Lily Cole stars in Vivienne Westwood's film 'The Red Shoes'
Climate revolution for spring-summer 14
Westwood as a devoted eco-activist has always used fashion as a tool to discuss more important topics, such as global issues. When shooting her spring-summer 14 collection 'Red Label' video, Vivienne invited her old muse Lily Cole to be the subject. Inspired by the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson about a girl, Karen whose obsession with a pair of red silk shoes becomes her downfall. She is forced to embark on an eternal dance, unable to remove the shoes from her enchanted feet. The story ends where she has no other option but to have her legs amputated. Wearing dresses from Westwood's Red Label collection Lily Cole dances throughout the video in beautiful red silk ballet pumps with her feet leaving a bloody trail. In the end of the short film she falls to the ground exhausted only to realise the blood trail has developed an inscription, 'Climate Revolution'.
In an interview with Dazed Digital Westwood commented on the video and relationship between the Hans Christian Anderson tale and modern environmental issues: "The story is about this incredibly arrogant girl whose shoes are enchanted by a stranger, and she becomes trapped in a dance of the red shoes - she'll die if she stops dancing. She goes through this terrible landscape getting torn with thorn bushes and there are storms starting to rage and everything. Eventually she gets her feet chopped off and that's the only way she can get rid of the shoes. I just thought it was a brilliant metaphor for the people who have to leave their homes, they are trapped by their environment, which is degrading them, maybe it's the water or a terrible disaster, and they can't survive there anymore. There are different ways that people are being forced off their homeland now, just like animals, you have to go because to stay there is death."
"Or like an animal trapped in a very confined space, trying to take off, escape. In one scene I am wearing a dress of blue feathers and I look like a bird," - adds Lily Cole.