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Vivienne Westwood urges against fracking

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A model wears a design created by Vivienne Westwood at London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2014 on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at Somerset House in London. (Photo by Richard Chambury/Invision/AP Images) A model wears a design created by Vivienne Westwood at London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2014 on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at Somerset House in London. (Photo by Richard Chambury/Invision/AP Images)

LONDON (AP) — Never mind the fashion: Vivienne Westwood has it down to a T. More importantly, the veteran designer wants to talk about fracking and the floods wreaking havoc in Britain.

The grand dame's show notes urged guests at her London Fashion Week showcase Sunday to join a rally against fracking, a technique the energy industry uses to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals. She also told reporters backstage that climate change must be addressed to stop the damage caused by extreme weather conditions.

Commenting on Britain's relentlessly wet and windy winter, the designer told of how gale-force winds forced her and her husband to get off their bicycles on their way home this week "because we would have been blown into the river."

Environmental concerns aside, the designer showcased a vampy collection that was signature Westwood, with tartan, pinstripes, expertly nipped in blazers, and perfectly draped dresses. The models' matte red lips, tousled curly hairstyles, retro pill box hats and mid-heel court shoes gave the collection a classic, retro feel.

"I really wanted to emphasize, to epitomize, my English look," she said. "This show was very easy. Even before I did it I knew it well myself."

Singer and songwriter Jessie J, who wore an orange Westwood jumpsuit and orange heels paired with a turban made from a Burberry scarf, was a fan. "She pushes me as an artist," she said.

"She makes me feel like a confident and sexy woman when I wear her clothes," she added. "I could wear this 10 years on, and it'd still be fashionable."

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Follow Sylvia Hui at http://www.Twitter.com/sylviahui

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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