Vivienne Westwood: Punk isn’t credible

The British designer thinks that the Tate Modern is 'totally superficial'.

Dame Vivienne Westwood says punk gave people an excuse to “run around without thought”.

The iconic designer is largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream, and dresses an array of high-profile celebrities including Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese.

The 69-year-old British star insists there was no real “credibility” to the actual punk movement and considers it purely as an outlet for young people to rebel.

“The punk movement, it was just a fashion that became a marketing opportunity for people, and it’s great nowadays for young people dressed as a punk. But, you know, because it’s entered into the iconography of ‘I am a rebel’ and that’s what I look like if I want to be that kind of rebel. But for somebody my age, to think that it’s got any credibility in any way, no it hasn’t, it’s just an excuse for people to run around without thought,” she told the Guardian. “The whole 20th century was a mistake. Nobody was thinking. It’s all like, ‘We’re rebels, we’re against stuff.’”

The flamboyant designer thinks art is the best education for a person because it reveals the “truths” of human nature. She believes people should look beyond “superficial” consumer gimmicks and focus on more cultured activities such as reading and going to the theatre.

“Don’t go to the Tate Modern because that’s totally superficial. You’ve got to realise that there’s no progress in art. One truth is no more truth than another…” she said. “I believe art, music, reading, going to theatre, this is the best education you can get. It’s self-education. If you invest in art, you become a freedom fighter. You get off the consumer treadmill and you start thinking.” © Cover Media