LONDON Feb 17 British designer Vivienne
Westwood showcased more than her fashion designs at London
Fashion Week on Sunday by sporting a Julian Assange T-shirt in
support of the WikiLeaks founder.
British designer Westwood selected a T-shirt emblazoned with
her face and the words "I am Julian Assange" to wear at her Red
Label fashion show, which sent models in ribbed, woollen dresses
striding down the halls of London's Saatchi Gallery.
The veteran designer, a leading name on the London leg of
the international fashion circuit, called Assange a "hero" and
said she had raised 3,000 pounds ($4,700)for him through selling
"I'm a big supporter of Julian Assange," Westwood told
Reuters. "He's an incredible hero because he exposes the lies of
the war mafia people."
"I love people who stick their necks out," she said.
Assange incensed the United States and its allies by using
WikiLeaks to leak hundreds of thousands of secret U.S.
diplomatic and military cables in 2010, disclosures that often
In October, the website published what it said were more
than 100 U.S. Defense Department files detailing military
detention policies in camps in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay in the
years after the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. targets.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London
since June to avoid extradition from Britain to Sweden to face
allegations of rape and sexual assault. He denies any
Over the years, designers have used London Fashion Week to
make political slogans, taking advantage of the international
audience of buyers and celebrities to garner maximum publicity
for their causes.
Buyers from 39 different countries are attending and the
British Fashion Council estimates orders of more than 100
million pounds are placed during London Fashion Week each
The direct value of the British fashion industry to
Britain's $2.5 trillion economy is 21 billion pounds ($32.60
billion), the council said.
Music boomed through the white-washed corridors, where
Westwood teamed purples, teals and neutral tones for her flowing
skirts, simple knitwear and zebra print coats.
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, as well British socialite
sisters Peaches and Pixie Geldof turned out to see the show.
"She is an original ... there's no one like Vivienne," Adams
told Reuters on the sidelines of the event.
Nostalgia reigned elsewhere at London Fashion Week, as
designers Alice Temperley and Emilia Wickstead, both favourites
of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, honoured Britain's
rich fashion history with their creations.
Chain-linked trapeze dresses with matching swing coats
created striking silhouettes at Temperley London, followed by
ivory empire-line evening gowns embellished with crystals.
"I've always been obsessed with looking back to different
eras," Temperley said.
Silk day dresses in Thirties-style cuts and pink Sixties
shifts peppered with pearls paraded across the wooden floors of
one of Mayfair's luxury hotels for Wickstead's show.
Wickstead said her aim had been to create a wardrobe for the
modern working woman that was practical, elegant and strong.
"My clothes are always kind of dressy-uppy, let's say, a
little feminine, so I wanted to add a bit of punch to the
collection and I wanted it to have attitude," Wickstead said.
Looking ahead to Monday, eyes are on Christopher Kane's
show, whose label was bought into by French luxury group PPR in
January, and American designer Tom Ford who will be showcasing
his womenswear on the catwalk for the first time in London.
($1 = 0.6442 British pounds)
(Editing by Alison Williams)