Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Vivienne Westwood.  A name that every girl should know.  She and Malcolm McLaren began their career in the '70s by opening their shop, Let It Rock, at 430 Kings Road in London in 1971.  Back then, Westwood and McLaren were the epitome of Punk Rock, literally.  They designed the leather- and zipper-clad outfits for the Sex Pistols in 1976, which the media named Punk Rock.  Once the style became mainstream, Westwood was out.  In 1981, she and McLaren debuted the Pirate Collection at their first catwalk.  For this collection Westwood researched into the historical dress of pirates, and based her designs off of this.  She developed ethnic cutting techniques based on rectangles that was different from anything anyone had seen before.

The image quality isn't great, but it gives you an idea
In 1987, her Harris Tweed collection was inspired by a little girl she saw on the Tube, wearing a bun in her hair, a Harris Tweed jacket, and a bag with ballet shoes in it.  This collection was Westwood's break from punks and into designing clothes that parodied the upper class.  She began to pick models who had hips and boobs, unlike the stick-thin models we see today.

This is from another collection, Voyage to Cythera, in 1989
From there she continued to design with an historical inspiration, combining the fine tailoring of the English and the design and proportions of the French.  She continued to embellish the models' figures, making the ultimate hourglass figure by padding busts and bustles and even using wire cages underneath the clothes.

More recently, Westwood has put historicism aside and focused on a more asexual cut, exploring the dynamics of the fabric.  She designed the wedding dress that Sarah Jessica Parker wore in the Sex and the City movie.

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