For Christmas I was the lucky recipient of a Vivienne Westwood necklace and bracelet from my lovely boyfriend. They had been something I had been lusting over for a while and he’d obviously taken note of how much I obsessively stared at both items on the brands website – he’s definitely in my good books for the next few months.
At 72, Vivienne Westwood is a British institution. She’s the kind of woman you’d want as your grandma; kooky, inspirational, with plenty of stories. Plus raiding her closet would result in finding a multitude of vintage treasures.
Wearing her designs made me want to learn more about the life of this fashion enigma so here are five reasons to love Vivienne Westwood:
1. Punk and Vivienne Westwood are synonymous. Opening the clothing store, Let it Rock on 430 Kings Road with Malcolm McLaren the manager of The Sex Pistols bought Viv to the forefront of the fashionable public eye in 1971 and she’s been in it ever since. Viv’s designs were heavily influenced by bikers, prostitutes and fetish wear and featured leather, zips, skull and crossbones, with provocative messages – which led to her being persecuted under the obscenity laws. Punk was the new hippie.
2. ‘Britishness is just a way of putting things together and a certain don’t care attitude about clothes. You don’t care, you just do it and it looks great.’ – Vivienne Westwood. If this quote doesn’t sum up British style, I don’t know what does!
3. She made tartan cool. Scottish tartan has always been a mainstay in Vivienne’s designs, even right in the beginning, where she used the traditional fabric in her designs as a shock tactic. I’m currently lusting over one of her Capri Tartan bags – birthday hints Mum!
4. Westwood has a huge celebrity following, with even the royals being fans! She also designed Carrie’s covetable wedding dress in the 2008 Sex and the City film, an iconic piece of movie history.
5. She picked up her 1992 OBE from the Queen knickerless. When a photographer caught Westwood going commando she said ‘I wished to show off my outfit by twirling the skirt. It did not occur to me that, as the photographers were practically on their knees, the result would be more glamorous than I expected’. Hopefully her knicker needs are now satisfied, afterall, her son is the founder of the stylishly kinky Agent Provocateur.