Vivienne Westwood

From Academic Kids

Vivienne Westwood (b.April 8, 1941), born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Glossop, Derbyshire, is an English fashion designer largely responsible for modern punk and new wave fashions. Linked with the Sex Pistols via Malcolm McLaren & their "Sex" boutique on King's Road, in London during the 1970s.

When she was seventeen, her parents bought a post office and moved to the south of England, down to Harrow in Middlesex. There, Vivienne went to a teacher training college and then taught at a primary school in North London.

Vivienne's first husband was Derek Westwood with whom she had a child named Ben. Their marriage lasted three years before she met Malcolm McLaren, later known for being the manager for punk band the Sex Pistols. Westwood and McLaren had a son named Joseph, and Vivienne continued to teach until 1971, when Malcolm decided to open a shop, 'Sex', and this is where Vivienne began to sell her outrageous designs.

The punk style came to life when the Sex Pistols wore clothes from Westwood and McLaren's shop at their first gig. The 'punk style' included bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle or lavatory chains on clothing and spiked dog collars that were used as jewelery as well as the outrageous make-up and hair.

Together, Vivienne and McLaren revolutionised fashion and the impact is still felt today.

Vivienne's first runway show was the Pirate collection in London, March 1981. Her design style had evolved so that her main interests included not only the youth and street culture but also tradition and technique.

Vivienne worked historical factors into her collection by using historical 17th-18th century original cutting principles and modernising them. This collection was all about 'gold and treasure, adventure and exploration'.

Other influences in Vivienne's work have included ethnic Peruvian influence, feminine figure, and velvet and knitwear. The historical influence also, was always shown in Vivienne's work.

In December 2003, she and the Wedgwood pottery company launched a series of tea sets featuring her designs. Her first major retrospective of her work was shown in 2004-2005 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the National Gallery of Westwood de:Vivienne Westwood sv:Vivienne Westwood


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