Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81
2023-01-04 11:17:06 BdST
2023-10-04 09:18:51 BdST
Live Correspondent: The doyenne of British design Vivienne Westwood, who melded music and fashion together to help define punk and brought rebellious politics to the catwalk, died on Thursday aged 81, her family said, report agencies.
Westwood made provocation itself into an art form -- from the leather bondage gear, she popularised in the 1970s to the time she went without underwear to Buckingham Palace to receive her damehood from the late Queen Elizabeth II.
"Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London. The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better," her fashion label's Twitter account said.
In a statement quoted by the PA news agency, her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: "We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you, darling."
Leading tributes, London's Victoria and Albert Museum described Westwood as a "true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion", while Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said she had been a "towering figure".
"Her punk style rewrote the rule book in the 1970s and (she) was widely admired for how she stayed true to her own values throughout her life," she wrote on Twitter.
Westwood's fashion career began in the 1970s when her radical approach to urban street style took the world by storm. But she went on to enjoy a long career highlighted by a string of triumphant runway shows and museum exhibitions.
The name Westwood became synonymous with style and attitude even as she shifted focus from year to year, her range vast and her work never predictable.
As her stature grew, she seemed to transcend fashion. The young woman who had scorned the British establishment eventually became one of its leading lights, even as she kept her hair dyed that trademark bright shade of orange.
Andrew Bolton, the curator of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, said Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren — her onetime partners — "gave the punk movement a look, a style, and it was so radical it broke from anything in the past."
"The ripped shirts, the safety pins, the provocative slogans," Bolton said. "She introduced postmodernism. It was so influential from the mid-70s. The punk movement has never dissipated — it's become part of our fashion vocabulary. It's mainstream now."
Westwood's long career was full of contradictions: She was a lifelong rebel honored several times by Queen Elizabeth II. She dressed like a teenager even in her 60s and became an outspoken advocate of fighting climate change, warning of planetary doom.
Westwood is survived by her second husband, the Austrian-born designer Andreas Kronthaler who had a fashion line under her brand, and two sons.
The first, fashion photographer Ben Westwood, was her son with Derek Westwood. The second, Joe Corre — her son with McLaren — co-founded the upscale Agent Provocateur lingerie line and once burned what he said was a collection of punk memorabilia worth millions: "Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic," he said.
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