Tomorrow is too late

7 June 2023

Tomorrow is too late

Vivienne’s granddaughter, Cora Corré, features in this editorial going about the everyday things we all take for granted, while the world’s critical issues remain neglected. With Vivienne’s declaration that tomorrow is too late subliminally placed as a reminder that the causes Vivienne felt so passionately about need your urgent attention; to halt climate change, stop war, defend human rights and protest capitalism.

Photographed by Frederike Helwig
Styled by Katy England
Modeled by Cora Corré
Make up by Lucy Bridge
Hair by Claire Grech
Produced by Zoe Tomlinson
Styling assistant Skylar Kang

Bustle skirt set ‘Erotic Zones’ S/S 1995, worn with padded bustle knickers, ‘On Liberty’ F/W 1994. Pirate hat and platforms rental only.

Bondage suit waistcoat ‘Café Society’ S/S 1994, Love heart jacket ‘Dressing up’ F/W 1991, faux fur shorts ‘Red Label’ F/W 2014, rocking horse Gillies S/S 1985. Socks from the Vivienne Westwood archives.

Shirt and sash ‘Pirate’ collection F/W 1981, jacket ‘Witches’ collection F/W 1983 from The Vivienne Foundation archives. Squiggle print socks from Byronesque. Pirate boots from the Vivienne Westwood archives.

Seditionaries sweater 1977 from Byronesque, Mini Crini skirt and crown,1987 and platform Gillies rental only.

Uniform shirt and tie, ‘Erotic Zones’ S/S 1995 from Byronesque, Pirate shorts F/W 1981 from The Vivienne Foundation archives, Bag ‘Café Society’ S/S 1994 from Byronesque.

Bustle skirt set ‘Erotic Zones’ S/S 1995, worn with padded bustle knickers ‘On Liberty’ F/W 1994. Cambridge Rapist t-shirt Seditionaries 1977 from Byronesque. Pirate hat and platforms rental only.

Cowboy cocks t-shirt Seditionaries 1977, tartan bondage trousers F/W 1994 from Byronesque. Diamanté pearl choker rental only.

Nude boobs and fanny dress S/S 2017 from Byronesque. Pirate boots F/W 1981 rental only.


Interview with Cora Corré

Byronesque: You’re wearing an original Seditionaries t-shirt in our shoot together. Given that it’s where it all started, what does Seditionaries mean to you and your generation?

Cora Corré: I guess through a certain understanding from my family, I understand the whole kind of scene around Seditionaries was to go against the status quo and break it to some degree. From my family’s perception I guess in the end it was a failure in some regards as it didn’t really achieve systemic change. There was no set of goals or aims to achieve. It was more about we don’t like the status quo so we are going to break it. However, if you’re going to break the status quo you have to put something in place to replace it. Although the roots of punk gave people the confidence to stand up against the establishment, what’s more important now is to actually change the way the establishment works and change it for the better. Which is exactly what the foundation’s aims are in terms of its four pillars.

Byronesque: We made the theme of our shoot together, ‘Tomorrow is too late’. The idea that while we’re all going about our everyday lives, there are bigger issues we need to pay more attention to, that we’re either ignoring or oblivious too. A prophetic warning from Vivienne subliminally placed throughout these images. Vivienne also told us that politicians are criminals. She was right about that. Why is tomorrow too late to halt climate change?

Cora Corré: Climate change is the most urgent, because if we don’t stop climate change, we can’t stop anything else. All of the four pillars are linked; recently we have supported just stop oil as they are an organization that is treating climate change. In terms of the actual emergency that it is, as well as all the other organisations that Vivienne supported, and the foundation will continue to support as we go forward.

Byronesque: Why is tomorrow too late to protest capitalism?

Cora Corré: All of the four pillars are inextricably linked, because war, climate change, abuse of human rights is a result of what Vivienne used to call the rotten financial system. It’s the financial system that supports war because banks – capitalism – make fortunes out of war. They also make a fortune out of using the world’s resources without paying what they actually cost. The extraction of oil and minerals and resources from the earth is totally unsustainable. It makes profits for a few at the expense of everybody else.

“The whole kind of scene around Seditionaries was to go against the status quo and break it to some degree. From my family’s perception I guess in the end it was a failure in some regards as it didn’t really achieve systemic change…..if you’re going to break the status quo you have to put something in place to replace it.”

Byronesque: Why is tomorrow too late to stop war?

Cora Corré: Although climate change is the most pressing and urgent of them, if we don’t deal with the rotten financial system at the core of it all, then we can’t really, you know, we can’t really succeed in stopping the ultimate destruction of our habitat and the world we live in. Wars will only become more frequent, more intense, more violent, more severe. To answer your next question, why is it too late to defend human rights? famine, refugees all of those things are a consequence of war, climate change and the rotten financial system. It’s all one big continuous circle; Vivienne used to often refer to this full circle as a snake eating itself and why they’re represented under the four pillars of the foundation.

We do need to act now. Tomorrow is too late. We can all do things that make a difference, whether it’s not buying plastic when you can avoid it. Whether it’s putting your money in a bank like Triodos, a bank based in the Netherlands that prioritises its ethics or the UK’s Co-operative bank. Even if it’s not driving a car and walking instead. Every one of us can make choices every day in our lives that collectively can make a real difference.

So do it today. Don’t wait till tomorrow. It gives people a sense of empowerment to not feel so helpless. The decisions you can make on a daily basis CAN make a difference. Tomorrow is too late. Start today.

Byronesque: How does it feel to be carrying Vivienne’s torch?

I’m not sure I feel as if I’m carrying Vivienne’s torch. I feel incredibly privileged and lucky to have had her as a grandmother and a teacher. She challenged me as a littler girl and although Vivienne was not someone easily challenged, I like to think that through my responses we both challenged each other for the better. She challenged everything, me, you, everyone to do better by educating themselves. The media, the status quo, society’s perception of fashion, but most importantly she challenged the injustice in the world. I think I feel a sense of duty to my fellow human beings to shed light on issues crucial to our collective moral compass and to show compassion to fellow human beings. Something Vivienne led by example is utilizing her privilege to shed light on these issues, rather than the very detachment created through the luxury of our own homes. In a way I feel her fight will always continue through me shedding light on issues and speaking up for people that don’t have a voice. 

Vivienne always used her position as a designer and public figure as a platform for her activism and ideas. Her relentless campaigning on climate change over the last twenty years or more has been a catalyst for change. The Vivienne Foundation was a company founded by Vivienne in 2019.  To create a better world and implement Vivienne’s plans. Built upon Four pillars; Halt Climate Change, Stop War, Defend Human Rights and Protest Capitalism. Her activism is what she truly lived for, and we will continue to honor her relentless fight for justice.