Vivienne Westwood remembered as ‘revolutionary and rebellious fashion force’


British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who died on the age of 81 on Thursday (Dec 29), was identified not just for her eye-catching items which are sometimes credited with bringing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream, but additionally as a vocal activist who campaigned for various points, together with nuclear disarmament and animal rights.

Westwood infiltrated the fashion scene together with her eccentric and androgynous designs, finally establishing herself as the pioneer of the punk fashion motion.

Up till her demise on the age of 81, the British designer continued to create eye-catching items, usually utilizing fashion as a weapon to defend her strongly-held social and political opinions.

Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire to folks Gordon and Dora Swire in Tintwistle, Derbyshire, in April 1941.

A 2004 file photo shows Vivienne Westwood during a photocall at a retrospective exhibition to celebrate her 30 years in the fashion industry. Photo: APA 2004 file picture exhibits Vivienne Westwood throughout a photocall at a retrospective exhibition to have fun her 30 years within the fashion business. Photo: APShe was the eldest of three kids and after her household moved to London, Westwood enrolled on a jewelry making and silversmith course on the University of Westminster, then identified as Harrow Art School, however deserted the course after the primary time period.

In search of a brand new endeavour, Westwood skilled as a main college trainer whereas additionally working in a manufacturing unit. During this time, she started to promote jewelry she had designed and created from a stall in Portobello Market.

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She married her first husband, Derek Westwood, in her early twenties and the couple had a son, Benjamin, earlier than separating.

Westwood went on to fulfill Malcolm McLaren – who later turned the supervisor of punk rock band the Sex Pistols – and the pair would design and create garments collectively.

The Sex Pistols usually wore clothes designed by Westwood and McLaren, and as the band gained consideration, so did the designs.

The couple had a son, Joseph Corre, who later adopted within the artistic footsteps of his dad and mom and co-founded luxurious lingerie model Agent Provocateur.

With her and McLaren’s designs, Westwood made a reputation for herself as one of many pioneers of punk fashion and is usually considered as one of many designers answerable for bringing new wave fashion types into the mainstream.

Westwood later opened a store on London’s Kings Road and after trialling a wide range of names for the institution she settled on SEX. The store was just the start for Westwood, who went on to determine a worldwide fashion model and present her garments on the runways of London and Paris.

Today, there are Vivienne Westwood shops in Britain, France, Italy, the US and Asia.

The designer’s creations have been finally worn by the likes of Dita Von Teese, Naomi Campbell and even the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, who opted for a Vivienne Westwood wedding ceremony gown for her marriage to Mr Big within the 2008 Sex And The City movie.

After cementing herself as probably the most recognisable faces in fashion, Westwood used her recognition to entrance various social and political initiatives, together with campaigning for the discharge of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who’s preventing to keep away from being despatched to the US to face expenses below the Espionage Act.

In July 2020, Westwood sounded a warning over an Assange “stitch-up” whereas wearing canary yellow in an enormous fowl cage.

She led a vibrant band of protesters chanting “Free Julian Assange” outdoors the Old Bailey legal court docket in central London.

Suspended contained in the cage, she mentioned: “Don’t extradite Assange – it is a stitch-up.”

In 2020, Vivienne Westwood protested against the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, outside the Old Bailey court, in London. Photo: APIn 2020, Vivienne Westwood protested in opposition to the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, outdoors the Old Bailey court docket, in London. Photo: AP

Westwood was additionally answerable for designing the marriage gown of Stella Moris for her marriage to Assange at Belmarsh jail in March 2022. She additionally lent her assist to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, animal rights charity Peta and vegetarianism.

She had been a supporter of the Green Party since 2015 and is reported to have donated hundreds of kilos to the get together.

Westwood turned identified for being as eccentric as a few of her designs and pulled various eye-catching stuns throughout her lifetime.

When awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1992, Westwood wore a wonderfully tailor-made skirt swimsuit with a gray matching hat. Although the outfit appeared demure, Westwood quickly revealed she was not sporting any underwear after she started twirling round for photographers.

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She later instructed the Daily Mail: “I met a person who labored with the Queen and he mentioned she was slightly amused by it.”

Following her return to Buckingham Palace in 2006, when she was made a dame, Westwood as soon as once more revealed she was with out underwear.

However, on the second event she kept away from twirling and as an alternative instructed the Daily Mail: “Don’t ask. It’s the identical reply. I do not put on them with attire.”

Westwood attracted consideration when she dressed up as former prime minister Margaret Thatcher for the duvet of Tatler journal and drove a white tank near the house of former prime minister David Cameron as a part of a protest in opposition to fracking.

Westwood later discovered a brand new romantic and artistic associate in Austrian designer Andreas Kronthaler, whom she married in 1992. – dpa

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