Vivienne Westwood, iconic fashion designer, dies at 81

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Vivienne Westwood, an influential manner maverick who performed a important role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81. Westwood’s eponymous vogue property introduced her loss of life on social media platforms, expressing she died peacefully. A result in of dying was not disclosed in the statement. Westwood’s style job […]

Vivienne Westwood, an influential manner maverick who performed a important role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.

Westwood’s eponymous vogue property introduced her loss of life on social media platforms, expressing she died peacefully. A result in of dying was not disclosed in the statement.

Westwood’s style job began in the 1970s with the punk explosion, when her radical solution to urban avenue model took the environment by storm. But she went on to take pleasure in a long profession highlighted by a string of triumphant runway exhibits in London, Paris, Milan and New York.

The name Westwood became synonymous with type and frame of mind even as she shifted emphasis from year to calendar year. Her selection was huge and her get the job done was in no way predictable.

As her stature grew, she seemed to transcend style, with her types proven in museum collections all through the environment. The younger girl who had scorned the British institution sooner or later became 1 of its major lights, and she utilized her elite placement to foyer for environmental reforms even as she retained her hair dyed the dazzling shade of orange that became her trademark.

Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood watches rehearsals forward of her present for the duration of London Trend 7 days at Royal Higher education of Surgeons on Feb. 21, 2016 in London, England.

John Phillips / Getty Images


Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, reported Westwood would be celebrated for revolutionary the punk appear, pairing a radical style strategy with the anarchic punk appears developed by the Sex Pistols, managed by her then-husband or wife, Malcolm McLaren.

“They gave the punk movement a look, a type, and it was so radical it broke from anything in the previous,” he reported. “The ripped shirts, the security pins, the provocative slogans. She launched postmodernism. It was so influential from the mid-70s. The punk motion has under no circumstances dissipated — it truly is turn into section of our trend vocabulary. It can be mainstream now.”

Westwood’s lengthy occupation was comprehensive of contradictions: She was a lifelong rebel who was honored several moments by Queen Elizabeth II. She dressed like a teen even in her 60s and became an outspoken advocate of combating world warming, warning of planetary doom if climate transform was not managed.

In her punk times, Westwood’s clothing have been generally deliberately surprising: T-shirts embellished with drawings of naked boys, and “bondage pants” with sadomasochistic overtones have been common fare in her well known London shops. But Westwood was equipped to make the transition from punk to haute couture with out missing a beat, holding her vocation heading without stooping to self-caricature.

“She was always seeking to reinvent fashion. Her do the job is provocative, it’s transgressive. It truly is extremely a lot rooted in the English tradition of pastiche and irony and satire. She is pretty very pleased of her Englishness, and however she sends it up,” Bolton stated.

A single of individuals transgressive and contentious styles showcased a swastika, an inverted image of Jesus Christ on the cross and the word “Demolish.” In an autobiography prepared with Ian Kelly, she explained it was intended as section of a statement from politicians torturing folks, citing Chile’s Augusto Pinochet. When questioned if she regretted the swastika design in a 2009 job interview with Time journal, Westwood claimed no.

“I never, since we ended up just declaring to the more mature era, ‘We don’t accept your values or your taboos, and you might be all fascists,'” she responded.

She approached her function with gusto in her early yrs, but above time seemed to tire of the clamor and excitement. Immediately after a long time of planning, she at times spoke wistfully of moving past vogue so she could concentrate on environmental matters and academic tasks.

“Fashion can be so uninteresting,” she informed The Associated Press right after unveiling one particular of her new collections at a 2010 display. “I’m striving to uncover a little something else to do.” At the time, she was conversing up ideas to start off a tv series about art and science.

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