BIOGRAPHY AND WIKIPEDIA: Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81 KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, December 30, 2022

BIOGRAPHY AND WIKIPEDIA: Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81. (Read More Here).

Iconic British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81.

She died on Thursday in Clapham, South London, Westwood’s company confirmed. In a tweet, the official brand account wrote: “Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family… the world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better.”

Westwood, who was also awarded damehood by the late Queen Elizabeth II, was born on April 8, 1941.

Westwood’s designs came to prominence during the punk era of 1970s England, with many of her clothes being donned by punk music pioneers the Sex Pistols. Westwood’s impact on punk is widely acknowledged, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute going so far as to call her the “Mother of Punk.”

As explained by Vogue, through the 1990s, Westwood’s designs became known for elaborate and luxurious 18th Century European elements akin to those seen by the likes of Marie Antoinette. Many of these ornate elements can be seen in one of Westwood’s most recognizable pieces: the “Sex and the City” wedding dress. The gold and ivory multi-layered bridal gown was worn by star Sarah Jessica Parker for the 2008 film — and was worn when Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, was left at the altar.

The gown was so beloved that Westwood released a series of pieces inspired by the dress to commemorate the movie’s 10th anniversary, according to Harper’s Bazaar.

Westwood, 81, made her name with her controversial punk and new wave styles in the 1970s and went on to dress some of the biggest stars in fashion.

Fellow designer Marc Jacobs said he was "heartbroken" and that she "never failed to surprise and to shock".

Paying tribute to her life and work, he wrote on Instagram: "You did it first. Always... I continue to learn from your words and all of your extraordinary creations."

Derbyshire-born Westwood worked as a primary school teacher, before setting up clothing shop Let It Rock on King's Road in Chelsea with her then partner Malcolm McLaren in the early 1970s.

The business was later renamed Sex and McLaren began managing a punk rock band made up of shop regulars - the Sex Pistols. They shot to fame in 1976 wearing Westwood and McLaren's designs.

One shop worker was a young American who went on to front the Pretenders. Paying tribute, musician Chrissie Hynde said with Westwood gone, the world was "already a less interesting place".

Singer Boy George, who first met Westwood in the early 1980s, called her "great and inspiring" and "without question... the undisputed Queen of British fashion".

Fashion designer and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham said she was a "legendary designer and activist".

Actress Kim Catrall described her on Instagram as a "true genius who never lost her Northern grit". She shared a tale of Westwood's "generosity and kindness" - creating three dresses for the Sex and the City star in three days so she could attend premieres of a film, after others' designs were unsuitable.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer wrote that Westwood's "unique voice will be irreplaceable and will be missed", while singer Billy Idol - who found fame on the London punk music scene - tweeted: "RIP it will take me a bit to take this in…".

The Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses some of her works, described Westwood as a "true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion".

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan wrote on Twitter: "A sad day, Vivienne Westwood was and will remain a towering figure in British fashion.

"Her punk style rewrote the rule book in the 1970s and was widely admired for how she stayed true to her own values throughout her life."

In 1981, Westwood held her first proper fashion show remembered as the Pirate Collection, and she continued to use British and French history to inspire her.

She married Kronthaler, a former student of hers and 25 years her junior, in 1992. He became creative director of her company and increasingly was responsible for design work in later years.

By the 2000s, Westwood was designing wedding dresses for the likes of model Dita Von Teese, who dressed in her purple gown to marry singer Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore Westwood designs for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine.

Her designs also featured in the 2008 film version of Sex And The City.

Memorable runway moments include her nine-inch platform shoes, which famously tripped up model Naomi Campbell.

As well as climate change, Westwood became a vocal supporter for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act. In July 2020, she dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage warning over an Assange "stitch up".

Assange's wife Stella, whose wedding dress was created by Westwood, hailed the designer as a "pillar of the anti-establishment". Writing on behalf of her husband who is currently in Belmarsh prison, she said Westwood was a "good friend" and "the best of Britain".

She twirled sans culottes for photographers after receiving her Order of the British Empire from the Queen in 1992. In April 1989, she made the front cover of Tatler magazine, dressed in an Aquascutum suit she said was intended for Margaret Thatcher.
Westwood, frankly, didn't give a hoot. As the oldest of ingénues with periodically orange-tinted hair and alabaster complexion, she rose disgracefully to the revered status of British national treasure.  She was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Derbyshire, England on April 8, 1941. Her mother worked as a weaver at local cotton mills; her father came from a family of shoemakers. She began making clothes for herself as a teenager.
After a term at Harrow Art School, she worked as a primary school teacher, and married a factory worker, Derek Westwood, in 1962.
But everything changed when she left her husband, and met Malcolm McLaren in 1965.
"I felt as if there were so many doors to open, and he had the key to all of them," she told Newsweek in 2004.

The shop changed names — Let It Rock; Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die; Sex; Seditionaries — but you couldn't escape its impact on the street.
"It changed the way people looked," Westwood told Time magazine in 2012. "I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system in some way."
Her clothes ranged from fetishistic bondage gear to massive platform shoes and slogan T-shirts. Seditionaries famously sold a t- shirt showing the Queen with a safety pin through the royal lip.
Westwood eventually moved on. In 1981, at 40, Westwood launched her first catwalk collection with McLaren. The gender neutral clothes evoked the golden age of piracy, highwaymen, dandies and buccaneers. Westwood studied old tailoring techniques and subverted them, an approach later imitated by other British designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.

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