Vivienne WestwoodLondon Fashion WeekSteve WoodLondon Fashion

Dame Vivienne Westwood’s popularity knows no bounds. Her punk attitude is more alive now than in the movement’s Seventies heyday […]

Dame Vivienne Westwood’s popularity knows no bounds. Her punk attitude is more alive now than in the movement’s Seventies heyday and her outspoken, Union Jack waving Englishness (with a few added safety pins and tea stains), is undiminished. Cutting edge but classic, her collections are unflinchingly rooted in her interests and beliefs, whether it is human rights or classical fiction.

Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Glossop, Derbyshire, on April 8, 1941
She began designing clothes in 1971 with the opening of her first shop, Let It Rock, at 430 King’s Road. In 1974 it was renamed Sex
In 1976, with her then lover and business partner, Malcolm McLaren, they dressed the Sex Pistols
In 1981, Westwood showed her first seminal collection in London, entitled Pirate
In 1990, Westwood launched a menswear collection in Florence. She was named British Designer of the Year that year, as well as in 1991
In 1998 she won the Queen’s Export Award
In January 2003 Westwood controversially sent men down her catwalk wearing fake breasts. The models for her autumn/winter 2003 menswear collection wore them underneath cashmere sweaters and polo necks.Westwood explained that, “the inspiration for the man with breasts was Fifties sweater boys.”
In 2007 she was awarded the gong for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design at the British Fashion Awards – but she was late on to the stage to collect it since she’d popped out to go to the loo
Explaining the roots of her beliefs she said: “When I was a schoolgirl my history teacher, Mr. Scott, spoke with pride of civilisation and democracy. The hatred of arbitrary arrest by the lettres de cachet of the French monarchy caused the storming of the Bastille. We can only take democracy for granted if we insist on our liberty.”
Westwood’s son by McLaren, Joe Corre, is the founder of Agent Provocateur, while her other son, Ben, is an erotic photographer. In 2008 her mother Dora attended her latest book launch for Opus, an arts manifesto cost

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