• Text  Lisa Olsson Hjerpe
  • Photography  Harry Carr
  • 24th June 2013

For Bradley Manning

Four Saturdays ago in London, Vivienne Westwood joined a vigil for Bradley Manning outside the US embassy. In Milan, she dedicated her SS14 show to the dismissed soldier and WikiLeaks contributor, plastering his portrait on her invite under a big block font, TRUTH.

She was conjuring India in the collection, however. The clothes, a palette of dust, cream, checks and prints and degradé, almost came with built in baking heat.

“Does sunshine disguise poverty to the English outsider?” Westwood pondered on the show notes. “In a recent essay, Noam Chomsky summed up what’s happening in the world: the rich are racing as fast as they can to destroy the world, the poor are fighting to stop them. India is the most extreme example of this. The government is selling the country’s mineral rights to corporations and consortiums.”

Instead of turbans though, it was Manning’s military beret sat atop heads. “Everything is interconnected,” Westwood continued. “The depredation in India is caused by the global political financial war machine. Bradley stood in the path of this great juggernaut. He told the TRUTH by exposing war crimes and documents which revealed that the purpose of our wars is perpetual war for the purpose of total plunder.”

You’ll not get a quote about a keyring from Westwood: the designer who was once a punk will always be a vanguard.