The multi-talented British designer Vivienne Westwood (born Vivienne Isabel Swire) is widely recognized for her trademark modern punk and unique fashion designs. Growing up in the punk era, Westwood was fascinated by punk fashion and began to create clothing to reflect this. From her first fashion show in 1981 Westwood has become a name that is recognised world wide and one that is associated with shocking and distinctive fashion designs. She has gone on to create one-of-a-kind collections, has won British Designer of the year three times and was even awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II making her Dame Vivienne Westwood. It is safe to say that Westwood is an inspiration to both current and upcoming designers. Here are a few things that you didn’t know…
1) She started her career as a teacher-
Westwood began studying fashion at Harrow School of Art in London, but left after just one year. She went on to complete a teacher training course and then worked as a primary school teacher where she taught for a year. After this period, Westwood began to pursue her career in fashion design.
2) She’s done her bit for charity-
In 2011 Vivienne Westwood created exclusive t-shirts for Red Nose Day. These designs contained iconic historical images wearing a red nose and were available in both adults and children’s
sizes. All profit made went to comic relief.
3) She saves the world with fashion-
Vivienne Westwood collaborated with People Tree in 2011 to create a rare t-shirt dress that would raise awareness of deforestation. From every sale £7 was donated to the Society for Human Development and would help tribes whose forest land had been destroyed. Similarly, her wrapping paper design that appeared in the Sun newspaper in December 2010 was used to ‘subtly’ raise awareness of climate change and encourage people to recycle.
4) She gives a good makeover-
After the Brit Award organisers decided in 2011 to create a new trophy that would be altered each year by a different British designer, the obvious choice to design the first trophy was none other than Vivienne Westwood. The trophy was dressed in an incredibly stylish union jack dress and contained the logo ‘Stop! Climate change’ across the bottom.
5) She’s inspired by London 2012-
Westwood’s Man Spring/Summer 2012 collection is inspired by the London Olympics that will take place in 2012. She has dedicated this collection to the athletes and states that the ‘gentleman sportsman’ was her inspiration. This collection merges sportswear with formal clothing presenting the message to ‘dress up’ and giving ideas of what to wear to events at the Olympics.
It is clear why Vivienne Westwood is described as the ‘first lady of fashion’. Her passion for charitable work, consistent success and unique designs make her an incredibly powerful lady. Shop her latest designs at viviennewestwood.co.uk.