Vivienne Westwood’s most shocking moments
Vivienne Westwood is the grand dame of British fashion, having been at the forefront of cutting edge, close to the bone, style since she set up her London boutique Sex, with her partner, Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren.
As she gets ready for her Autumn/ Winter 16 show at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday (05March16), we look back at Vivienne’s best runway moments.
The designer’s first foray into catwalk fashion came in 1981 when, along with Malcolm, Vivienne presented the Pirate Collection. It showcased her rebellious side, as after helping to create the punk scene in the ‘70s, the designer rallied against it when punk went too mainstream. The show kick-started the New Romantic fashion, favoured by the likes of ‘80s superstars like Adam Ant and Boy George.
The design duo followed the show up with evocative lines like Savages, Punkature and Witches, before dissolving their partnership.
Vivienne’s namesake label went from strength to strength, which led to a royal honour from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. In 1992 she received an OBE, and upon collecting it decided to forgo underwear. The fact that she was sans undergarments would have remained a secret, but the material maverick decided to take a spin for waiting photographers, happily showing them what was (or rather what was not) underneath her skirt.
A year later in 1993 queen of the catwalk Naomi Campbell was tasked with walking the Vivienne Westwood Paris Fashion Week show in a pair of 11-inch purple platforms. Despite her many years strutting down runways, Naomi was no match for the towering footwear, and she took a tumble in front of the world’s media. Naomi finally conquered the pesky platforms during an appearance on the Jonathan Ross show 20 years after her fall.
While Vivienne continued to raise eyebrows as fashion seasons passed by, it wasn’t until 2009 that she pulled out the big guns on the shocking front. Posing for legendary photographer Juergen Teller’s Men And Women exhibition, Vivienne carried on where she’d left off at her OBE ceremony, posing naked. She was 68 at the time, and looked completely at ease reclining on an antique sofa, showing off every inch of her alabaster white skin.
In 2012, Vivienne went back to her pirate roots as she stormed the stage following her Spring/Summer 13 Red Label show at London Fashion Week. Spectators gawked with delight when the then 71-year-old appeared at the end of the showcase wearing a tiny pair of shorts and a slashed white tee bearing the slogan Climate Revolution. The look was finished with a drawn on eye patch and moustache.
Two years later the designer shaved off her dyed orange locks, opting instead for a natural grey scattering of hair.
While we don’t know what’s in store for Saturday’s show, one things for sure; proceedings will be anything but boring!