Vivienne Westwood is not only a Dame by title, she is by action. This documentary shows her involvement in fashion, culture, and activism. It shows how she came up, how she made a name for herself, and how much she cares about all aspects of her life and image.
Directed by Lorna Tucker and starring Vivienne Westwood and her family, friends, and team, the film is all about Westwood and it is clear from the get-go with interviews and archival footage. All of the documentary is about her and how she runs her business and gets involved in activism. It’s made around around, tailored for her. This means that it may not be of much interest to anyone not already a fan or at the very least interested in fashion. That being said, for those who are interested, this is a fascinating documentary.
Even though Westwood has seemingly said a few things against the documentary as it did not contain as much on her activism as she would have liked, the film feels better rounded by having all aspects of her public life explored from her start in fashion in a very punk rock manner to her current status as an icon and a Dame. The film is shot in a way to put Westwood in a great light, something that is of course a bit biased, but it is quite informative and will have some revelations for newer fans of the great lady of punk couture.
The history of Vivienne Westwood and her brand is looked at through a lot of archival footage, giving the film a historical feel and a feeling that the filmmakers did their research, combing through hours and hours of footage, picking and choosing the best stuff they could find and having it all come together cohesively. The added, more recent interviews are good to put all of this into perspective and give the lady a more direct voice, a way for her to say what she wanted to say. There may not be enough of this for some people’s liking, but for the film’s pacing and overall feel, this is the right decision it seems, at least to this viewer.
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist is a documentary that is fairly well-round about a fantastic lady of fashion who is also a passionate activist and punk rock as can be. She’s an inspiration for anyone in fashion or trying to do their own thing business-wise as she is seen not giving up and not giving in to demands. The film shows here in a very positive light and makes her even more of an icon than she already is.