared to place a conscious emphasis on the synthetic over the natural. At Dior, Raf Simons printed slogans such as “Alice Garden” and “Primrose Path” along brightly colored numbers that seemed to suggest a kind of nuclear summer, mutated wisteria included.
Shifting from terra firma to the big blue sea, Kenzo‘s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon addressed the problem of overfishing: In addition to a few fun aquatic prints, there was a T-shirt that read “No Fish, No Nothing.” “The challenges facing our oceans are a global concern,” Leon told Style.com. “The shirt is an effort to help raise awareness through fashion’s strong voice.” A portion of the garment’s proceeds will go to the Blue Marine Foundation, which battles fish-stock depletion worldwide.