Vivenne Westwood, ‘Queen of Punk’, dies at 81
“Buy less, choose well: that's the maxim. Quality not quantity. That's the most environmentally friendly thing you can do,” British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood once said.
The style icon, or "high priestess of punk" as she was commonly referred to, died in London on Thursday aged 81.
A former schoolteacher, Westwood was credited for revolutionising fashion in the mid-1970s with her punk style. She made fetishistic leather corsets mainstream, and after meeting Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, in 1971 opened a boutique in London’s Chelsea together with him.
She later seamlessly transitioned to haute couture, enjoying successful runway shows, from London to New York.
Also an activist, she was spotted at rallies to protest climate change and in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Her designs have been worn by the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, who wore a corset-style pink dress designed for her at the premiere of “The Wings of the Dove” in London in 1997, and Dua Lipa, who wore her a satin two-piece outfit at the 62nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2020.
"Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better," the statement announcing her death said.
The statement also included a statement Westwood made before she died, saying: “Julian Assange is a hero and has been treated atrociously by the UK government. Capitalism is a crime. It is the root cause of war, climate change, and corruption.”
Tributes on social media poured out following Westwood’s death, with Naomi Campbell writing “Your strength was admirable in a business dominated by men.”
Model Bella Hadid wrote: "Dearest Vivienne, Queen of punk, From the first day I met you to the last day I saw you, you made me smile, listen, learn and love more than the day before. I will forever be grateful to have been in your orbit, because to me and most, in fashion & in humanity, you, Vivienne, were the sun.”
Westwood married co-designer Andreas Kronthaler in 1992, and he took over in 2016. "I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling,” he said in his statement after her death.
Credits for the Main photo: by PIERRE VERDY - © IMDB
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