Vivienne Westwood

Eccentric, outrageous, punk couture, Vivienne Westwood personifies originality.

Vivienne Westwood

They call her Dame Vivienne Westwood, and she is a fashion designer who does not conform to the norm but marches to the beat of her own drum and is famously known for the amazing wrap dress designs and punk style.

Early Life

• Vivienne Isabel Swire was born on 8 April 1941 in Tintwistle, Derbyshire.
• In 1958, at age 17, she along with her family moved to Harrow London.
• She then attended Harrow School of Art, taking fashion and silversmithing.
• She only stayed at the school for one term, after that she found a job in a factory.
• Westwood studied at a teacher-training college, and became a primary school teacher.
•  While teaching, Westwood started making her own jewellery and selling it.
• In 1962, she  married to Derek Westwood and designed and made her own wedding dress.

Career

Vivienne Westwood met Malcom McLaren and this mean’t the end of her marriage to Derek Westwood.
• Vivenne Westwood and Malcom McLaren moved to Clapham, and Westwood continued to teach until 1971 and opened their first boutique at 430 King’s Road.
• The boutique was called Let it Rock and is now known as World Ends. World Ends is the first boutique, where where Vivienne Westwood clothing label was sold.
• Westwood created clothes that were inspired by bikers, fetishists and prostitutes.
• Malcom McLaren then became the manager of a punk band “Sex Pistols”, and Westwood designed the band wardrobe.
• In 1970, Westwood became one of the engineers of the punk fashion phenomenon.
Pirate, was McLaren’s and Westwood’s first fashion collection shown to media and international buyers.
• They then continued to showcase their collections in Paris and London.
• Since they were in a Partnership, these collections subsequently had thematic such as Savages, Buffalo/Nostalgia of Mud, Punkature, Witches, and World Ends.
• In 1984/85 the partnership of McLaren and Westwood was dissolved
• In the years 1988-1991, Westwood describing this as the “The Pagan Years”, this is where Vivienne’s idols changed from punks to ragamuffins, to “Tatler” girls wearing clothes that mocked the upper class.
• In 2005-2006, Westwood designed her propaganda collection, which was inspired by using Wolford’s exclusive knitting technology.
• In 2006, Westwood collaborated with Nine West, though she is not the direct shoe designer, Nine West share’s its brand name with Westwood.
• In 2008, Westwood’s designs were featured in the movie Sex and the City.

Trademark

• Vivienne Westwood trademark is her punk style and the materials she uses. The punk style includes, BDSM fashion, bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle chains and spike dog collars for jewelry, with shocking hair and make-up. She also uses traditional elements of a Scottish design such as using tartan fabric. Westwood also uses historical cloth-cutting principles, and reinterprets them in a radical way. The use of these tradition elements make an overall effect of her designs being more outrageous.

Present Day

• Today Westwood is still designing for her line “Vivienne Westwood” and has franchises all round the world.
• And her World Ends store still stands today in 430 King’s Road.
• She also designed the now infamous Buffalo hat that Pharrel Williams wore to the 2014 Grammy’s.
• Vivienne Westwood’s name is associated with some of the most memorable fashion trends of today and we are sure she will continue setting them.

 

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