Vivienne Westwood denounces new documentary

The designer claims that the film doesn’t focus on her avid interest in activism

At the end of last year it was announced that a documentary dedicated to the one and only Vivienne Westwood would be released in 2018. Naturally, we rejoiced and marked our calendars for the film’s release on March 31, but the latest news is that the iconic designer does not want to be linked to the film – titled Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist – in any way.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Westwood’s team expressed her disappointment in the documentary. According to the label, the original concept from director Lorna Tucker was around Westwood’s avid interest in activism but the final film features “not even 5 minutes” on the topic – instead they say it is mostly made up of archive fashion footage. “It’s a shame,” the statement reads. “The film is mediocre, and Vivienne and Andreas are not.” It comes as the doc is competing at Sundance this week in the World Cinema Documentary category.

Similarly, the house of Versace also denounced links to the American Crime Story television series that debuted this week and tells the story of the events surrounding Gianni Versace’s murder. Both instances raise interesting questions: how much control over the edit of a biographical film should a subject have? And what creative license can be taken when telling the stories of people’s lives?

We have reached out to Tucker’s representative for comment, and will update when we hear back. The film is still scheduled for release as planned.

UPDATE: Lorna Tucker responded with the following statement: “Vivienne knows I have the utmost respect for her activism, which is integrated into the film as the passionate driving force of all she does. As a director, I wanted to make a film that would engage a wide global audience by creating an authentic portrait of an artist and activist. I’m very proud of the film, and so honoured that it’s one of the 16 films selected for competition at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Vivienne is a huge inspiration to me, and I hope audiences go away feeling the same.”