Whether you realize it or not, if you participate in the punk lineage subculture, your fashion and quite honestly your whole ethos has been affected by Vivienne Westwood. A woman who’s clothing design started a musical movement. That’s right, without her store, SEX (sorry young thug, she was there first) the punk movement would not have been what it was and probably would have never happened at all. The screened shirts, safety pins, bondage wear, the mini crini, the bleached and spiked hair all inspired and motivated generations of punks and street kids.
PUNK IS DEAD was announced when she changed the stores name to Seditionaries. She knew to pivot ahead of the times, and she did constantly. She moved on to pioneer the pirate look that went on to be the look of the New Romantics. Don’t forget that for a moment in time powdered wigs, silk stockings and bustiers reigned supreme. Another store name change found it’s final incarnation as “World’s End” She then launched the “witches” line which brought in a strange and wonderful collaboration with Keith Haring, and some wonderful shots of THE largest pop star in the world at the moment (Madonna) wearing the collection. She brought back Harris Tweed, changed the way runway models interact with the world, designed Pharrell’s “hat”, designed Richard Branson’s uniforms for Virgin Airlines, designed for the Queen and was given the title Dame.
Vivienne had one last pivot left and that was to fight. She fought fracking, climate change and the general destruction of our planet all the way to her last days. And not from her checkbook, but from the streets. She was PUNK AS FUCK and not for the sake of but as a social agent of change. And although the fashioned she pioneered changed her ethos never did.
She inspired a countless number of designers and her influence can clearly be seen in artist such as Galliano and McQueen.
Vivienne passed December 29th leaving a giant hole in fashion and in the passions of a generation.
“It’s not about fashion, you see, For me, it’s about the story. It’s about ideas.”