Vivienne Westwood: Rest In Style, Priestess Of Punk

Shutterstock; Instagram/Vivienne Westwood

​Emerging on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs and slogan T-shirts, Vivienne Westwood continued to push boundaries ever since.

​At the age of 81, on December 29, 2022, Westwood passed away, surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.

​Through out her life, until her last moment, the British designer continued to do the things she loved - designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better.

​There are a lot of plaids, of course, and not to mention corsets, bustles, and bows to her credit. Westwood always had a passion for historical outfits, adopting it as an expression of beauty while simultaneously using it for social commentary, questioning ideals of femininity or of gender through exaggerated silhouettes.

​Here is a look at some of her own stand-out fashion moments:

​1. Reinventing Punk Fashion

​When punk fashion became mainstream, Westwood knew she needed a new angle. The whole point, after all, was to rebel. For her first-ever catwalk show in 1981, Vivienne presented Pirates – a collection that kick-started the new romantic look and dominated 80s sub-cultures.

​2. An Eco-Warrior

​Every true punk needs a good cause to champion and over the years Westwood supported PETA, Aids Research, and more. Her work as an environmental campaigner, making use of more sustainable materials is renowned.

​3. Usher Of New Pop Culture

​After years of campaigning against the mainstream, she decided in 2008 that, under her own terms, pop culture could be cool. In two attention-grabbing moves, she scored a major Hollywood costume coup designing Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding gown in 'Sex And The City', the movie.

​4. Protests That Matter

​Westwood often brought an element of performance to her protests. She even shaved her famous locks off in March 2014, in protest of Climate Change.

​5. Gender-Bender Moments

​Throughout her career of half a century in fashion, Westwood has often shown a disregard for gender categories. In 1985, she had men modelling in her trademark skirt suits and moustaches, gowns and ruched pencil skirts. There are plenty of others, too.

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