Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood DBE RDI, the designer behind the glamorization of the Punk movement in the 1970's, has died. She leaves the world a bit less interesting and colorful with her passing.
“Buy less, choose well & do it yourself!”
Westwood became known when she and Malcolm McLaren founded the boutique on the King's Road, which became known as SEX. Along with McLaren's band, the Sex Pistols they brought Punk music and fashion to the forefront and created a whole movement which spilled over into the New Wave of the early 80's as well.
“I never look at fashion magazines. I find them incredibly boring. To me, reading a fashion magazine is the last thing I need to do. I've got books I need to read. More people should read books."
Later in life, Vivienne Westwood became a mainstream brand and celebrities from Marion Cotillard to Pharrell Williams -- who famously wore a Westwood Buffalo hat to the 2014 56th Annual Grammy Awards. She also worked with Richard Branson to design the Virgin Atlantic crew uniforms in the company's now iconic red tone.
"You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes."
In June 2013, Westwood dedicated one of her collections to persecuted American ex-soldier Chelsea Manning and at her fashion show she and all of her models wore large image badges of Manning with the word "Truth" under her picture.
"You've got to invest in the world, you've got to read, you've got to go to art galleries, you've got to find out the names of plants. You've got to start to love the world and know about the whole genius of the human race. We're amazing people."
Westwood was also a longtime supporter of imprisoned journalist Julian Assange and called for his release from custody on various occasions. In 2022 she designed the suit and dress worn by Assange and his wife, Stella Moris, at their wedding.
"It is not possible for a man to be elegant without a touch of femininity."
You can find more of her writing and reasonings about climate change and the world around us on her blog No Man's Land. Westwood is survived by her second husband Andreas Kronthaler, and her two sons, the fashion photographer Ben Westwood and Joe Corré, who co-founded the lingerie company Agent Provocateur.