“This woman was once a punk”
Remembering Dame Vivienne Westwood “the undisputed Queen of fashion”.
One of Britain’s most celebrated designers, blending historical references, classic tailoring and romantic flourishes with harder edged and overtly political messages, Vivienne Westwood was known not just for fashion but as a determined social justice and environmental campaigner.
A self-taught designer with no formal fashion training, Westwood learned how to make clothes as a teenager by following patterns and by taking apart secondhand clothes she found at markets in order to understand the cut and construction.
In the mid 2000s, Westwood turned her focus towards the climate crisis, publishing the manifesto titled Active Resistance to Propaganda, in which she wrote: “We have a choice: to become more cultivated, and therefore more human – or by not choosing, to be the destructive and self-destroying animal, the victim of our own cleverness (To be or not to be).”
As an anti-consumerist, Westwood gleefully undermined her own business interests stating “I just tell people, stop buying clothes. Why not protect this gift of life while we have it? I don’t take the attitude that destruction is inevitable. Some of us would like to stop that and help people survive.”
Dame Vivienne Westwood was a truly revolutionary force, her rebellious punk style rewriting the rule book over and over again, but always staying true to her values.
8 April 1941 – 29 December 2022