Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood was born in 1941 in Cheshire, now Derbyshire, England, to a shoemaker and a cotton mill worker. She left home at 17 to attend Harrow School of Art but ended up as a schoolteacher until she met her second husband, Malcolm Mclaren, in the 60s. The couple opened Let It Rock, a small store selling second-hand 50s clothing and rock n roll records. Their boutique, renamed Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, and later just Sex, pioneered the punk look worn by London’s youth and the Sex Pistols, the band managed by Mclaren. Westwood and Mclaren settled on the name Seditionaries for their store in 1976, selling t-shirts with provocative imagery and anti-establishment slogans. In 1981, the couple released their first commercial ready-to-wear collection, titled and inspired by Pirates. This “New Romantic” look of sleeves, lapels, and frilly collars, quickly became popular. The 80s were a turning point for Westwood, as she began to take inspiration from upper-middle-class rather than punk culture. In 1985 she released her famous “mini-crini,” a short crinoline in tweed and cotton, and began to focus more on fit rather than the abstract drape and movement of her earlier work. As her relationship with Mclaren waned, Westwood turned increasing focus on her individual brand. She loves a theme and began to center each collection around various historical periods and cultures. Lately, Westwood has focused her attention on political issues. She is an environmental advocate, working with NGO Greenpeace on the “Save the Arctic” campaign. In 2015 during a demonstration against shale gas extraction held in London, Vivienne showed up in front of Prime Minister David Cameron’s offices dressed as a tank. Westwood rejects subtlety instead of using fashion as a tool to fling her ideas into the world. She is a force that cannot be swayed by trends or commercial demands, insisting on rebuilding the beauty of lost worlds or imagining entirely new ones.

Vivienne Westwood

08-15-21

Vivienne Westwood was born in 1941 in Cheshire, now Derbyshire, England, to a shoemaker and a cotton mill worker. She left home at 17 to attend Harrow School of Art but ended up as a schoolteacher until she met her second husband, Malcolm Mclaren, in the 60s. The couple opened Let It Rock, a small store selling second-hand 50s clothing and rock n roll records. Their boutique, renamed Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, and later just Sex, pioneered the punk look worn by London’s youth and the Sex Pistols, the band managed by Mclaren. Westwood and Mclaren settled on the name Seditionaries for their store in 1976, selling t-shirts with provocative imagery and anti-establishment slogans. In 1981, the couple released their first commercial ready-to-wear collection, titled and inspired by Pirates. This “New Romantic” look of sleeves, lapels, and frilly collars, quickly became popular. The 80s were a turning point for Westwood, as she began to take inspiration from upper-middle-class rather than punk culture. In 1985 she released her famous “mini-crini,” a short crinoline in tweed and cotton, and began to focus more on fit rather than the abstract drape and movement of her earlier work. As her relationship with Mclaren waned, Westwood turned increasing focus on her individual brand. She loves a theme and began to center each collection around various historical periods and cultures. Lately, Westwood has focused her attention on political issues. She is an environmental advocate, working with NGO Greenpeace on the “Save the Arctic” campaign. In 2015 during a demonstration against shale gas extraction held in London, Vivienne showed up in front of Prime Minister David Cameron’s offices dressed as a tank. Westwood rejects subtlety instead of using fashion as a tool to fling her ideas into the world. She is a force that cannot be swayed by trends or commercial demands, insisting on rebuilding the beauty of lost worlds or imagining entirely new ones.

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