Vivienne Westwood Facts

Vivienne Westwood was a fashion designer from England. She was best known for shaping the fashion of London’s punk movement in the 1970s.

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Vivienne Westwood Facts

  • Vivienne Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in 1941 in Tintwistle in Cheshire, England.
  • She took a course in jewellery-making and silversmithing at the University of Westminster but quit after just one term. Instead, she trained as a primary school teacher and made jewellery in her free time, selling it from a stall on London’s Portobello Road.
  • Vivienne Westwood met Derek Westwood in 1962, and they got married the same year. She designed and made her own wedding dress.
  • The marriage of Vivienne and Derek Westwood ended when Vivienne met Malcolm McClaren. Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood lived together in Balham, London, and they collaborated to produce pieces of clothing.
  • In the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood co-managed a shop with Malcolm McClaren that became a hub for the London punk scene. The Sex Pistols band, managed by Malcolm McClaren wore clothes designed by Vivienne Westwood and McClaren, and Vivienne Westwood is often credited as being one of the key architects of punk style.

Vivienne and Malcolm use clothes to shock, irritate and provoke a reaction but also to inspire change. Mohair jumpers, knitted on big needles, so loosely that you can see all the way through them, T-shirts slashed and written on by hand, seams and labels on the outside, showing the construction of the piece; these attitudes are reflected in the music we make. It’s OK to not be perfect, to show the workings of your life and your mind in your songs and your clothes

Viv Albertine
  • The first Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren fashion collection to be shown to the media was called Pirate, and they went on to collaborate on other collections, including Savages (1981), Punkature (1982), and World’s End (1984).
  • In the late-1980s, Vivienne Westwood combined the Victorian crinoline (a stiff petticoat designed to hold a skirt away from the body) and the miniskirt, creating the mini-crini.
  • In 2007, Vivienne Westwood designed the academic gowns for London’s King’s College.
  • She also designed uniforms for Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic cabin crew.
  • Vivienne Westwood designed for numerous big-name clients over the years, including Dita Von Teese (wedding dress), Marion Cotillard (dress for film premiere), Princess Eugenie (dresses for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton), and Pharrell Williams (Buffalo hat).
  • In the video game Final Fantasy XV one of the characters, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, is shown wearing a wedding dress designed by Vivienne Westwood.
  • In the 2008 Sex and the City movie, one of the main characters, Carrie Bradshaw, wears a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress.
  • Although she was at times a supporter of both Britain’s Labour Party and the Conservative Party, in 2015 she supported the Green Party of England and Wales.
  • In 2017, she endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to become Prime Minister at the UK general election. He was unsuccessful.
  • She supported many different campaigns, charities, and causes over the years, including PETA, climate change awareness, the Trillion Fund (clean energy), Liberty, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
  • In 2008 Vivienne Westwood published the Vivienne Westwood Opus 2008 book at London Fashion Week. It featured 97 large-format Polaroid photographs. The subjects include Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Ferguson, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sir Bob Geldof.
  • Vivienne Westwood was awarded the OBE in 1992, and the DBE in 2006 for services to fashion.
  • She was included in the updated version of Peter Blake‘s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles album cover.
  • In 2012, one of Vivienne Westwood’s tartan outfits appeared on a Royal Mail postage stamp to celebrate Great British Fashion.
  • She is a vegetarian.
  • She moved into a house in Clapham, London, once owned by Captain James Cook’s mother.
  • Vivienne Westwood was twice named British Designer of the Year.
  • The Richest website estimates that Vivienne Westwood had a net worth of more than £150 million.
  • In recent years, many celebrities have worn clothes and accessories designed by Vivienne Westwood, including Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Rita Ora, Gigi Hadid, Elle Fanning, Miley Cyrus, and Kristen Stewart.
  • Vivienne Westwood died on 29th December 2022. She was 81.
  • Following her death, celebrities such as the designer Marc Jacobs, the actress Kim Catrall, the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, and former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.