Type: Creative Essays
Sample donated: Christian Cohen
Last updated: July 16, 2019
Vivienne Westwood a former teacher who was introduced intothe creative industries by her late husband Malcom McLaren. Westwood is knownfor her true Britishness shown within each of the collections, along with bringingmodern punk into today’s mainstream fashion. Winning British Fashion Designer ofThe Year 3 times under her belt she also won an OBE in 1992 from the queenherself. Westwood’s first job working in a factory in Harrow is the oppositeend 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 highlife.
The world she was introduced into was a platform which she could expressher creative freedom and showcase the power of art onto a political landscape. Herselfand then partner McLaren opened a shop on 430 king’s road in 1971, this startedoff with selling records and followed with being full of Vivienne Westwood’sdesigns. ‘SEX’ was an important part of the punk movement in the 70s and 80s withher designs helping to shape the sex pistols identity along with other iconicmusic 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’ andreinvented 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 dictatingit also, she shows fearlessness in her personality which expresses into herwork along with her unconventional style sense. Westwood and McLaren wererebellions of their time and not slightly interested in the fading fashion ofthe hippie movement pushing into the late 60s. Inspired by the 50s music andclothing they began to make the trendy teddy boy clothing and showed this intheir store ‘Let it Rock’.
1972 was when the tables turned onto creatingfashion of the punk era using zips, leather and fetish clothing, which wasrebranded with skulls and cross bones and changing their title for the secondtime. T-shirts with provocative messages displayed across them was one of thereasons the brand was prosecuted with an obscenity law and changed the brandname again in 1974. This ‘Punk Rock’ trend was a key part of her timeline whichtransformed sexual fetishism into fashion, and was described as ‘rubber wear for the office'(3). When thesex pistols collapsed, seen as they were the soul of the punk idea, theyrenamed the brand ‘Worlds End’ and begun to search down another pathway.