At 71 years old, Vivienne Westwood is a badass. The original Punk.
Her first collection to hit the catwalk was “Pirates” in 1981; crazy to think she was already 40 when she made her debut on the international fashion stage. She had been an integral part of the punk scene in London with boyfriend/collaborator Malcolm McLaren, who managed the Sex Pistols. Now she was part of the fashion scene. Forever.
She’s a rebel that has always done things her own way, but backs it up by creating iconic pieces that stand the test of time. There’s a reason why museum exhibitions showcase her work. If the MET features the Kardashian line in a 2030 exhibit, you best believe hidden cameras will be rolling for the resurrection of Punk’d. Or I’ll barf in my Anglomania bag.
One of my first ebay purchases was a pair of her Pirate Boots, which she has reissued and can be found here. I cried when I opened the box. They go with nothing and everything. I also just scored these Vivienne Westwood crazy sack boots here; I can’t wait to rescue them from the cobbler, where they are awaiting rubber reinforced soles. Maybe the big bags on my feet will detract from the big bags under my eyes.
I idolize her. Years ago, when I took the hardest class of my life, CDFP (cut/drape/flat/pattern) at the San Francisco Academy of Art, we all had to choose a dress-form with which to display our finished assignments. Of course I chose Vivienne Westwood. She would recoil at the crap I hung and draped on that dress form, most of it resembling punk by accident due to the the slashes and liberal use of safety pins. Bad sewing is not cool.
Her Fall 2012 collection, which just debuted during London Fashion Week, was a study in why I love her: The asymmetric jackets and hems, the pinstripes, the nipped-in waists, the t-shirts and plaids. Below are drawings of some of my favorite looks, while the complete collection is here:
So while trends and designers come and go, Vivienne Westwood is here to stay. As the Sex Pistols sang, “God save the Queen”…Amen.