"Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” —Vivienne Westwood
The present punk and new wave aesthetics may be traced back to the work of Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood, an English fashion designer,and businesswoman.
After creating the "SEX" line of apparel for Malcolm McLaren's King's Road boutique, Vivienne Westwoodbecame a household name. McLaren's band, the Sex Pistols, influenced the 1970s UK punk movement with their ability to blend fashion and music. Punk's "testing if one could put a spoke in the system" shock value had a significant impact on her.
The success of her first four London boutiques led to further expansion throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, where Westwood now operates a network of stores selling an ever-expanding variety of products, some of which are tied to the many political causes she supports, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change, and the civil rights group Liberty.
British fashion was revolutionized by Vivienne Westwood in the '70s. Why?
Because of Westwood's love of leather and fasteners. The store, now known as World's End, continues to sell Vivienne Westwood's wares to this day.
Her newer, more intricate designs are grounded on the same ideas as her earlier ones (pirates, tartans, courtesans, Victoriana, bondage). Despite her status as one of Britain's most celebrated designers and an inspiration to the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and many others, Vivienne Westwood has struggled to turn a profit.
Well, let’s explore the journey of our favorite fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.
1971 - 1980
The youthful Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren of late 1960s London were immune to the hippy movement's sway. More than anything, they were intrigued by defiance and other identifiers of the era (such as clothing, music, and mementos) that harkened back to the '50s.
A year later, Vivienne gravitated into biker chic, favoring items with zippers and leather. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die is the new slogan and logo for the company.
In 1974, the shop changed its name to Sex, proclaiming itself to be "unlike anything else going on in England at the time" and selling "rubberwear for the office."
1981 - 1992
The book "Chic Savages" by John Fairchild, published in 1989, names Vivienne as one of the world's top six designers with Armani, Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, Lacroix, and Ungaro.
Vivienne was employed as a Professor of Fashion at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts from 1989 to 1991.
A two-year winner of the British Fashion Council's Fashion Designer of the Year award, Vivienne was first recognized in 1990. Vivienne received an Order of the British Empire from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1992.
She began designing bridal gowns for her collections in 1992.
One of her most important and significant collections, "Harris Tweed," debuted in the fall/winter of 1987 and was inspired by a chance encounter. An under-14-year-old girl who appeared on television one day was the inspiration for this line, the designer said. She carried her ballerina flats in a handbag that matched her outfit, which included a plaited hairdo and a Harris Tweed jacket. As she stood there, she exuded an air of composure."
1993 - 1999
The 'Putti' and 'Orb' watches were co-created by Vivienne Westwood and Swatch in 1992–1993.
For the 'Anglomania' Autumn/Winter 1993/94 collection, Vivienne channeled her inner artist by designing not just her own clan, MacAndreas, but also her very own tartan. Vivienne accomplished a remarkable feat when the Scottish Lochcarron officially recognized the clan.
Red Label by Vivienne Westwood was introduced in 1999. Vivienne's interest in Savile Row tailoring and French couture is combined in her prêt-à-porter line.
The first store to carry Vivienne Westwood's MAN line opened in Milan in 1996. Tokyo, Japan is the site of the world's first Vivienne Westwood licensed shop.
In 1998, 'Anglomania' debuted as a separate diffusion line inspired by Vivienne Westwood's back catalog. This youthful collection pays homage to Westwood's signature tailoring and draped forms, and it features items from the SEX, Pirate, Mini-Crini, and Bondage collections.
In 2002, Vivienne Westwood opened three stores in Asia: one in Hong Kong and two in South Korea.
In Japan and Milan, the Vivienne Westwood x Commes des Garçons collaboration makes its debut in the Autumn/Winter 2002/03 season at the Cosa Coma Comme boutiques.
In March of 2003, Vivienne Westwood's main store for women's clothing in Japan opened in the trendy shopping district of Aoyama. In 2003, Westwood partnered with Calport, an English manufacturer of fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories, to create the Westwood Home Collection.
In 2004, a retrospective of Vivienne Westwood's work was shown in London's Victoria & Albert Museum. Until now, this had been their first public performance.
After winning the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2010, Vivienne became a household name.
From 2016 onwards
In 2016, both a New York and a Paris Vivienne Westwood flagship shop debuted.
When it opened in April of 2017, the Ginza Six flagship store in Japan followed the same model as the Parisian outpost.
Beginning in 2018, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry work together to benefit the UK-based charity Cool Earth. Cool Earth raises money to protect rainforests, combat climate change, provide sustainable livelihoods to local communities, and preserve ecological diversity.
In July of 2020, you may purchase items from the collaboration with Eastpak 'SAVE OUR OCEANS' collection of Vivienne Westwood bagsand accessories.
Together with environmental nonprofit Canopy, Vivienne Westwood celebrates World Earth Day 2020 by committing to protect forests via their selection of fabrics.
At London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019, Vivienne Westwood presented her most current physical mainline presentation. It was determined that going forward, everything would be done digitally for environmental reasons.
The Summer/ Spring 2022 collection launched showed the outfits produced in a repeat end-of-year school tea towel design (a British cultural peculiarity that the Westwood team stated they needed to explain to American editors) and others in a Westwood drafted, Matisse-inspired eye print was among the highlights of the collection.
What is Vivienne Westwood most known for?
British designer Vivienne Westwood is known for her experimental designs. Together with her then-boyfriend, musician Malcolm McLaren, she helped spread the influence of the punk music movement into the design industry.
What is Vivienne Westwood's most famous design?
Designed in 1985 for a line of the same name, the Mini-Crini takes elements of both the Victorian crinoline and the modern miniskirt. One of Westwood's most recognizable ensembles is the bell-shaped skirt, a playful reworking of a famous garment from the eighteenth century.
Is Vivienne Westwood a high-end brand?
Like Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood is a strong fashion designer who also happens to be one of the only really autonomous global luxury fashion houses fighting to preserve life on Earth, combat climate change, and advance human rights. Vivienne has been in the fashion industry since the 1970s.
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