Vivienne Westwood with her signature punk rock style infused with quirkiness and kookiness is an icon in British fashion. The designer is known for breaking down barriers and showing inspired designs in original settings. As part of the “This Is Britain” campaign promoting free collection displays at Tate Britain, Westwood in an intimate interview discusses the works of various British artists who took inspiration from the River Thames, inspire her and display her vision of London.
The two artists discussed by the Dame are Frank Auerbach and J.M. Whistler, whose works closely resemble her views on London life. In the short film, Westwood says that her greatest experience of London is seeing the Thames from an airplane. She then goes on to talk about J.M. Whistler and his painting Nocturne: Blue and Silver – Cremorne Lights, and how through his use of thin paint he was able to capture the spirit of the river.
Westwood also discusses Frank Auerbach’s Oxford Street Building Site, and how the artist was interested in presenting the “glory of oil paint” by using thick paint which appears like relief on canvas.
One of the points that Westwood makes is that without the culture of London she would not be able to create any of her work since she would run out of ideas. She also mentions that her work is always fresh and new because she always has something to discover from the past.