Note, this is absolutely irrelevant to anything concerning today’s fashion news, as most posts on this blog are. No, no. Instead, this is a random rambling about a woman indescribably brilliant. My favourite designer, out of many: Vivienne Westwood. A quick simple factfile, for those who live under rocks…
(via MagazineWeek )
Name: Dame Vivienne Westwood
Born: 8 April 1941 (Aged 68)
Hometown: Derbyshire (Then moved around all over London)
History: Opened shop ‘Let It Rock’ with partner Malcolm McLaren in 1970, which is later redecorated and name ‘Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die’. The shop sells leather clothing adorned with zips and chains, tee shirts emblazoned with slogans and pornographic images as well as zoot suits. In 1976, the Sex Pistols debuted, wearing clothes from this shop, now named Seditonaries. 1981 saw VW’s first runway collection, ‘Pirates’. Her shop remains strong, her collection includes asymmetric tee-shirts, petti-drawers, pirate shirts and breeches in rich brocades and ikat fabric. The 430 King’s Road shop is now named ‘World’s End’, as it remains to this day.
There are few people who can really pull off punk and grunge and rock as well as Vivienne Westwood. Marvelled for her ‘out there’ designs, she really pushes the limits to what “older” women can do. Pushing 70, Westwood is widely considered one of the best designers of all time. She basically invented punk rock, enabled difference in the 70’s, made pirates wearable, made herself a Blighty legend with ‘Anglomania’, and basically changed fashion through some 40 years. Her Gold Label is one of the most coveted collections yet. Westwood is out to change the world, and not just through fashion. She’s also a strong protestor, brave feminist, and backs the Active Resistance Manifesto.
I love her because she completely redefines what it means to be a woman. More to the point, an old woman. You look at her designs and think ‘Wow! A person actually made this!”. Its been said before that her designs are more freaky than fabulous. But what people fail to acknowledge, is she is doing what she loves, and she’s doing it well. Westwood doesn’t seem to care about the opinions of others, but knows for a fact what the public wants. Westwood, in herself, is a contradiction. Before I saw the legend that was Westwood, I was expecting some 6ft tall Glamazon woman, waxed to perfection, sporting luscious shiny hair that always stayed in place, with big oversized sunglasses on top of a porcelain, plastic face. What I later saw, was a short old woman with thinning, wild, ginger hair and a wacky, can’t-look-at-without-grinning-too grin.
I bet she could persuade anyone to do anything, just because of her words. She strings together a sentence that makes you just want to sit up and listen, famous for her feisty speeches and quotes. So, Westwood, here’s to you, not just Blighty, but worldwide legend!
Gold Label S/S ’09
Red Label A/W ’09
Anglomania A/W ’09