In an interview teasing the Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibition, “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” the Times’ Eric Wilson asked Westwood about her recent criticism of Kate Middleton for not being more mindful of the environment and not making an effort to recycle some of her looks.
“I didn’t criticize her,” Westwood said. “I said that it would be a wonderful thing for her to wear her clothes more than once. She’s getting this wonderful look, but if she has a red look today, why does she have to wear the blue look tomorrow? It’s just by way of an example to other people that you should buy less. Don’t buy so many clothes.”
Wilson suggested that Westwood must be a fan of Michelle Obama, who has gained a reputation both for her daring fashion choices and for repeating outfits.
“Don’t talk about her,” Westwood responded. “It’s dreadful what she wears.”
When Wilson expressed his surprise, Westwood expanded upon that thought.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Really, I can’t. She’s a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her,” Westwood said, speaking of the first lady. “Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.”
Obama recently faced fashion criticism of a very different nature when an image of the dress she wore in a telecast at the 2013 Oscar awards was Photoshopped by an Iranian news agency. Although Obama’s sleeveless Naeem Khan dress garnered her positive reviews from fashion critics here in the United States, the Iranian media outlet Fars News Agency saw fit to alter a photo of Obama wearing the dress.
In the edited image, the garment had been changed to appear more modest, with newly added mini sleeves and dramatically higher neckline. The Guardian reported that the Photoshop job had been performed to make the image “conform to Iranian restrictions on images of the female body in the media.”