In Other News, Vivienne Westwood Just Rode a Tank to Protest Fracking
We interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage of MADE Fashion Week to bring you the most badass news piece of the year. English fashion designer and environmental warrior Dame Vivienne Westwood took on the British government with a little help from her friends and a literal tank. The 74 year old designer is no stranger to rebelling and causing a scene but we could never have envisioned the sight of her riding down the street on a tank inbound on Prime Minister David Cameron’s home in Oxfordshire for a fake “chemical attack.” She made the road her runway and traded in a pair of killer heels for an all-terrain military vehicle this season in a move that matched her punk and new wave influence.
The stunt was part of a larger political demonstration by Westwood and her fellow environmentalists as part of an effort to ban fracking. For those unfamiliar with alternative means of producing energy, here’s a rundown straight from the BBC:
Fracking is “the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.”
While that may seem totally chill, the reality is that no safe method exists for the leftover waste to be disposed of, a huge amount of water is necessary to even begin the process, and it has been linked to earthquakes. Oh yeah, and it also makes water from local communities turn to literally flames. That’s lit in the very worst way.
Westwood recognizes the dangers of the fracking movement and organized the protest in response to a measure proposed last month that stated the government “would offer licences for fracking in 27 locations in Yorkshire, the north-west and the east Midlands.” Forcibly entering into communities to wreak havoc on the land is not the new black and Westwood did not hold back in her scathing critique of the British government’s decision.
“Cameron accuses foreign leaders such as President Gaddafi and President Assad of supposedly using chemicals on their own people as a justification for regime change,” Dame Westwood explained. “But he is doing precisely that here in Britain by forcing toxic, life-threatening fracking chemicals on his own people against the advice of his own chief scientist.”
Living up to her rebel roots, the iconic designer and environmentalist shows no signs of backing down in her war against the fracking movement. As she steps out of the tank and back into her best outfit, we can only hope that she continues to slay the government and the runway.
Photography by David Hartley, Rex Shutterstock, and Leon Neal for AFP.