Icon of the punk style of the 70s , which she transformed from a musical and street movement into a fashion phenomenon (thanks also to the help of her partner and manager of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren), in this post we retrace her career and life of Vivienne Westwood.

Vivienne Westwood: the beginnings

Dame Vivienne Isabel Swire, married Westwood, was born in Tintwistle on April 8, 1941 to Gordon and Dora Swire. From this small village located in Derbyshire, UK, in 1958, at the age of 17, Vivienne moved with her family to London, the capital of the United Kingdom, where she studied fashion and jewelery at the Harrow School of Art.

He then leaves the university to work. Plus she dreams of becoming a teacher. In the same period she creates jewels thanks to the studies carried out previously, which she resells in Portobello Road, on the city stalls.

In 1962 Vivienne married Derek Westwood, from whom she takes her surname, making the wedding dress herself. The couple have a son the following year, named Benjamin. But unfortunately her relationship with Derek ends miserably and Lei vivienne begins a new relationship with Malcolm McLaren , future manager of the Sex Pistols. This relationship totally changes her life. We are in the 70s and the world of music and fashion are changing radically, starting to intertwine and go hand in hand.

Vivienne senses its significance. In 1971 the couple opened their first shop on London’s King’s Road, Let it Rock. Over the years the store changes its name according to Westwood’s creative vein. It still exists today and has remained well known. Meanwhile, the couple conceives a son named Joseph.

The punk movement is tinged with fashion

In the 70s, as mentioned, punk-rock groups became popular in England, which with their music inspired a youth movement based on rebellion and overturning the rules. The Sex Pistols, whose manager is Malcolm McLaren, are one of the emerging bands in the world panorama of the genre. Their songs incite rebellion and one of their songs titled “God Save the Queen” from 1977 seems to be an attack on the Monarchy. And it is the way of dressing of the bands of the time, also irreverent and provocative, which attracted many followers all over the world. The punk style also asserts itself in fashion.

The first Westwood show took place in London in 1981, when she presented the Pirate collection to the public . But in reality her models do not originate only from street fashion but from the mix between present and past, in which traditional clothes are re-presented, modernizing them and literally “undressed” from their cliche. As in the case of the “New Romantic” and “The Pagan Years” collections, between the 80s and 90s.

His inspiration also draws strength from various influences related to history, painting and politics.

The 90s and 2000s

In the meantime, his second relationship with Malcolm also ends, and he starts a third: the one with his fashion student, Andreas Kronthaler, Austrian, 30 years younger. The two soon become a steady couple and start working on new ideas.

In 2005, the British designer launched a new collection of t-shirts with the slogan I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don’t arrest me , as a form of dissent against the British and American administrations of the time. In the same year she and she were awarded the title of Officer of the British Empire and in 2006 of Lady of Commander of the British Empire. But despite the fame of her acquired over her years, Vivienne Westwood has always remained independent and faithful to her ideologies, which she still defends and proclaims through her collections. A fashion that is not a slave to preconceptions but always ready to amaze.