Written by Leah Morris
Photographed by Katherine Rountree
The Trustees Theater was packed on Friday, May 15 as the crowd gathered to see fashion designer Vivienne Westwood receive an award for Lifetime Achievement. Some dedicated fashion students claimed their spot in line as early as 11 a.m. to guarantee their chance at snagging prime seating real estate. The street style game was certainly on point last night as attendees flaunted their personal style in a diverse array of colors, cuts and accessories. Because of Westwood’s huge influence in the punk scene, plaid skirts were present along with leather-detailed dresses and outfits of multiple colors with grunge overtones.
The President of SCAD, Paula Wallace, introduced fashion guru Andre Leon Talley, who then invited Westwood to the stage to receive her award. Her presence on the stage was preceded by a short video highlighting some of her most memorable looks, all set to the hard rock score of the band Muse. In her speech, Westwood commented on her love and respect for Talley, President Wallace and the work being done at SCAD. While much of her acceptance speech was detailing her activism in the fight against global aarming, Westwood did relate how her fashion is a tool she uses to “tell what I think.”
Following the giving of the award, Westwood returned to the stage to answer questions from SCAD and Talley, and did so with grace and humility. She spoke of her desire to learn more about the world and said, “The more you understand the world, the more good you can do in it.” Westwood added that she uses her fashion as a contribution to culture. “Culture is the pursuit of perfection,” she said.
At the end of the talk, Westwood made a point to state that when she started designing, she began because she simply loved to make clothes and “if people bought it, I continued.”