HomeCultureDame Vivienne Westwood, an Architect of Punk Trend, Dies at 81

Dame Vivienne Westwood, an Architect of Punk Trend, Dies at 81


Dame Vivienne Westwood has handed on the age of 81. Though no official explanation for dying has been made public, a assertion launched by her label says she died surrounded by household and mates in London. She spent her ultimate days creating, designing, and writing.

Westwood will at all times be remembered as each a champion and cultivator of the model of costume related to London’s ’70s punk rock scene. The designer not solely led the aesthetics of that motion, she additionally managed to parlay that notoriety into certainly one of Britain’s definitive vogue labels. Initially popularized by bands just like the Intercourse Pistols, her frocks would come to be worn on the purple carpets of severals Oscars, Met Galas, and worldwide movie festivals, together with a number of royal weddings.

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Westwood was born Vivienne Swire in Tintwistle, Cheshire to a working class household. She feared her household’s humble financial state of affairs would forestall her from pursuing a profession within the arts, and he or she dropped out of artwork faculty after one semester. As an alternative, she labored in a manufacturing facility whereas attending instructor’s faculty. Later, she’d make and promote her personal jewellery whereas educating major faculty. An early marriage (from which she gained the final identify of Westwood) faltered after she met Malcolm McLaren, an artwork faculty grad with a penchant for each provocation and entrepreneurship. They opened a boutique and clothes restore retailer in London’s Chelsea neighborhood initially referred to as Let It Rock, however rechristened as merely SEX in 1974. Embellished in graffiti and hen wire, the shop offered fetishwear alongside the couple’s unique designs. Round that point, McLaren started managing a younger rock band named The Strand, however satisfied the group to rename themselves The Intercourse Pistols in hopes of selling the shop. The remainder is historical past. Intercourse Pistols grew to become the London punk scene’s marquee band, and SEX its all-but-official clothing store.

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McLaren and Westwood started creating correct collections—and finally renamed the shop, but once more, to World’s Finish. However their private {and professional} relationship led to 1985 after McLaren moved to Los Angeles.

Westwood carried on underneath her personal identify, and her unique fixation on subculture vogue gave approach to a subversive tackle the types of the upperclass. The system was successful, and helped Westwood set up a worldwide vogue model. Amongst Westwood’s most memorable designs: Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding ceremony costume from Intercourse and the Metropolis’s first movie, Pharrell William’s memorable (and memable) outsized buffalo hat, the the corset Gwen Stefani wore in No Doubt’s early “Spiderwebs” video, together with Dita Von Teese’s deep-purple wedding ceremony robe.

No succession plan has been introduced for the model, however it’s broadly assumed that Westwood’s second husband, Andreas Kronthaler—who has served because the designer’s artistic accomplice since they married in 1992—will keep it up the label.



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