The article is talking about one of Englands leading fashion designers, Vivienne Westwood. Who aslo has been one of Britains most consistently original, outrageous, eccentric and controversial designers. Today, she has evolved from an iconoclastic outsider to an internationally revered figure, with two British Designer of the Year awards, an OBE, her own successful fashion label and an unrivalled reputation for leading where other designers follow. Her lifestyle could scarcely be in greater contrast to the opulence which surrounds other leading designers.So in this article, it discuss about how did an awkward girl from a conventional and provincial background become one of world fashions most influential and respected designers and how her design influence on present day design culture.
Vivienne Westwood, one of Englands leading fashion designers who maintaining a devotion to history as a key theme to her unique styles. She has these wisps of yellow-blond hair spill around her oval face, which has been plucked, painted and powdered into a perfect cameo. Her lips are a bright kiss-me red, while her walk is that of a slowly advancing, scepter-toting monarch. Vivienne Westwood, really is made of awesome with her funky and creative designs. She is respected throughout the industry and fashion world as a highly influential designer.Vivienne Westwoods early profileVivienne Westwoods story is featured. Westwood grew up in the village of Tintwistle and he worked as a teacher in North England in 1962. She also had a 13 year marriage with Malcolm McLaren in the 1970s that resulted in two sons. At the same time, artists like Chrissie Hynde and bands like the Sex Pistols were influenced by Vivienne Westwood who was the creator of punk rock music and style in the 70s.She inspired the current British designers such as Christian Lacroix and John Galliano, was knighted the Order of the British Imperial Medal by the queen in 1992, and is presently married to the designer Andreas
Vivienne Westwood starts her fashion career in 1971 when she opened a small shop called Let It Rock at 430 Kings Road in Chelsea with Malcolm McLaren, a former art student six years her junior. They had met in 1965 when Ms. Westwood, already a young mother and separated from her first husband, was working as a primary school teacher. Their partnership, which also produced a child, would soon shake up British fashion.Mr. McLaren was the rebel, the agitator, the provocateur, while Ms. Westwood was his muse and model, already in 1971 she wore spiky peroxide with dyed hair, as well as a skilled craftsman. In its first version, 430 Kings Road became a 1950s nostalgia parlor with Teddy Boy, or Edwardian revival clothes, copied and sold as a kind of anti-hippie protest. And Ms. Westwood was the one doing the unpicking, copying and resolving.In 1973 the couple renamed the store Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die, this time in homage to James Dean and the rising motorcycle culture. Leather, studs and buckles
appeared alongside T-shirts with aggressive slogans. But this lasted barely 15 months.In April 1974 the store became SEX and was filled with sadomasochistic and pornographic references as well as clothes made of leather and rubber, including rubber-wear for the office.In 1975 the Sex Pistols, a rock group formed by Mr. McLaren, carried the punk movement beyond Chelsea, even beyond Britain. Wearing outrageous clothes and scandalizing the media with profanities, the Sex Pistols trumpeted Mr. McLarens anti-authoritarian message. Its first single, Anarchy in the U.K., was followed by an irreverent God Save the Queen, which was promptly banned by British radio.
In 1977 SEX was renamed Seditionaries, but punk power began to wane. In 1979 Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died of a drug overdose, and the group was disbanded. In 1980 Seditionaries became Worlds End and when Mr. McLaren wanted to vacate it, Ms. Westwood held onto it. More crucially, for the first time she began designing her own clothes with what became known as the Pirates collection. This collection, her first to be presented on a catwalk, in 1981, was to prove a turning point, not only because it announced her interest in historicism, but also because within two years she would form her own company without Mr. McLaren. I decided that in order to understand the world I lived in, I should somehow enter it and exploit my own ideas and see how I could get on, she recalled in a recent interview at the Victoria and Albert.
Vivienne Westwoods philosophyMs. Westwood rise herself as a fashion maverick comes from being both wildly inventive and perversely out of touch. But most of the people call her the queen of extreme. Her managing partner, Carlo DAmario said This is a woman whos an English eccentric. But he said it with a tone for unexplained phenomena. To imagine what that means, all you have to do is picture this quaint-looking lady attended the Dame Edna Show in 1989 with a flesh-tone tights and a glimmering green fig leaf. And her famous entrance into Buckingham Palace in 1992 to receive her Order of the British Empire from the Queen, when she obliged photographers with a triumphant twirl, there was hardly a living soul in Britain who didnt know that Ms. Westwood was 1 sans culottes under her whirling skirts.But that Ms. Westwood truly become the genuine iconoclasts at that period. Those style expresses the delirium and anarchy of their time. Now, at an age when many other designers are resting on their laurels, Ms. Westwood is taking on New York. Yesterday in SoHo, she opened her first store in the United States, a 7,000-square-foot emporium at 71 Greene Street, near Spring Street, that will sell her mens and womens collections, as well as more popular secondary lines.
Ms. Westwoods personal style also appear on her design but more on a creative way. Her design contexts come from different elements. First main element is music, more clearly from punk music. The English Punk style began to gain attention when the Sex Pistols wore clothes from Ms. Westwood and McLarens shop. The punk style included 2 BDSM fashion, bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle or lavatory chains on clothing and spiked dog collars for jewelry, as well as outrageous make-up and hair. These designs are definited as rebellion , anti form or sexy. In that very beginning of her career as a designer during the punk movement ,her designs become more substance than generally thought. Secondly, there is another essential design element in her which is the adoption of traditional elements of Scottish design such as tartan fabric. The tartan pattern is the main symbol of Scottish tradition clothing style. And Ms. Westwoods using of tartan is unparalleled, in her collections and triumphed in Anglomania (A/W 1993) (Figure 1). Her fascination with Scottish traditions by using a mix of different tartans, her ensembles exploited the rich depth, colour and diversity of the traditional checked pattern. The tartans were made to order by Locharron of Scotland, who also created a special design for Westwood called the McAndreas, after her second husband, Andreas Kronthaler. Amongst the more unusual elements of her style is the use of historical 17th and 18th century cloth cutting principles, and reinterpreting these in, for instance, radical cutting lines to mens trousers. Use of these traditional elements make the overall effect of her designs more shocking. Other influential elements in Ms. Westwoods work have included Peru, the feminine figure, velvet and knitwear.
Ms. Westwoods design has ranged from early punk garments to glamorous historical 5
evening gowns. She worked these together to revolutionize fashion and the impact is still strongly felt today. Now, Ms. West wood has five exclusively-owned shops; three in London, one in Leeds, and one in Milan. Franchise stores are located in Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, three in Manchester and most recently, in FH Mall, Nottingham (20 March 2008), and in Blake Street, York (11 September 2008). Westwoods themes have included Savage (1981), Hobo and Buffalo (1982), and Pirate. Her latest collection was themed Gold and Treasure, Adventure and Exploration. So, if Ms. Westwood often comes across as a bit of a crank, it is easy to see why. Whereas most designers take a humble slice of the cultural pie, Ms. Westwood wallows in the whole glorious mess. She will refer to the Industrial Revolution, Greek skeptism, the Sex Pistols, the decline of standards in English art schools, Picasso, sex, John Stuart Mill — in one sitting. Ive always needed to explain myself in more general terms rather than only through fashion, she said.
Vivienne Westwoods influences on punk cultureVivienne Westwood was punk symbol in the angry 1970s , she was wearing clothes festooned with spikes and pins. Today everyone knows what punk fashion is, but in 1970 it didnt exist. Punk first emerged in the mid 1970s in London as an anarchic and aggressive movement. Punk become a succeeded style even more when Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren put the punk ideas into their design ventures. In the 1975, McLaren launched the Punk music group called Sex Pistols which became the icon beyond Britain. They were wearing outrageous clothes and all these clothes were come from the shop called Sex that Vivienne Westwood opened on the Kings Road, London. That shop sold leather and rubber fetish goods, especially bondage trousers. Including rubber-wear for the office. Ms. Westwood gave world the fresh shock at that time and that is why her name is associated with the punk movement.
In Ms. Westwoods punk style design, BDSM fashion is also a main element. Before 1970s, BDSM fashion wasnt something you can show in public or feel good about it in Britain. But Ms. Westwood brought it into her punk design. In the early summer of 1974,
Westwood and Mclaren decided to invent the shop Sex with a fetish and bondage outlet, inspired in part by their recent visit to New York. This trip had opened their eyes to the outsider status of sexual deviancy, which, now as then, has a far greater capacity to shock than youth cult. The shop Sex underwent a prolonged refit, and the fact that it was closed for months and reopened in September 1974, the transformation was total (Figure 2). Outside, the name `SEX was emblazoned in four-feet-high pink rubber capitals and sprayed with slogans from Valerie Solanas SCUM manifesto, as well as slogans and quotes from the drug addicted outsider pornographer Trocchi. And these design gave the information to public that everyone can enjoy their style with no shame. Even in today, it still influence on youth sub-cultural.Vivienne Westwoods influences on Scottish design styleScottish Style become wold knowing in fashion by Vivienne Westwood in 1990s. Before, Scottish culture is just famous by its traditional instrument the Great Highland Bagpipe clothing, and the performers who are wearing 3 kilts. Ms. Westwood use this tartan pattern into her design with creativity. We can find it with all different shapes or colors through her collections. But she use the tartan in a complete new way, she will mix and match them , put great flash on them through Viviennes color and lining. Today, tartan become one of the main fashion style which called Preppy Look, has been wide using by many designers. But Ms. Westwood still the on who done more for tartan than any other designer – embracing the plaid extensively in her collections. The Locharron Textile Mill in Scotland created a special tartan for Westwood called the McAndreas. (Figure 3)
Vivienne Westwood mix fashion with sexualityMs. Westwoods collection Britain Must Go Pagan in 1989 was truly a show full of sexuality information. But she showed that is people privately decide what they want to do their sexuality so it is not erroneous to show it in fashion. Ms. Westwood explored a diversity of influences, from Serves porcelain to pornographic Greek scenes. The clothing reflected the inherent contradiction in Westwoods work between respect for tradition and culture and a love of parody and sexual liberty. She paired classical drapery with Prince of Wales check, Fair Isle sweaters with computer-game patterns, and designed articulated jackets and corsets with removable sleeves, inspired by medieval armour. Precise Miss Marple suits (after Agatha Christie) in thorn-proof Harris Tweed received a fillip with saucy tulle flounces. She teamed Savile Row-style jackets with nude tights with a fig leaf (Figure 4), creating something that shocked even herself: When I first did the fig leaf, in 1989, I just kept screaming. It was porno and so hilariously mad. Then I got used to it, and I think it looks so elegant and ironic. And she based this outrageous ensemble on fashion of around 1800 in which men wore flesh coloured breeches in a conscious emulation of classical statuary.Vivienne Westwood brings historical into modernHistorical 17th and 18th century are always Ms. Westwood s big element. She use these traditional elegant style dresses as the base , mix with her modern design to fit into todays lifestyle. In her interpretations of historical dress, Ms. Westwood emphasise the idea of constriction as a way to define the body and its movement and to direct posture. She explore historical costume and, from it, to develop a completely new range of clothes that would form her first catwalk collection in 1981. The Pirate collection (Figure 5) drew inspiration from historical mens clothing and became the look for the emergent New Romantics, while providing Westwood with a vastly expanded repertoire of styles of cutting and tailoring, construction, fabric design and manufacture, pattern, colour and texture. Later When Ms. Westwood was working in Italy from 1984 to 1986, she developed the crinoline idea as the Mini-Crini, abbreviating it as a provocative new shape in total contrast to the exaggerated shoulders and narrow hips of the prevailing style of power dressing.
In Vivienne Westwoods Cut, Slash and Pull collection of 1991, (Figure 6) The inspiration for this collection lay in the historical technique of cutting textiles to create a decorative pattern. In the original garments, the slashes exposed bright silk underlinings, but here Westwood reveals bare skin. To give the passionate, masculine vitality that she so admired in Tudor portraits, she used denim with hand-cut gashes and frayed edges. For the lighter fabrics, she adapted a 4 broderie anglaise machine programme, omitting the embroidery but retaining the fine, regular cuts.
To sum up, nothing is ever quite as it seems with British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. She has eccentric personality, she is an icon of rebellion. And that make she become one of the highly influential designers today. Her design always stand out of other designer with its unique technic and style which head the world into Ms Westwoods fashion fantasyland.
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