(1941-2022) – Fashion Designer
Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood DBE RDI was an English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. She was born in Cheshire in 1941 and her family moved to Harrow in west London in 1958. Vivienne first came to public notice when she made clothes for the boutique that she and Malcolm McLaren ran on King’s Road in London which became known as SEX. Their ability to synthesise clothing and music shaped the 1970s UK punk scene, which was dominated by McLaren’s band, the Sex Pistols. She viewed punk as a way of ‘seeing if one could put a spoke in the system’. She opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout the UK and the world, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.
Vivienne Westwood has always been my favourite designer. I spent most of the 1980s wearing a Vivienne Westwood corset, so her clothes are a part of my history.