Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dead at 81

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dead at 81

December 29, 2022 |
4:36pm

British designer Vivienne Westwood, famous for bringing punk fashion into the mainstream, died on Thursday, December 29 at the age of 81.

The style icon passed away “peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London,” according to a tweet from her namesake fashion house.

The brand also shared the sad news on Instagram, writing, “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.”

Westwood’s decades-long design career began in the 1970s — shortly after she met Malcom McLaren, who would go on to manage punk band Sex Pistols. Together, Westwood and McLaren opened a boutique on King’s Road in London called Sex, which sold provocative fetish-inspired fashions befitting its name.

She and McLaren began showing their own collections in the early 1980s, blending the edgy punk references they knew and loved with elements of new romanticism; corsets and the “mini-crini,” a short and sexy version of the Victorian crinoline, exemplified this aesthetic.

In more recent years, Westwood’s draped designs have become favorites of celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, Dita Von Teese (who wore a purple gown from the house when she married Marilyn Manson in 2005) and Princess Eugenie.

A Vivienne Westwood wedding dress was famously featured in the 2008 “Sex and the City” movie, with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw selecting a voluminous strapless gown by the designer for her wedding to Chris Noth’s Mr. Big.

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