They are decadent, deviant and deranged. These are the words that are used to describe Vivienne Westwood's designs. Vivienne Westwood, a London-based fashion designer is notoriously famous for popularizing punk rock movement through her designs. Popularly known for not afraid to speak her mind, the fashion world still recognized her work as important. Now, at the age of 72, this deviant fashion designer shows no sign of slowing down in her quest to continue making designs that "make the poor look rich and the rich look poor".
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The Queen of Punk
If there is a fashion designer out there that could transform 18th century clothing into a wearable modern, punk, rockish outfits, it would be Vivienne Westwood, now known as Dame Vivienne Westwood, Britain’s most inventive and influential fashion designers. She rose to fame in the 1970s, when her early designs helped to popularized punk rock movement. Born in a town in Derbyshire called Glossop on April 8, 1941, Vivienne Westwood’s real name is Vivienne Isabel Swire. At the age of 16, she briefly attended the Harrow Art College, studying about fashion and silver-smithing but only stayed for a term because “I didn’t know how a working-class girl like me could possibly make a living in the art world”.
Her fashion streak came to light when she met Malcolm McLaren, an art student, who later became her business partner when she opened her first shop, “Let it Rock” in 1971. It was McLaren, who introduced Vivienne to the fashion landscape and she hasn’t turned back ever since, designing outfits that became an important fashion center of the punk rock movement. Vivienne continues to design clothing and McLaren opened his first shop, “Sex Pistols”, a boutique that sells bondage-inspired outfits, ripped T-shirts and other garments that are associated with the punk rock movement.
It was Vivienne’s designs who not only influences fashion, but dictating it as well. With her vivid imagination, creativity and her quirky sense of style, Vivienne launched her first collection in London, called “Pirates collection”, placing her on the fashion map as unique, bold and unusual design talent. In 1983, Vivienne showcased her collection for the first time in Paris and was the first British fashion designer to do so. Her unbending and often outrageous designs continued to hit the headlines, garnering an international audience for her clothes.
In 1990, when haute couture became more popular than street style, Vivienne introduces her first menswear collection, which features designs that incorporates British wools, tartans, tweeds and linen together with her bizarre elements of her style, making her the leader among fashion’s cutting–edge designers. Today, Vivienne Westwood has been the center of British fashion for over 30 years and continues to be popular among fashionistas who loved to show their rebellious side of them thru Vivienne’s designs.
Her new store, called “World’s End” continues to showcase Vivienne’s women’s ready-to-wear collection, which she introduced in 1981, her Red label, which targets a younger audience, a mass market line called “Anglomania” and her menswear collection. The Vivienne Westwood label is an internationally recognized designer label that has 63 Westwood outlets globally, including 18 stores in China, nine in Hong Kong, 18 in South Korea, six in Taiwan, Two in Thailand and two in the United States, with one store each located in Hawaii and Los Angeles. In Britain, there are 12 retail stores in the UK, with one store located in Bicester Village.
Spring/Summer 2015 collection
Vivienne Westwood’s fashion label, called the Red label” is rich in color, print, and crisp, and summery prints. This season, the design of the clothing is inspired by ancient Greek and paganism, the work of the Russian artist Leon Bakst and French fashion of the 18th century. The influences are beautifully presented with Parisian chokers, paired with a quilted flower print that appeared on dresses, jackets and skirts, a celebration of the female form in all its beauty. The tiled floor used on the set of a production Bakst work on can be seen in Jacquard knitwear pieces and ancient Greek is beautifully presented in structured tailoring and drapery Grecian dresses.
Facts about Vivienne Westwood
- The famous indigo mock croc lace up platform boots that was worn by supermodel Naomi Campbell toppled her on the catwalk in 1993. It was since then placed in the Victoria & Albert museum.
- Vivienne Westwood is notoriously famous for not wearing knickers when she received her OBE from the Queen Elizabeth.
- In 2003, the eccentric fashion London based fashion designer made her make models wear fake breasts under their polo neck shirts and cashmere sweaters.
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