Thursday, 15 October 2009

Memoirs of an Eco-Icon.

Environmentally friendly. Pah. Who cares?

But, as per, Westwood shows us how to go ‘green’ in style.

Entitled Planet Gaia Westwood’s Spring/Summer 2010 show hit the nail on the head at Paris Fashion Week at the beginning of this month. This collection, like all Westwood’s work had a political point to it. Using her clothing – and essentially her art as a vehicle for change she calls out for our public to interact. This co-operation takes the form of the ‘DIY – Do It Yourself’ concept.

The dire state of our planet is an issue at the forefront of ethical and political debate. An issue that is being fundamentally ignored. However, Westwood’s manifesto is not expensive or unattractive like many eco-friendly designs currently on the market. Westwood implores with her audience to join the fight to save the environment by pinning your own graphics to your t-shirts; ‘a collage, a picture of your boyfriend, a newspaper cutting’.

The collection models sported environmental slogans ripped out of magazines and attached to the outfits in plastic wallets. The fabrics raw and sculptured, the models delicately beautiful; organic chunky knits were worn in contrast with pure shredded silks - the clash of natural textures gives the outfits a haphazard but elegant sense of the natural world. Consequently, the collection encapsulates the paradoxes of the environment to a tee.

There is certainly an oriental ambiance about this show. Hair backcombed and fiery, set against the delicate white faces of the models gives a Geisha appearance. Yet, the theme incorporates darker undertones as one model carries a shiny green apple in her hand – a clear representation of Eve, the fallen woman. Therefore, a distinction is drawn between the disobedient Eve and the dutiful Geisha.

This metaphor maps onto the issue of global warming: some choose to pick the apple from the tree of knowledge and create the fall of mankind – thus, they carry on using their electrical appliances and material products with no care for the subsequent fall of the environment – into a possible underworld state. Others however, involve themselves and play an active role. They have a part to serve in the conditioning of the planet, helping it keep its beautiful appearance akin to the stunningly unspoilt Geisha girls.