Dame Vivienne Westwood, Legendary Fashion Designer, Dies At aged 81.

by - 08:42:00

Dame Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81.
The pioneering British fashion designer made a name for herself as the queen of punk in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts, and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

Dame Vivienne died on Thursday "peacefully, and surrounded by her family in Clapham, south London", her representatives said.
In a statement, her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: "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."

The statement from her representatives added: "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.

"She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future."

It also said that The Vivienne Foundation, a not-for-profit company founded by Dame Vivienne, her sons and grand-daughter in late 2022, will launch next year to "honour, protect and continue the legacy of Vivienne's life, design and activism".

Dame Vivienne, who was born in Cheshire in 1941, is widely credited with bringing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream with her eccentric creations.

Her designs were regularly worn by high-profile individuals including Dita Von Teese, who wore a purple Westwood wedding gown to marry Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie, who donned three Westwood designs for various elements of the wedding of William and Kate Middleton.

Dame Vivienne's designs were also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of Sex And The City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

In addition to her work as a designer, Dame Vivienne was vocal in her support of a number of social and political initiatives including campaigning for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting to avoid being sent to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.

In July 2020, she sounded a warning over an Assange "stitch-up" while dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage.

Dame Vivienne told Vogue magazine that her political convictions took root at school, when her teacher "spoke with pride of civilization and democracy" and "hatred of arbitrary arrest," such as that perpetrated by the French monarchy which "caused the storming of the Bastille".

During London Fashion Week in 2012, she appeared on the catwalk herself, wrapped in a banner bearing the words "climate revolution".

That same year, attending a reception at St James's Palace to launch a new exhibition of British menswear at an event hosted by the then Prince of Wales, Dame Vivienne said a great part of her respect for the Royal Family was due to Charles.

She said: "I am a very big fan of the Queen, I think she is marvellous and everybody else is coming round to that opinion.

"But I think a great part of my respect for the royals is based on Prince Charles - he has done much better things for the country than any English politician." 

As the self-styled queen of punk, she always injected controversy into the fashion industry with her risque creations.

The designer was largely responsible for anti-establishment punk fashion and became known for her subversive and eccentric take on traditional British style.

She and Malcolm McLaren, one-time manager of punk band the Sex Pistols, opened a shop called "Let It Rock", later renamed "Sex", in the early 1970s where she began selling her provocative outfits.

The punk style included bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle or lavatory chains, and spiked dog collars.

Dame Vivienne caused a stir in 1992 when she collected her OBE from the Queen, without wearing underwear, and twirled around in the courtyard to reveal all.

In 2006 when she was made a Dame, she opted again not to wear underpants and went to Buckingham Palace wearing a pair of silver horns..

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