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GreekReporter.comEuropeVivienne Westwood, the 'Queen of British Fashion' Dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, the ‘Queen of British Fashion’ Dies at 81

Westwood British fashion
Westwood dressed some of the biggest stars in fashion. Credit:Manfred Werner/Tsui, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikipedia

Vivienne Westwood, the “Queen of British Fashion”, died on Thursday in London. She was 81.

In a statement on Twitter, Westwood’s fashion house said: “29th December 2022. Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London. The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better.”

Westwood made her name with her controversial punk and new wave styles in the 1970s and went on to dress some of the biggest stars in fashion.

She came to prominence with her androgynous designs, slogan T-shirts, and irreverent attitude toward the establishment.

Westwood came to public notice when she made clothes for the boutique that she and Malcolm McLaren ran on King’s Road, which became known as SEX.

Their ability to synthesize clothing and music shaped the 1970s UK punk scene which was dominated by McLaren’s band, the Sex Pistols. She viewed punk as a way of “seeing if one could put a spoke in the system”.

Westwood made British punk fashion chic around the world

Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups

In 1981, Westwood held her first proper fashion show remembered as the Pirate Collection, and she continued to use British and French history to inspire her.

She married Kronthaler, a former student of hers, 25 years her junior, in 1992. He became the creative director of her company and increasingly was responsible for design work in later years.

By the 2000s, Westwood was designing wedding dresses for the likes of model Dita Von Teese, who dressed in her purple gown to marry singer Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore three Westwood designs for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine.

Her designs also featured in the 2008 film version of Sex And The City.

Memorable runway moments include her nine-inch platform shoes, which famously tripped up model Naomi Campbell.

As well as climate change, Westwood became a vocal supporter for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.

In July 2020, she dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage warning over an Assange “stitch up”.

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