“People have never looked so ugly”

As I was signing out of my yahoo account earlier today I saw this headline pop up – I hope it is not a mis-quote that I am sharing. Vivienne Westwood is well known for her ‘bold statements’ regarding fashion and I felt inspired by this and curious about what you think of this statement, ‘People have never looked so ugly’.  How does it make you feel?


Photo via Handbago.com

70-year-old Westwood told reporters: “Everybody looks like clones and the only people you notice are my age. I don’t notice anybody unless they look great, and every now and again they do, and they are usually 70.”

I do agree with the part about conformist shoppers and cheap clothing giving us a generic look but think ‘ugly’ is a bit harsh.

However I do agree with the comments regarding how we shop;

Her best advice to fashion lovers is to take advantage of austerity and use limited resources to buy fewer clothes with long lasting quality.

 “I’m a fashion designer and people think ‘What do I know?’ but I’m talking about all this disposable crap. So I’m saying buy less, choose well, make it last.”

What do you think? How does this bold and sweeping statement make you feel?

About Seba Silver

In June 2011 my wife and I opened a small store on the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula. Our store (Seba Dizajn) showcases stunning filigree jewellery, all work is made on site offering you the fascinating chance to see filigree jewellery being made. Visit us at www.sebasilver.com to see and purchase some of our filigree jewellery. The Seba family have been working, and creating beautiful pieces of filigree jewellery for over 500 years.
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17 Responses to “People have never looked so ugly”

  1. Never before has there been such a range of styles and products to enable people to explore ways to make themselves beautiful – yet from what I see here in Edinburgh it’s true that many reproduce the same look.

    Perhaps they have tried other looks and not felt creative enough to carry through with them.

    It is to be expected that not every attempt will be successful any more than letting people loose in a life drawing class will turn out first rate drawings.

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi David and thanks for joining us. Fashion is an interesting topic to explore, there are so many ways we can express ourselves; a hat, a piece of jewellery, a bright red jacket amid the sea of black.
      I understand that not everyone is comfortable expressing themselves creatively via their chosen ‘fashion’ but at the same time find mass conformity is very dull.

      • From a photographer’s point of view, the mass conformity is very appealing.

        Picture the repetition in the uniformity of something like the trilby and overcoat of men getting off a morning train in 1930s Britain 🙂

        On the other hand, my wife Tamara has a terrific sense of style, so I count myself lucky.

      • Seba Silver says:

        You are lucky indeed! Nice image you have created with the overcoats and triby’s – how does that same image look at Waverley Station these days with everyone in their conformist fashion?

  2. Helz-Design says:

    i feel kinda annoyed and confused by this statement.

    they say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

    fashion: do they produce this stuff because people are buying it or buy people it because they can.t get anything else?

    sometimes it is a matter of budget too –… personally i can.t afford westwood and co, as much as i would like to.
    but some stuff of haute coture is crappy too.
    they say channel is kinda classy but i don.t want to run around that classy … to conservative for me.

    i love it more colorful and extravagant.
    i am usually baffed by penelope garcia (http://static.screenweek.it/2010/1/17/Criminal-Minds-5×12-The-Uncanny-Valley-Penelope-Garcia-Cap.jpg) a character from the show “criminal minds”.
    she is colorful and unique.
    is she ugly? when talking to karl lagerfeld he would classify her as ugly and fat.
    don.t know what miss westwood would say.

    i once attended a kind of fashion class – one of those who tell you that you are summer or spring color girl – and should take away the lovely pink which suits you and which you love.
    the ladies there really begged to get the info “how can i dress somewhat nicely but ordinary unflashy … no no no.

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi Helen. Sorry if this piece has made you feel bad. It is interesting how a statement from someone who we don’t know can impact on us. Fashion is fickle, fashion is personal and yes budget related too. You always look great, for me a beautiful smile oozes style. xx

      • Helz-Design says:

        to clearify: not you made me feel bad, but this statement of miss westwood – to me it is kind of arrogant.

        recently a facebook “friend” posted a picture of an average couple kissing each other and ranting about “how ugly how disgusting” that looked … i deleted her as a friend.

        there is beauty in everyone of us

      • Seba Silver says:

        Thanks for clarifying, didn’t think you could possibly be mad with me 😉
        Yes, it’s an arrogant statement, but it is her opinion I guess.. nothing like a little controversy to start the week!

      • Helz-Design says:

        shall we mess somebody up nn??

  3. Dianne Jones says:

    Many times I’ve seen pictures of Miss Westwood and thought she looked ugly 🙂 Maybe people tend to buy similar has a lot to do with affordability, high street stores ( which are more affordable to most people than designer stores) tend to sell similar type clothes. As Helen said beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is ugly to one is beautiful to another.

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi Dianne. Thanks for joining us. I thought the same thing about Ms Westwood when I read her comment! You make a good point that high street stores are the affordable stores for the majority of us and they do tend to stock similar clothes – ‘fashion’. I love that we can all make out own fashion statement, it is an interesting area to delve into filled with so many options, opinions and a lot of controversy regarding models weight etc.

  4. Shona Easton says:

    Fantastic blog post Ruth!

    Love or hate Vivienne Westwood, you have to admire her for speaking out and being an individual. So many people are like sheep, they follow. That’s fine for them – maybe they want to be in the flock. We need flocks but we need leaders too!

    Personally I would love to be a bit more like Vivienne – so strong and not afraid to stand out from the crowd! I can think of a couple of times in the past when I have achieved this!

    I will never forget the day in the 6th Form at school when I was hauled into the Headmaster’s office for wearing denim clothing! The boys had complained that if girls can wear denim skirts – why couldn’t they wear jeans….. I told him I was going to be a fashion designer and I had made my ‘looks like denim’ mini skirt in a canvas material, oh and the hiking boots and thick green woollen hiking socks were part of the ‘look’.

    Gosh, I wish I had a photo 🙂

    • Seba Silver says:

      Thanks Shona for joining us. We wish you had a photo too! I went thru a VERY colourful hippie-ish phase at Uni – unfortuantely there are photos, but fortunately it was pre-digital camera era!! My brothers started calling me ‘hipster’ but I think they had called me worse previously!

      I agree re: Vivienne Westwood creating a look that is pure and individual, good on her! And her comments and personality certainly help with her publicity. A smart and colourful lady.

      And, well done on going on to be ‘the fashion designer’!
      Looking forward to your guest blog with us 😉

  5. Shona Easton says:

    I forgot to say, I hope I am as colourful and outspoken as Vivienne when I am 70.

    I suspect I will be!

  6. Michele Taylor Coach says:

    I, too, am a great admirer of Vivienne Westwood – for her refusal to follow convention, her daring in breaking lines, and her boldness as a 70 year old. Personally, I think ‘ugly’ is indeed a harsh word; my personal view is that people can tend to look uncomfortable in themselves when they’re not expressing themselves through what they wear. If you’re having fun with what you;re wearing, expressing something of your true self and telling the world you’re here taking up space and enjoying it, then I don’t see how ou can be anything but beautiful. I do agree, though, that few younger people seem to have that confidence. But I wonder if it necessarily comes with age – after all, adolescence is famously a time of tribalism identified at least partly through shared clothing styles.

    I wonder if I can catch, in Ms Westwood’s final quoted comment (‘buy less, choose well, make it last.’), the whisper of comments from my own parents’ generation; comments like, ‘cheap’s dear in the end'(!) and a general preference for ‘classis’ rather than fashionable looks.

    Has soft punk become the ‘classic’ of a world in which Vivienne Westwood is 70??!

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi Michele, Thanks so much for joining us. Am enjoying all the feedback on this, Ugly was harsh but it’s got us talking and that is a good thing. Yesterday I saw a link to other Westwood ‘bold statements’, she certainly knows how to get an audience to pay attention.
      I agree with your ‘having fun with what your wearing, expressing your true self’ input and it is a good point that when we are younger we tend to want to blend with the pack rather than create our own statement via our clothing. I remember being in primary school and always feeling so different as my clothes were all handmade, how I longed for something more similar to what my friends wore or from a shop. Thankfully I have reverted to ‘not running with the crowd’ and if the people here don’t like what I wear that’s ok by me.

      Maybe Ms Westwood is the true trendsetter and it just takes a while for her ‘look’ to be mainstreamed. Your soft punk comment is spot on!

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