A few years back, Vivienne Westwood was interviewed for BBC's Five minutes with.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
The activity is suitable for intermediate students.
1 At what time of the day is the interview being held?
2 What did Vivienne do before the interview?
3 What is The vanishing face of Gaia about?
4 What was Vivienne's childhood like?
5 Note down two tips she gives for fashion in recession times?
6 What is Chaos point? What is it about?
7 How does she clean her bras?
8 Where does she get her inspiration from?
9 What does she answer to the question about how the British dress?
Nice to see you, Vivienne. Looking fantastic.
Yes, really good to see you, nice to see you, yeah.
Have a seat. What do you think about the clock, do you like it?, Do, do you think it's high fashion?
I don't know, it looks like clock and it’s a big one, and I don’t know if this works.
I hope so, I hope so. You see, you see. That’s part of the fun, well, it’s a giant alarm clock. Let’s start.
How are you?
I’m well, I have just giving this sort of talk (2) and then… sorry.
It’s quite late in the evening (1).
Sorry, yes, sorry. And it went well, and I’m pleased
You're reading from your manifesto that you’ve written (2).
Yes, yeah, yeah. I’ve tried the most important thing about it that I was trying to do is to convey a sense of urgency about the dangers we face from the ecology (3)and I have really, the most important thing I can say quickly is read James Lovelock’s book The vanishing face of Gaia, you've got to.
You've always been very passionate about current affairs issues, haven’t you? You see yourself a bit of a freedom fighter I think.
I'm, you are right and I'm a bit embarrassed at having admitted that, but but even as a child that is what seemed to mark me out, is what I've understood about myself, yeah.
What sort of childhood did you have, Vivienne?
An ideal childhood, a mother who just adored me, living in the countryside (4).
This is in Derbyshire.
Yeah, the boundaries keep changing, it was in Cheshire at the time, 12 miles from Manchester but the bottom of the Pennants most fantastic countryside, yeah.
Have you got any top tips for fashion in a recession?
Dress up, wear your old favorites over and over again, don't buy new clothes, take the tablecloth but look great, you've got… by less, choose well, okay, and, and add things and just do it, make it very personal and don't buy all this generic clothing that just needs lots of time in the washing machine (5).
And how do you know what to wear on any given evening, how do you choose from your array of clothes?
Well, I have not, I don't take something from every collection but I do borrow it and so I'm very, very fortunate, I've, I can look different all the time…
Oops someone is coming in the door, carry on Vivienne, carry on.
What are you wearing tonight?
Can you just shut the door then? Sorry, ‘cause I get so easily distracted. I'm wearing the…
This is the glory of five minutes though.
Any interruptions we just hammer on ahead. Okay, tell me, Vivienne.
This is from a collection called Chaos point because we're at this chaos point. It was a lot to do with the Brazilian jungle. I don't know whether this looks like the Brazilian jungle. It reminds me slightly of tribal things and body painting and then (6) I don't know, it's just it's just this great, great dress that is just, you know, you can I don't know you you sort of, it's a bit bondage.
Can you tell me something, you (told) what you said earlier, you spoke earlier about you never wash your bras. Is that true? I can’t quite believe it.
Yeah, because I, I my husband uses our washing machine, I've never actually used it ever, and I just wash little bits of things said that get dirty but a lot of the time but if it got a grease spot, just put talcum powder on it, absolutely disappears (7), it’s brilliant, and I, of course I wear these particular bras that give me a bit more uplift than, than I’m due, I, I don't wash them, otherwise they're not very nice after. I just put talcum powder on them to clean.
Where'd you get your inspirations for your designs, do you have a muse?
I think that without culture, without a deep interest in the most wonderful models of excellence that the human race has ever produced, I don't think you can have ideas. This is why people run out of ideas because it's like having a fridge with no food in it. You have to get your ideas by studying art and the way people saw the world in the past (8).
I've got a confession to make. This clock is so unclear, I don't quite know whether we’re four minutes in or five minutes in, so if we are five minutes in, you get a bonus minute, we're going to carry on. Tell me about your hair color. What’s the inspiration behind that?
Well I don't know, I just… I don't have any inspiration. I just, just… the way… what I do is I just put henna on it, a bit of bleach where the brown still is and then and then henna.
When, when you walk around…
…and that makes it kind of natural you put henna, mix it with flour because then you could control it, doesn't get too shocking.
We’ve only got 25 seconds. When you are out and about in London or in other cities or in the countryside in the UK, what do you make of the way the Brits dress, what do you make of the way we dress in this country?
Well mostly I don’t notice people. I only noticed people when they look great and usually it’s older people that can look wonderful. I saw a man at a concert last night, a music concert and he just looked brilliant (9)…
I have to interrupt but time is up, time is up and the alarm didn’t even go off, so I think maybe we did do six minutes.