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29 Sep 2008

Hong Kong’s first collaboration with V&A, London. Swire stages Vivienne Westwood A Life in Fashion Exhibition this December

Swire Properties continues its active patronage of the arts by paying tribute to the 40-year career of fashion's greatest living legend: Dame Vivienne Westwood. From 1st December 2008 to 31st January 2009, Swire Properties is host to one of the most creative and influential designers of our time with the mounting of the Vivienne WestwoodA Life In Fashion Exhibition to be held in Island East. Organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this major exhibition celebrates the extraordinary range of styles -- from Punk to Haute Couture -- that have made Westwood the doyenne of all that is provocative and influential not only in the fashion world but also in wider popular culture.

More than 140 designs and 70 objects have been selected from the V&A's collection and Westwood's personal archive to debut in Hong Kong, following a world tour which debuted at the V&A in 2004. The exhibition is broadly divided into 2 zones, namely “The Early Years” and “Maturity” grouped under 26 themes, encompassing the designer's works from the 1970's to the 21st century. V&A's first Westwood acquisition was an outfit designed with Malcolm McLaren and the famous blue mock-croc platform shoes which Naomi Campbell wore when she fell on the catwalk in 1993. Both will form part of this display.

This is the second time Swire Properties has collaborated with the V&A. Previous engagements include the Museum's 19th Century Chinese Export Painting Exhibition which was held in Guangzhou in 2003.

Mr Stephan Spurr, Director and General Manager of Swire Properties said, "We are delighted to be collaborating with the V&A again. Good design is a life enhancing business and we want to demonstrate how, when done well, it can have a profound effect on the way we look at things. Vivienne Westwood is an original in this regard. Her fearless non-conformity has re-defined the fashion world and continues to push out the boundaries of inventiveness in ways which are truly inspirational. This is the first time in Hong Kong that an exhibition has been dedicated to a globally influential fashion designer and in the hope that the general public will embrace this showcase of the lively, thought-provoking, unconventional and outrageously elegant, we are offering admission to the exhibition free of charge."

Vivienne Westwood and key members of her business and design team will specially fly to Hong Kong for the exhibition opening. Also visiting Hong Kong at the launch will be Mark Jones, Director of V&A. "We trust the Vivienne Westwood exhibition will show the people of Hong Kong the immense creativity and wealth of ideas she has brought to the world of fashion," commented Mr Jones.

The Hong Kong exhibition will be staged in Cornwall House, TaiKoo Place. After Hong Kong, the exhibition will then travel to Beijing, to be showcased at Swire Properties’ recently opened retail development in the Chaoyang District -- The Village at Sanlitun.

For the past decade, Swire Island East has organised a diverse array of pioneering and entertaining art and cultural events for the public's free enjoyment. These have included the "Friday Fest" evening music programmes, as well as Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concerts in Tong Chong Street, TaiKoo Place; "Artwalk" tours of the Company's specially commissioned public art collection; Brazilian and Argentinean Arts Festivals; major Dinosaur, Ice Carving, Street Painting and Urban Dance Events, plus regular visual art exhibition programmes that support different local art groups and artists -- to name but a few.