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The untold story of “punk fashion monument” Vivienne Westwood

The untold story of "punk fashion monument" Vivienne Westwood

It is no exaggeration to call Vivienne Westwood the “punk queen” of fashion because she is the rare designer to bring arrogant, bohemian punk into British high fashion – famous for its pride in Bourgeois heritage. (capitalist fashion) luxury, nobility.

The untold story of “punk fashion monument” Vivienne Westwood

British designer Vivienne Westwood emerged as a phenomenon in the 1970s, when she founded the SEX store, specializing in punk clothing, with Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols band. She is also a longtime political activist. She is constantly fighting for the environment, consumerism, and against wage inequality.

“Punk fashion monument” Vivienne Westwood has just passed away on December 29, 2022, at the age of 81. The designer’s representative said she passed away “peacefully with her family” in Clapham, South London. Over 5 decades of bringing timeless aesthetic values, the designer born in 1941 left the fashion field with many invaluable legacies. However, few people know all the interesting stories behind this British fashion “female general”.

Westwood grew up in the town of Glossop in Derbyshire, England. She studied at the Harrow School of the Arts and the University of Westminster. She studied for a semester, majoring in fashion and silversmithing, before dropping out to focus on work.

“I don’t know how a working-class girl like me can make a living in the art world,” she said. So, she became an elementary school teacher and designed jewelry in her spare time. In the 1970s, she made a living selling her own designs.

In 1992, Westwood was invited to Buckingham Palace to present the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her contributions to the fashion industry. During the visit, she drew attention when she revealed that she was not wearing underwear.

“I met a man who used to work with the Queen, who turned out to be quite interested in it,” Westwood said. When she returned in 2006 to be made Lady, the same thing happened. “ Don’t ask! “, she said. “ You will get the same answer. I don’t wear underwear with skirts. ”

Agent Provocateur is one of the most famous lingerie brands in the world, founded by Joseph Corré, son of Westwood. His father is Malcolm McLaren, manager of the punk band the Sex Pistols and a partner with Westwood who ran the SEX clothing store in London in the 1970s.

Corré described her mother’s designs from that time: “ The clothes she designed at the time were the sexiest you’d ever see. But at the same time, she’s like an alien coming down to Earth because you’ve never seen one like that .”

Corré founded his lingerie brand in 1994 in London. According to the brand’s website, its inception “marked an important shift in the British counterculture movement by subverting the way heterosexual men view women in a sexualized way to empower them.” for women”.

Westwood’s mockery of Thatcher (Britain’s first female prime minister) became a phenomenon and persisted for decades afterward. Westwood labeled Thatcher a “fake man” and said the former prime minister had caused “heavy damage” to the world.

The April 1989 cover of Tatler magazine showed the designer wearing a black suit and pearl necklace, and sporting Thatcher’s signature high bun, with the words “this woman used to be” is a disruptor.”

Thatcher ordered the suit but later canceled the order, giving Westwood a chance to try it on. “This cover for Tatler popped up on billboards during London Fashion Week – I even had to look twice to believe it was me,” Westwood said in her published diary, which includes titled “Get a Life!”

As a true punk icon, it’s not surprising that Westwood hasn’t kept up with modern pop culture, and as a result, she admitted she didn’t know who the “Harry Potter” star was when she presented her with the award. 2011.

“ I asked, ‘Who is Emma Watson?’ I never watch TV, I don’t read fashion magazines. They said she was in ‘Harry Potter’, and I said, ‘I’ve never seen ‘Harry Potter’.” They said she was playing Hermione and I said, ‘Oh I see – she’s lovely.’ I must have been more or less impressed with her. So I want to give this award to Emma, ​​who I just met,” Westwood said as he presented the award to Watson.

One of the most memorable fashion moments of Pharrell’s career was when he walked the 2014 Grammy red carpet in an oversized brown hat. By the end of the awards ceremony, the hat had a Twitter account, which still exists today and has more than 12,000 followers.

CNN identified this hat as Westwood and McLaren’s Buffalo Hat from their Fall/Winter 1983 show, “Nostalgia of Mud”.

In the film, Carrie (played by fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker) originally didn’t want a lavish wedding or dress, but when she saw this work by Westwood, she fell in love immediately. Westwood sent Carrie the dress with a handwritten letter, and although the wedding didn’t go as planned, she still looked stunning.

So great that Parker was once again spotted wearing the dress while filming the second season of “And Just Like That.” To celebrate the film’s 10th anniversary, Westwood released a ready-to-wear version inspired by the dress.

Vivienne Westwood believes in Taoism, a branch of philosophy and religion that originated in China. She once wrote that “Today, we have no need to study Tao. Tao makes you feel like you belong to the universe, gives purpose to your life; helps you understand your identity and strengths, so you know you’re living the life you can, and should live: Discover your full potential and live it to the fullest.”

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