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Designer of the Week: Vivienne Westwood

Designer of the Week: Vivienne Westwood
2009/12/23 Maya H.

Considered "The Designers Designer", Vivienne Westwood is responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into mainstream.  Here are the key facts to remember about Dame Vivienne Westwood:

  • Vivienne WestwoodBorn April 8, 1941 as Vivienne Isabel Swire in Tintwistle, Derbyshire
  • Vivienne has three kids from two separate men, and has been wife to two gentlemen (you go girl!)
  • By trade, she was a primary school teacher
  • Turning point: by all accounts, Dame Westwood had her introduction to punk by boyfriend, Malcolm McLaren, a member of the punk band The Sex Pistols
  • Vivienne is well known for her unusual use of historica 17th and 18th centruy cloth cutting techniques that create non-traditional mens trousers
  • In 1972 and then 1974, McLaren opened a shop and then renamed it "Sex"
  • Another turning point: Vivienne showed her Hypnos collection at Hanae Mori's Best of Five awards with Calvin Klein, Claude Montana, and Gianfranco Ferre.  Shortly after, she inks a deal with Giorgio Armani!Vivienne Westwood_5
  • Brittany Spears long-lost-mother -- Vivienne Westwood is notorious for going "knicker-less".  She came to a show in 1992 revealing all and then revealed to Prince of Wales in 1996, after being made a Dame, that she was 'knicker-less' yet again!
  • Vivienne Westwood_4Sex in the City moment: Despite being invited to participate in the making of the movie, Westwood was unimpressed with the costuming by renowned stylist Patricia Field.  She walked out of the film's London premiere after 10 minutes, publicly criticising the clothing featured as being frumpy and boring.  The wedding dress has subsequently become widely recognised as one of the movie's most iconic features and has led Westwood to approach the producers about being involved in making a sequel.[3]
  • She has arrived!  Westwood was named to a list of the world's top six designers along with Armani, Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, Lacroix, and Ungaro in November 1989