Famous British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died at the age of 81. Her fashion house announced the news of her death in a post on Twitter. The fashion designer passed away in South London “peacefully and surrounded” by her family. Andreas Kronthaler, her husband and business partner, declared, “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart.”
Her death has sparked a flood of condolences, with some calling her a “trailblazer,” “legend,” and “a visionary who was ahead of her time.” She experienced her fair share of stardom and defining experiences over the course of her extensive career, from notable designs to activism. Here’s a look at a few of those instances.
Career in fashion
Vivienne Westwood has received recognition for her part in influencing the development of punk culture in the UK. She rose to fame in the 1970s when she and Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, co-owned the boutique SEX. Punk bands and London rockers who embraced the new-age attire, including rubber and plastic clothing, graffitied t-shirts, and more, turned to the brand as a go-to source. Androgynous patterns and slogan T-shirts were among the early, well-known creations of the artist.
In addition to starting her own collections later in her career, she also created the costumes for Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendants and provided Elisabeth Shue’s outfit for the movies Leaving Las Vegas, Shadowboxer, and Twenty-One, according to Variety.
From tweed jackets to slogan t-shirts, Vivienne is famous for her different looks. Her “mini-crini” is one of the looks that is regarded as her most recognisable. The item, which mixes a miniskirt with a Victorian crinoline, was part of one of her first collections, which debuted in 1985. It is considered to represent freedom. The same as previous pieces of her art, it is seen as a modernization of historical attire. It has been called one of her “most iconic looks” by The V&A, which is home to some of her artwork.
Fashion show and wedding dresses
According to BBC, Westwood presented the Pirate Collection, her first formal fashion presentation, in 1981. Her creations demonstrated how she was inspired by French and British history. In the early 2000s, Westwood started creating wedding gowns. She created beautiful wedding dresses for celebrities like model Dita Von Teese, who married singer Marilyn Manson while wearing her purple gown. Princess Eugenie also wore three Westwood pieces to her cousin Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. In the film Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw famously wore one of Vivienne Westwood’s wedding gown designs.
Vivienne Westwood was a political activist
Westwood was an advocate for various significant causes and skillfully used her position to discuss vital topics. She also took issues she was passionate about, like climate change, to the runway. Variety reports she was also a longtime political activist, fighting to combat consumerism, save the environment, and protest issues like wage injustice.
Vivienne Westwood’s family life
After Vivienne Westwood divorced her first husband Derek Westwood in 1965, she married Andreas Kronthaler in 1992. Andreas was her former student and was 25 years her junior. Along with being her creative collaborator and eventually taking over responsibility for design work, he also rose to the position of creative director for her business. Vivienne Westwood is survived by her spouse Andreas Kronthaler and her two sons.
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