This post has been updated. See note below for details.
Vivienne Westwood never passes up an opportunity to send a message down the runway, and this season found the designer mixing clothes with climate change -- and throwing a topical reference to the Italian cruise ship disaster for good measure.
"Our collection is in support of David Attenborough’s documentary series, ‘The Frozen Planet,’ which will go to America but unfortunately without the final episode* where he explains that we humans are responsible for the ice melt," the designer said in the show notes. "So we took the polar explorers as our heroes and we love polar bears. Barack Obama never mentions the words climate change."
(It should be noted that we here at All The Rage have absolutely no idea whether President Obama has ever mentioned the words 'climate change' -- although we're pretty sure it's not his Secret Service code name -- and inclusion of the assertion here should not be construed as either a validation or rejection of same.)
[Updated at 3:01 p.m. Jan. 18: The folks at Discovery Channel emailed to clarify that despite Westwood's assertion, it is, indeed, airing the full "Frozen Planet" series -- including the final episode -- as our compatriots over at Company Town noted in December.]
Westwood's statement continues: "If our leaders would admit the fact of climate change and conduct their politics from that perspective then we might have a chance -- we have 10 years at the most to stop it.
"How impossible it is for us to imagine ourselves victims of disaster. We suffer for the poor people who were thrown into the sea from their cruise ship off the coast of Tuscany, some losing their lives. Imagine a world of accelerating natural disasters, one after the other so that nobody can help anyone else."
Westwood ends with a an observation/call to arms: "Public opinion is the only thing that will save us."
The seven-part "Frozen Planet" series, narrated by Alec Baldwin, premieres March 18 on Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: Looks from the Vivienne Westwood Man fall and winter 2012 runway show, which took place during this week's Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Vivienne Westwood Man