Vivienne Westwood: Get a Life

Iconic. Rebellious. Daring. The Vivienne Westwood brand has been pushing fashion boundaries for over 40 years, attracting both controversy and admiration from critics alike. Notable for her involvement of shaping the punk movement in the 70’s along with Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne inspired a generation of non- conformists. On Sunday evening I went along to her keynote talk – Get A Life – at the Southbank Centre.

A Love of Literature

Speaking about the influence that literature has had on her life, Vivienne focused on two books with the first about anthropology and the second a collection of poems (I didn’t write any notes for once and so didn’t get any of the book titles!). Drawing on comparisons from the books to culture, politics and the cosmos, the keynote really focused on the impact that literature has on a person’s life and how we take on different perspectives to Get A Life of our own.

As someone who loves to read (I now have a whole section for book reviews on my blog now) it was really inspiring to see someone who I’ve admired for a long time speak with such passion for literature.


Aside from fashion, Vivienne Westwood is also heavily involved in activism and naturally spoke about this in her keynote. An interesting point and one of my key takeaways from the talk was that it isn’t in human nature that we gravitate towards war and violence but rather different influences and circumstances which shape our human nature into what we become.

It’s in the Details

I can’t talk about Vivienne Westwood without talking about her outfit. Remaining true to her core message, Vivienne made an entrance with her sparkly deconstructed dress, ‘buy less’ graffiti sprayed t-shirt, patterned arm and leg bands and giant platforms . Basically I LOVED this outfit a lot and can only hope I’ll be dressing as cool when I’m in my seventies and sporting silver hair too.

Location, Location, Location

Before attending this keynote I had never visited the Southbank Centre before but it’s probably now one of my favourite venues in London (after the V&A of course) and I can’t wait to go again! It’s such a quirky and stylish venue full of creative and interesting people that it was the perfect setting for Get A Life!

Parting thoughts: Have you been to any cool talks recently? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @musingsandmktg!

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