Vivienne Westwood and shaping the body: UoS fashion students take York

Fashion journalism and design students ventured out of Sunderland this week and headed for York.

With an early start to the day, the fashion cohort set off to visit the Vivienne Westwood personal shoe collection and shaping the body exhibition at York Museum.

With a standstill traffic jam, the journey down took slightly longer than expected but nothing a snooze or some music on the bus couldn’t fix.

When arriving at the Museum all 35 students headed in the direction of shoes, body shapes, and the shops.

The Vivienne Westwood shoe collection showcased a variety of styles from male to female and even gender-neutral because we all know a 70s male loved a good platform.

Melissa jelly heels, black spike sex shoes, and the tart shoe are to name a few of some of Westwood’s greatest creations, which feature in the collection.

The room was decorated with quotes from designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, as well as play writer Oscar Wilde.

The collection and body shaping exhibition were combined together to make one powerful impact. A video plays throughout the exhibition showing different people from York discuss their body and style. This includes a lady who loves Hollywood glamour, a punk couple and also a transgender lady.

Although seeing Westwood’s personal collection of shoes – which were very large shoes might we add – the most impactful piece of the exhibition was a collection of brown tags. The sign simply said ‘Body Feedback – tell us how you feel about your body.’ It was slightly heartbreaking that the majority of people had said that they hated their body, they were fat or overweight. However, there were a few which read: “I’m overweight but I embrace my body,’ ‘My body is fabulous.’ It was a great way to end the exhibition and really got the students talking.

After the visit to York Castle Museum, students were given free rein around York. Most opted for the shops and Christmas markets – which might we add were one of the best we’ve ever seen.

We would definitely recommend a visit to the exhibition if you’re into fashion, or even if you’re interested in the human body. If not, York is definitely a must just to get into the Christmas spirit.

Would you like to attend a fashion trip like this? Come and study with us here at the University of Sunderland.





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