Starting out as the queen of punk with her former partner in the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood dressed the Sex Pistols and anyone else who felt rebellious.
The English fashion designer is largely responsible for popularizing punk and new wave into modern day fashion. She began by selling her outrageous designs in the outrageously named SEX Boutique her and her partner established during the 70s. Situated on the King’s Road in Chelsea, London, Westwood sold her very English laden formier and to these days still owns the boutique.
Westwood’s punk style gained a reputation and following when her outfits were worn by the English punk/rock band the Sex Pistols. The look was made up of fetish fashion which includes material such as leather, spandex and fishnets as well as safety pins, razor blades and spiked dog collars worn as jewelry.
It shocked many people but it also revolutionized fashion and started a trend that is still popular today. Although Westwood had been in the fashion industry for 20 years, it wasn’t until the early 90s that she received any true recognition.
Finally in 1990 and in 1991, Westwood was named British Designer of the year and also received her OBE. In 1995, the British fashion designer was presented with the Golden Nase Award by Berlin fashion journalist after being voted the designer best of predicting public taste in clothes.
Westwood known as the queen of fashion and mother of punk also surprised the fashion world when in Paris, she unveiled her Spring/Summer Collection with beach and wearable clothes rather than the usual array of peculiar creations meant only for brave eccentrics and fancy dress parties.
By 1998, Westwood had unveiled her new perfume Boudoir and for the launch chose to stage a glittering fashion show in London in a very fashionable disused warehouse in an even more fashionable area of Chelsea.
Later that same year, the apple guard fashion designer became the first and proud recipient of the Moet and Chandon fashion tribute. Shown, she haven’t lost any of her esprit. She arrived at her gala award ceremony in a light gray silk reminiscing of 18th century ballrooms and a small feathery hat caught some ways. It seemed every other woman there was also flaunting Westwood’s designs which maybe the reason Moet and Chandon picture for their first fashion tribute.
With only a few shops around the world, Westwood in 2001 celebrated the opening of her first boutique in Moscow with a showing of some of her work. The Russian show was a mix of the elegant, the provocative and the housewife with models in green paisley patterned dresses, flashing red suits and berets and flowing orange patchwork style in dresses.
In 2004, Westwood launched a major retrospective of her work at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The exhibition featured more than 150 of Westwood’s designs from throughout her career which included the Vestigians mock croc platform shoes which caused model Naomi Campbell to take a tumble on the catwalk in 1993.
Westwood isn’t just about the punk rebellious look. From her Fall 2007 Wakeup Cave Girl Collection came the gorgeous wedding dress that featured in the Sex in the City film and worn by Sarah Jessica Parker. It features a corset top made of gold-backed ivory silk satin and finished with a large skirt of ivory silk Radzimir taffeta. This has become the fairy tale dream wedding dress.
Some say she’s a genius, some say she’s just plain mad but everyone agrees Vivienne Westwood has had an immense influence on the fashion world.