Vivienne Westwood Says, Go Ahead, Copycat

“We’re told that it’s a four-year course here [at the Savannah College of Art And Design], and the first two years are foundations, when they learn history of art. [My advice is to] have a foundation to know where your deep interests lie. If you continue to pursue that, that’s how you become a designer, if you’ve got the talent. It’s not just going to come out of you. You get out what you put in. When it actually comes to the designing, people all want to throw it away and say, ‘I’ve got to do something different.’ I taught fashion, and I started off getting students to copy things…That’s the only way you learn things. A young person has experience up to a point, and they can do something and it might be very good, but you can’t do something for very long if you don’t have the ideas coming, you know? It doesn’t come just from you. You have to get it from somewhere.”

I love, love when celebs dish out practical advice about creativity. When designer and all-around goddess Dame Vivienne Westwood spoke with Fashionista at Savannah College of Art and Design’s senior fashion show, she made sure to share tips that fashion students can actually put to use. Words like these are so much more helpful to aspiring designers than, say, telling them to hang out and do nothing while they hope to be spontaneously discovered by the “Project Runway” crew.

While I’m no world-famous fashion designer, I do write for a living, and I’ll be the first to say that no mystical muses appear in the middle of the night so I can bang out words in some boho-chic artist loft only when the mood strikes me. Yes, there are random days that are more inspired and other days when the well seems dry. But what we often aren’t taught growing up is that for the most part, creativity is like any other task that requires taking an active role (i.e. showing up and doing your best, elementary school cliche-style) rather than sitting around waiting for ideas to fall on your head. This is a good thing! It means you can actively pursue your art instead of waiting for ideas to happen to you or seeing it as some pie-in-the-sky ideal. There’s also just the fact that Vivienne makes such pretty clothes that the woman simply must know what she’s talking about. Any advice that comes out of her mouth, I am here for. [Fashionista]

[Image via Getty]