In 1969 Vivienne Westwood (b. 1941) partnered with Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, to open their first shop, “Let It Rock,” in London’s Kings Road. Through the 1970s, their shop went through a number of name changes, but the focus was always on street culture and as such was on the forefront of the punk movement. In 1974 their shop was called “Sex” and in 1976 “Seditonaries.” By this time the punk movement was in full force and although Westwood’s designs were quite shocking, many of her ideas filtered down to mainstream fashion.
In 1981 Westwood began a new phase of her career. Her store was renamed World’s End, a name it retains to this day. She had become increasingly interested in historical dress and her first attempt at redefining an historical culture came with her acclaimed Pirate collection. This was followed by Savages, Hoboes, and Witches. In 1985 she explored the Victorian crinoline in her Mini-Crini collection and two years later she explored traditional British tailoring in Harris Tweed.
This interest in traditional British themes led her to the Anglomania collection of 1993, which included designs using a tartan that she designed. In the same year the Red label was started as a younger, sassier version of her gold label. Today Westwood continues to create clothes that are sexy, inventive and fresh.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com