Dame Vivienne Westwood is a british fashion designer known for her rebellious style and outrageous outfits and is largely responsible for brining modern punk and new wave fashions into the main stream.
In 1970 Vivienne Westwood along side her partner Malcom McLaren opened the shop Let It Rock at 430 Kings Road, Chelsea, London as a showcase of their ideas.
While this was happening he hippy movement was in full swing and Rock 'n' Roll was not even played on the radio. The shop sold Rock 'n' Roll records and memorabilia as well as a stock of Fifties inspired Designs.
The shop was very popular and people came from all over the country fuelling a revival of the period as Elvis Presley was making a comeback.
In 1972 the shop was then redecorated and and the name was changed to Too Fast to Live. Too Young To Die which reflected Vivienne's shift of interest to rockers and black urban culture.
She then sold leather clothing adorned with zips and chains, tee shirts with slogans and pornographic images as well as zoot suits worn by Black Americans in the Fifties.
Vivienne designed clothes for the band New York Dolls.
In 1976 the punk style is born as Vivienne took the 'do it yourself' look and designed clothing for the Sex Pistols who played their first gig wearing clothes from the shop which by now was renamed Seditionaries.
The clothes represented the influences of the ideas Vivienne used in her work up to that time. Zips, rips, bondage gear, porn, slogans, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle or lavatory chains on clothing and spiked dog collars that were used as jewelery as well as the outrageous make-up and hair all featured to give the look.
By 1979 the shop was renamed yet again as World's End.
1981 Vivienne had her first catwalk show, the Pirate collection, her design style had evolved so that her main interest included not only the youth street culture but the tradition and technique. Vivienne worked historical factors into her collection by using historical 17th-18th century original cutting principles and modernising them. This collection was all about 'gold and treasure, adventure and exploration'.
Her Pirate collection was shown at Olympia followed by Savage (1982), she then had Buffalo (1982-3) and Punkature (1983) shown in Paris.
Buffalo and Punkature
By 1990 she designed her first complete menswear collection, Cut and Slash. Later that year she opened her shop at 6 Davies Street, in London's Mayfair and sold her Gold Label collection.
Vivienne then went on to design wedding gowns for her collections, opened new stores in places like New York, Hong Kong, Milan, Liverpool, created a watch for Swatch called Puttis and lanched a menswear label called Man, while bringing out her debut fragrance Boudior, shoes and accessories.
In September 2005, Vivienne joined forces with British civil rights group Liberty and launched exclusive limited design T-shirts and baby wear bearing the slogan "I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don't arrest me".
Vivienne Westwood still designs today and has received many awards for her cutting edge but classic designs. Vivienne has had a revolutionary impact on high fashion still felt to this day.