Vivienne Westwood’s latest move of activism is a mini movie masterpiece, titled Red Shoes. A dance interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Red Shoes’, performed by Lily Cole.
The motive is to promote Westwood’s Climate Revolution, in association with Environmental Justice Foundation. Global warming is a matter close to the designer’s heart. Westwood’s muse danced the live performance of Reds Shoes for her SS14 Red Label show, whilst the film premiered exclusively on Dazed.
Westwood wants to continue using her power as a fashion mogul to draw attention to worldwide political matters and believes that “Culture can save the world. Culture is about people’s outlook on the world and along with art, is the anchor that holds us together as a people and gives life greater meaning.”
Red Shoes is a about a dance of death. The dancer moves through an enchanted world where decay and decadence exist side by side. Red shoes is dark and beautiful, eerie, dramatic and worrying.
“She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing through the dark night. The shoes bore her away over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleeding; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and she tapped with her finger at the window and said: “Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must dance.”
The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Anderson
The dress worn by Lily in the closing shot of Red Shoes is the dress Westwood created with Lily for the Met Ball 2013, made from wild, sustainable rubber from the Amazon, as part of Lily’s work with Sky’s Rainforest Rescue campaign.
Westwood puts her money where her mouth is, by designing with worldwide matters at the base of her drawing board. Her designs honour her concerns. Her iconic plastic red shoes (seen below), designed way before the Red Shoes video was conceived, were made with the intention of keeping global warming at bay and not adding to the problem.
What can you do to help?
Westwood urges you to support the ‘Postcards from the Frontlines’ project, which encourages people to send a postcard direct to the UN calling for the protection of those forced from their homes due to extreme weather. To join the global movement, send UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a free postcard today, via ByPost, with ‘what home means to you’ in the face of climate change.
Vivienne Westwood wrote on her postcard:
“Anyone who gets home late from work and finds she’s forgotten the key. What a disaster! My home is my refuge.”
In 1992, Westwood upgraded from OBE to Dame in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List “for services to fashion”, and has twice earned the award for British Designer of the Year. She didn’t get that Dame title for nothing!
See more www.viviennewestwood.co.uk
Music written and produced by TOYDRUM featuring Abi Wade
A Short Film Directed by Lorna Tucker
Produced by Finished Films
Starring Lily Cole
Read in Macs Magazine – March http://www.macsmagazine.com/2014/03/vivienne-westwoods-red-shoes/