25 August 2016

Vivienne Westwood: The (Forever Young) Queen of Punk

Originally published on the 15th August 2016 here.

She appeared in the London fashion scene in the 70s with her outrageously bright hair and devilishly charming attire, taking the industry by storm. Against the backdrop of 70s brutalist council housing and the rock atmosphere of what London once was, Vivienne Westwood and her then partner Malcom McLaren opened their first boutique store that would today evolve into a legacy of rock and roll retailing and the reinvention of what it means to just be, punk.

75 years young and Westwood is still very softly spoken, wearing her own magnificent designs with confidence. The iconic of her time, Westwood had started her legacy by running a quaint little boutique on Kings Road, which is now known famously as Worlds End – and as the origin and birth of what punk fashion has become, it’s a church for the generation of today who live for disengaged social cultures, ripped denim and the very humble beginnings of anti-fashion. Her first runway show was in 1983, which had landed her worldwide acclaim as an outstanding designer that reflected the drowsy, sleepy and rebellious lifestyle of London in the 70s. With her fashion-forward thinking and her political mind, she influenced a generation of new contemporaries, from innovative shapes, colours and cuts to ideologies, she resonated with the audience in a way that no other designer, let along female designer could do, thus launching her eponymous label, Vivienne Westwood, into fame for the next 30 years.

From her pioneering work in the studio to her endless work as an activist in and out of the industry, from diversity to female empowerment, Westwood’s impact on culture and subculture is immeasurable to that of her counterparts. As of 2016, Vivienne Westwood, the name itself of the household brand as it is just a name on her birth certificate, has become as iconic and quintessential of British as anything. 75 years young and Westwood is still thinking outside of the box, from going green to pushing towards the advocacy of women’s rights. She claims to do things because she wants too, for her, for the belief and her philosophy.

Through quality of the now iconic label to the most charming smile that Westwood can give off to flashing cameras, that’s true rebellion. Long live the punk-rock queen!