Wedding dress

Vivienne Westwood for ca 2008

Röhsska Museum

Röhsska Museum
Gothenburg, Sweden

Vivienne Westwood is now one of the world’s biggest fashion empires with four different lines: Gold Label, Red Label, Anglomania and Man. This dress comes from the demi couture line, Gold Label, where Vivienne always takes her creativity to its full extent in a shimmer of luxury and with innovative solutions, but always based in British tailoring. Gold Label is the more elaborate and somewhat difficult to wear collection from Vivienne Westwood, but perhaps the most interesting and trend-setting.

In Paris, at the end of February 2008, Vivienne Westwood showed her Gold Label collection for that autumn. It was called Chaos Point, the same title as Ervin Laszlo’s book from 2006 about the situation for the global environment and the environmental threats we are facing. The dress that is now in Röhsska’s collection was the conclusion to the show. It is the “show piece”, i.e. an object that is only made for the fashion show itself in order to illustrate a representative silhouette and bring together the theme of the collection. It was also seen in the advertising campaign for the Gold Label collection in the autumn of 2008 and Vivienne Westwood has posed in the beret worn by the model for an advert for the brand. Through Chaos Point, Vivienne Westwood once again took a political standpoint in her creativity. This time it is mankind’s brutal impact on the environment that she wants to highlight and counteract. On several of the models in the show, and on Vivienne Westwood herself, the AR symbolen – which is an important foundation for the collection – was visible. AR stands for Active Resistance to Propaganda.

Ahead of her work with Chaos Point, Vivienne Westwood visisted a group of children at Portland School in Nottingham, UK. She told them a story about soldiers at war in a country with lots of jungle. The soldiers had become tired of fighting and decided to stay in the jungle with their enemies, with whom they’d become friends. In the jungle they had an insight into the miracle of life, not taking more than you need. Only then can the Earth give of herself indefinitely and reveal her deepest secrets. The soldiers had now become a new sort of warrior, warriors of freedom, and their task was to go back to the city to tell other people about their ideas. In the city, the freedom warriors were dressed in their uniforms, which they had painted with everything they loved, such as butterflies, snakes and magic flowers. On this basis, Vivienne Westwood set the children to work; their sketches of what the freedom warriors would look like and their war paint became the basis of the Chaos Point collection. The fabric in the dress is a direct copy of what the children drew; their version of what a freedom warrior and environmentalist should look like. Vivienne Westwood wonders how it is that there is a genius hiding in every child.

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  • Title: Wedding dress
  • Creator: Vivianne Westwood
  • Creator Birth Date: 1941
  • Fashion House: Vivienne Westwood
  • Date Created: ca 2008
  • Location Created: London, England
  • Fashion Show: Chaos Point
  • Season: Autumn / Winter 2008/2009
  • Type: Dress
  • Photographer: Mikael Lammgård, Röhsska museum
  • Medium: Hand-sewn and painted textile
  • Bibliographic References: Skiaskope. Gränslöst 1700-tal speglat i nuet, red. Kristoffer Arvidsson, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Göteborg 2016 page 168 Eva Knuts, "Bruddräkter - mellan tradition och trend" Modets bildvärldar, red. Bia Mankell/Per Dahlström, Röhsska museet, Göteborg 2012 page 144-148