Connect with us


She Called Truths Out to Us All’: Lily Cole Remembers Her Friend Vivienne Westwood



Lily Cole Remembers Her Friend Vivienne Westwood

Scene: a hotel room in New York, one spring morning in 2013. I’m staring at a photograph of a young soldier with the word TRUTH emblazoned underneath her tentative smile in white font and a red box like a Barbara Kruger, pinned to Vivienne Westwood’s “Climate Revolution” DIY top.

“It’s incredible no one knows who this is. You don’t know who she is?” Vivienne asks me in her soft Derbyshire lilt. She audibly gasps as I shake my head. “It’s amazing. Amazing. I’m here to try and do something about her.” The photograph, I quickly learn, is of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. 

By Vivienne’s side—now and for more than 30 years of their colorful shared lives—stands her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, the dashing, tender artistic director of their fashion label. We discuss the Amazonian-wild-rubber dress they’ve designed for me to wear to the Met Gala tonight and Chico Mendes, the wild-rubber-tapping activist who lost his life fighting to protect the rainforest. Vivienne listens intently, as always, then shares her observations, gesticulating—palms out—for emphasis.