Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Provocative British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81.

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Vivienne Westwood, the provocative British fashion designer who endured more than half a century as a style icon and environmental activist, dressing the punk movement before dressing supermodels on the runways of Paris and Milan in the 1970s, died on December 29 in Clapham, southwest London. She was 81 years old.

It was her death announced The fashion house of her name did not mention the reason.

Ms. Westwood rose from toddler to grande dame of the fashion world, bursting onto the London scene in the 1970s wearing punk rockers like sex guns in leather jackets, ripped shirts and safety pins. She later moved into couture design, creating clothes that can be seen in museums around the world, experimenting with elegant pirate shirts and petticoats, tweed corsets and pinstripe tailoring.

She has linked fashion to politics throughout her career, famously promoting environmental issues, nuclear disarmament, vegetarianism and efforts to combat climate change. She emblazons her shirts, jackets and skirts with activist slogans — “Politicians Are Criminals” and “We’re Not Throwaways” — and urges her audience to buy less, not more, in hopes that both men and women can do so by launching a unisex line in 2017. Share similar clothing, including caps and overalls.

“Unisex may sound like a joke, but, really, it’s all about dressing up and being able to dress however you want,” she told The New York Times at a London Fashion Week event that year. “Swapping clothes with your partner means you can buy less, choose better and of course make it last.”

Ms Westwood was originally known for running a boutique on London’s King’s Road with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. “I was a messiah about punk, seeing if one could speak through the system,” she later recalled.

In 1989, when she graced the cover of Tatler magazine wearing an aquascutum outfit she said was meant for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, she stayed with that anarchic vibe long after she was embraced by the establishment. Three years later, when Queen Elizabeth II gave her an Order of the British Empire, Mrs Westwood – later named a Dame Commander – shocked photographers by twisting to reveal her dress, but she was wearing tights and a dress. No underwear.

“I have a built-in perversion,” she said in an interview for John Savage’s book “The English Dream,” “a built-in watch.”

Vivien Isabelle Swire was born in Glossop, an English town east of Manchester, on April 8, 1941. Her mother, a seamstress who made her own clothes, chose regular fare for her three children. Ms Westwood said she started drawing in fashion when her mother allowed her to choose her own clothes. She chose a tight dress and heels.

Mrs Westwood briefly attended Harrow Art School and went on to teacher training college, where she got a job as a school teacher. Her marriage to dance hall manager Derek Westwood ended in divorce, and in the mid-1960s she began an affair with McLaren, whom she had collaborated with as a designer.

In the 1950s, the “Teddy Boys” sneered together at the thin-gelled-hair fashion style, conjuring images of biker culture and sadomasochism. Under the motto “Clothes for Heroes,” they designed leather and zippered dresses and “slave” shirts with rolled-up sleeves like a thin jacket. One T-shirt showed Queen Elizabeth II piercing her lip with a safety pin.

Their shop has cycled under various names, including Too Young to Die and Too Fast to Live, but it’s the sex that has caught the crowd’s attention. The name appeared in pink letters above the door.

In the year In 1981, they launched their first runway collection: gender-neutral clothes inspired by pirate images and 19th-century fashion. This style became part of the post-punk New Wave scene after it was adopted by pop stars Adam Ant and Boy George.

Ms Westwood soon dissolved her partnership with McLaren, and the Mini-Crini, a short version of the Victorian crinoline and a lightweight corset designed to be worn outside the dress, helped it to break out. 90s trend as outerwear to underwear. In recent decades, she has used her name for several retail partnerships, including tea sets, hats, jewelry, and perfumes.

In 2011, she opened her first American boutique in Los Angeles.

Survivors include her husband of 30 years, Austrian designer Andreas Kronthal; a son from his first marriage, sex photographer Ben Westwood; and McLaren’s son, Joseph Corre, who co-founded underwear brand Agent Provocateur. Additional details about the survivors were not immediately available.

In the year In 2008, Westwood’s wedding dress became the centerpiece of the movie “Sex and the City,” when Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw decided on a Vera Wang gown in favor of Mrs. Westwood’s billowing silk-and-taffeta. Ms Westwood was not impressed with the rest of the costumes in the film, later saying: “I went to the premiere and left 10 minutes later”.

When it comes to her image, she often opts for relatively uncomplicated outfits with her distinctive bright orange hair. In the year “My fashion advice is to have a beautiful mirror and forget about it,” she told The Times in 2009.

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