It wouldn’t be unfair to credit Vivienne Westwood with creating the 1980s look. After all, the punk movement of the 1970s was born in her store in London and the English designer and businesswoman created modern punk and new wave fashion, taking both to the mainstream, as very well shown in Starplus’ Pistol series.
“December 29, 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,” her family tweeted.
Vivienne’s signature as a designer included irreverence and nonconformity with society, as well as androgynous designs and slogan T-shirts, establishing her brand as one of the pioneers of the fashion scene in the 1970s.
Their Chelsea store, SEX, was the meeting place for many future artists who changed music at the time. After opening four stores in London, she quickly expanded across Britain and the rest of the world with her innovative designs. Her original store was run by her and Malcolm McLaren, changing its name to Seditionaries: Clothes for Heroes. All the Sex Pistols looks were signed by her.
Shortly before the launch of the Pistol series, in the first half of 2022, another punk icon passed away, model Jordan, who worked for Vivienne Westwood. In addition to the Sex Pistols, bands like Siouxsie And The Banshees and Adam And The Ants, to name just two, frequented the store, mixing ripped T-shirts, bondage, plaid patterns, mohair, rubber, provocative graphics, and safety pin embellishments. In general, she reinforced the image that “it’s ok not to be perfect”.
Over the years, Vivienne Westwood’s brand has gained prestige. Her inspiration was wide: from ballets to classical history. When punk became fashionable, she dubbed the period the “New Romantic”, which followed as “The Pagan Years”. The rich began to buy their models while punk fashion was precise “rags parodying the upper class”.
In addition to rock and catwalks, Vivienne Westwood also has a striking role model in pop culture. Carrie Bradshaw’s famous wedding dress in the movie Sex and The City is hers and will be rescued in And Just Like That.
Last year, on her 80th birthday, Vivienne was commissioned by Josef O’Connor’s CIRCA to present new video work at Piccadilly Circus. She chose to rewrite My Fair Lady‘s song Without You as a wake-up call to environmental issues and an act of peace. Because that’s how Vivienne Westwood was: intense, tuned in, non-conformist, and always iconic. R.I.P.
To learn more about Pistol, where she was played by Talulah Riley, click here. The series is on Starplus.