Vivienne Westwood has died: ‘I designed punk clothes for the Sex Pistols and then classic with a twist’ | Nina

Another dying legend: Vivienne Westwood, aka the queen of fashion, is dead. From rebellious punk designs to classic British and Scottish influences, the 81-year-old designer’s influence on the fashion world will be felt for a long time to come. “Although she had no training, she paid great attention to cut, size and detail.”

British Vivienne Westwood passed away peacefully yesterday surrounded by her family in Clapham. The news spread across her social media channels with a final quote from the designer, who considered herself a Taoist. “Tao spiritual system. We have never needed Tao as much as we do today. Tao makes you feel like you belong in the universe and that you have a purpose in your life. It gives you a sense of identity and strength so that you know you are living the life you can and therefore should live; take full advantage of who you are during your life on earth.

An apt quote for this brave woman. Until her death, she continued to do the things she loved: design, create art, write her book, and make the world a better place. So I took advantage of her character.

working class girl

But who was this legendary figure? Vivian was born in 1941 in the Cheshire countryside between Liverpool and Manchester. I first came into contact with an art form at the age of 17: I trained as a jeweler and silversmith at the University of Westminster. But after a semester she gave up because she didn’t know how to “girl who”. working class As if I could make it in the art world.”

Vivienne worked in a factory for a while and taught at a primary school, but spent her spare time designing jewelry which she sold on Portobello Road, a popular street in Notting Hill.


I was a Christian about punk. I wanted to know if you could somehow put a speaker into the system.

Vivienne Westwood

She gets married at 21: she makes the wedding dress herself. A year later, Westwood has a son, Benjamin. But the marriage didn’t last long and was on the rocks when she met Malcolm McLaren, who would later become the manager of The Sex Pistols. They had a son in 1967, and the couple design clothes together.

Once The Sex Pistols wear their designs, the ball is rolling. Westwood continued to teach until 1971, by which time she had already opened the famous SEX shop in Kings Road with McLaren, which had grown into a meeting point for members of London’s early punk scene.

Founder of punk fashion

So feel free to call Westwood one of the founders of 70s punk fashion. “I was Christian about punk,” she said herself, and “I wanted to see if you could somehow put a spanner in the works.” Think: shredded things with graffiti on them and adorned with safety pins. When Sid Vicious (Bass Guitarist with The Sex Pistols, ed.), the punk movement is starting to die out,” said fashion editor David Devrendt. McLaren wanted to focus more on music, and Westwood on fashion. “

The British began to follow her path more and more. “The punk movement was a subculture that they pretty much invented themselves, but the style wasn’t accepted by the fashion establishment. It wasn’t something that showed up in Vogue.” But since the 1980s Vivienne’s style has evolved into a romantic, Boy George-esque. She was inspired by the elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with lots of ruffles and long gowns. She christened her first fashion show “Pirate” and held it at the Olympic Stadium in London. That was a very special moment, and the image it created there was very far from punk.”

intellectual coup

Gradually, Westwood began to evolve her style and focus more and more on historical references. “I used the traditional symbols of Great Britain and Scotland increasingly. Think of Scottish tweeds and tartan. It was a kind of intellectual inversion of value. Those classic symbols were not used to celebrate, but as advertising against the establishment.”

Her true talent showed more and more. Despite having no training, she paid great attention to cut, size and detail. She went for elegant elegance, while maintaining The strength of the shock Always submit. For example, at one time she designed classic coats copying British royalty, but with a twist. That was very successful. Just like her “Anglomania Collection”, combining Scottish and English culture. Again with a lot of tartan and british empire influences. Despite Britain, Westwood had a great love for Scotland. She even thought she was better than England.”

In short, Westwood turned Britain’s traditions on their head. It has become an export product for England. Karl Lagerfeld was a big fan of hers, precisely because she had this love throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but she still gave it a modern touch.”

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