Vivienne Westwood, one of my biggest façon idols, the designer who defined the look of punk, using rock iconography, royalty, art, and religion as recurring motifs in collections that brought a rebellious edge to British style, died yesterday, 30 December 2022. She was 81.
Viv was just 30 when she and her boyfriend, Malcolm McLaren—who as a music impresario would go on to manage the Sex Pistols—opened a shop called Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road in London. The business, which had a pink vinyl sign out front, was an unconventional one, selling fetish wear and fashions inspired by the Teddy Boy look of the 1950s.
Over time the store changed its name several times, following Viv’s inspiration: Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, SEX, Seditionaires, and at last Worlds End with the iconic clock spinning backwards.
Outside of façon, Viv was also a dedicated political and climate activist. “I’ve used fashion to challenge the status quo,” said Viv to L’OFFICIEL in 2018.
Vivienne is gone and the world is already a less interesting place. Rest in punk, Viv.
💧 Consider checking out MALCOLM MCLAREN & SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONALISM.
Sources: L’OFFICIEL, New York Times, Grailed, Collater.al, British Vogue, V&A, Wikipedia.