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Did Lily Cole out-punk everyone?

By Leisa Barnett

From Madonna’s ripped-up hosiery to SJP's Mohawk headdress (courtesy of Philip Treacy), it was all in the detail at last night’s punk-themed Met Ball. But could Lily Cole have quietly out-punked everyone?

The first point in the model-turned-academic-turned-actress’ favour: she wore Vivienne Westwood. And not just any old Vivienne Westwood, but custom-made Westwood, featuring a corset made of sustainable Amazonian wild rubber.

The dress was inspired by Lily’s recent trip to the state of Acre, northwest Brazil, as ambassador for Sky Rainforest Rescue – Sky and WWF’s partnership to help save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest. Having spent time with a ‘rubber tapping’ community, she felt inspired highlight the potential uses of Amazionian rubber, which allows to local communities an alternative source of income that keeps the trees standing.

Considering that last month, Westwood herself defined punk as ‘a stand against the mismanagement of the world and the corruption of power’ in a piece on the movement written exclusively for ELLE, we reckon that’s pretty damn, well, punk.

‘Once I left Brazil I immediately thought of Vivienne – knowing how passionate she is about the rainforest – and asked her if she may be interested in exploring a creation made from Amazonian wild rubber,’ explained Lily. ‘I hope turning rubber into couture is just the beginning of what can be done. I feel very proud to be joining the woman who redefined punk as couture in a dress made from trees!’

For her part at last night’s gala event, Westwood kept things somewhat more overtly political – arriving with a photo of Wikileaks revolutionary Bradley Manning, emblazoned with the word ‘truth’, safety pinned to her dress coat.

ELLE Edits: the Met Ball's best dressed

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