Vivienne into today’s mainstream fashion. Winning British Fashion


Vivienne Westwood a former teacher who was introduced into
the creative industries by her late husband Malcom McLaren. Westwood is known
for her true Britishness shown within each of the collections, along with bringing
modern punk into today’s mainstream fashion. Winning British Fashion Designer of
The Year 3 times under her belt she also won an OBE in 1992 from the queen
herself. Westwood’s first job working in a factory in Harrow is the opposite
end of the spectrum to how she works now and said how she “lived in a part of the country that grew up in the industrial revolution”
(1), which was far from London’s high
life. The world she was introduced into was a platform which she could express
her creative freedom and showcase the power of art onto a political landscape. Herself
and then partner McLaren opened a shop on 430 king’s road in 1971, this started
off with selling records and followed with being full of Vivienne Westwood’s
designs. ‘SEX’ was an important part of the punk movement in the 70s and 80s with
her designs helping to shape the sex pistols identity along with other iconic
music legends, which would be the start of her brand.  The stores name has changed being first called
‘Let it Rock’, then ‘too fast to live too young to die’, ‘SEX’ ‘Seditionaries’ and
reinvented to the current ‘Worlds End’. Always being ahead of the curve on fashion,
as Jasper Conran said, ‘Vivienne does as others follow” (2) and sometimes dictating
it also, she shows fearlessness in her personality which expresses into her
work along with her unconventional style sense. Westwood and McLaren were
rebellions of their time and not slightly interested in the fading fashion of
the hippie movement pushing into the late 60s. Inspired by the 50s music and
clothing they began to make the trendy teddy boy clothing and showed this in
their store ‘Let it Rock’. 1972 was when the tables turned onto creating
fashion of the punk era using zips, leather and fetish clothing, which was
rebranded with skulls and cross bones and changing their title for the second
time. T-shirts with provocative messages displayed across them was one of the
reasons the brand was prosecuted with an obscenity law and changed the brand
name again in 1974. This ‘Punk Rock’ trend was a key part of her timeline which
transformed sexual fetishism into fashion, and was described as ‘rubber wear for the office'(3). When the
sex pistols collapsed, seen as they were the soul of the punk idea, they
renamed the brand ‘Worlds End’ and begun to search down another pathway.


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