17 September, 2012
Iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood has added her flavor to London Fashion Week, handing out “I’m Julian Assange” T-shirts to those sitting in the front row at her show. The venue was just right: the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
“V Tongue-in-chic 4 foreign office. Models in T-shirts emblazoned with V.
Westwood’s face, sloganed -I’m Julian Assange,” novelist Kathy Lette tweeted to her followers following the stunt.
Elle magazine’s UK edition boasted a photo of model Jade Partiff wearing one of the pro-Assange T-shirts, which featured the supportive messages against the background of Vivienne Westwood’s own face.
Jade Partiff wearing Vivienne Westwood T-shirt, the message reading “I’m Julian Assange”, at London Fashion Week in London on September 16, 2012 (Image courtesy www.elleuk.com)
The 71-year-old punk fashion designer is regularly seen delivering political messages during her events. For Sunday, Dame Westwood picked two hot issues: climate change and Assange.
Westwood’s must-have is meant to be provocative – the show was staged at the headquarters of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is caught in a diplomatic stand-off over the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition.
Assange, a co-founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing website, remains in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to leave despite the Latin American country having granted him political asylum. British authorities have vowed to grab any opportunity to deliver Assange to Sweden. The Foreign Office even hinted that it would cancel the Ecuadorian embassy’s diplomatic status. Later, diplomats retracted the threat.
Stockholm has spent about two years trying to get Assange extradited so that he can be questioned in connection with sex crimes accusations, though he faces no charges. Assange denies the accusations, insisting his case is politically motivated.
WikiLeaks exposed thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables, which aroused heated rhetoric among American politicians, with several Senators accusing Assange of espionage. This, Assange’s lawyers point out, creates a solid probability that Sweden would be simply a layover on Assange’s way to the US. There, he could face a military trial and even execution, says the defense team.