Vivienne Westwood criticises Britain’s bad dress sense

Queen of fashion Dame Vivienne Westwood is known for making bold statements - and this time she has some strong words for the British public.

Dame Vivienne slated Britain’s sense of style, saying “people have never looked so ugly” when it comes to fashion.

After showcasing her Red Label brand at London Fashion Week, Westwood said ‘conformist’ shoppers and cheap clothes have given society a ‘generic look’.

Dame Vivienne Westwood takes a bow during the finale of her show © Rex


Dame Vivienne blamed the rise of cheap “disposable” clothes for curbing individuality and added that the only well dressed women are usually in their 70s, because they know how to choose investment pieces.

The 70-year-old told reporters: “Everybody looks like clones and the only people you notice are my age. I don’t notice anybody unless they look great, and every now and again they do, and they are usually 70.”

She suggested the demise of fashion comes from the rise of a new generation of shoppers who look to fast-fashion superstores selling on-trend clothes at cheap prices.

[Related story: Girlish meets mannish style: day three at London Fashion Week]

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In order to redeem our bad sartorial choices, Dame Vivienne suggests we take a look at fashion icons from the past.

The flame-haired designer said: “In history people dressed much better than we do. If you saw Queen Elizabeth it would be amazing, she came from another planet. She was so attractive in what she was wearing.”

Known for her rebellious approach towards fashion and non-conformist style, Dame Vivienne is recognised for introducing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream.

Her best advice to fashion lovers is to take advantage of austerity and use limited resources to buy fewer clothes with long lasting quality.

She added: “I'm a fashion designer and people think 'What do I know?' but I'm talking about all this disposable crap. So I'm saying buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Vivienne Westwood AW12 © Rex


Her latest collection for autumn/winter 2012 offered quintessential British style: models took to the runway in baggy jodphur-like trousers, tea dresses, woollen cardigans and rugby shirts.

Dame Vivienne also admitted that sometimes her designs don’t always meet her high standards after her team work on the creations.

“Recently, I said I don’t even like some of my clothes. I like the stuff going out now but you have to be very careful, when you delegate stuff, things can become not very good.”

Do you think Britons need to learn better fashion sense? Or do we always dress to impress?

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