The world of British fashion has lost a stalwart. 81-year-old Vivienne Westwood passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Popularly dubbed the 'Queen of British Fashion' Westwood rose to prominence during the 70s as her designs coincided with the rise of Punk in Britain. The cause of death was not shared at the time of the announcement. According to reports, Westwood was in good health and continued working until the very end and doing what she loved the most, creating radical designs for people to wear.
Queen of British Fashion, Vivienne Westwood Passes Away At 81
A Legacy Spanning Six Decades
Following her unfortunate passing, her brand put out a statement on Instagram. The statement said, "Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better. She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future."
A Taoist Till the End
The statement continued, "Vivienne considered herself a Taoist. She wrote, “Tao spiritual system. There was never more need for the Tao today. Tao gives you a feeling that you belong to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life; it gives you such a sense of identity and strength to know you’re living the life you can live and therefore ought to be living: make full use of your character and full use of your life on earth.”
Rise to Prominence
Westwood had an interest in fashion from a very young age and used to design her own clothes. When she was a teenager, Westwood enrolled in a jewelry and fashion design course, however, she did not see how a middle-class woman such as herself could earn money in this field and dropped out because of that. Fortunes for Westwood changed when she met Malcolm McLaren. The pair continued to create designs that became extremely popular after the band's sex pistols started wearing their designs since McLaren was their manager.
Things started to pick up steam when McLaren and Westwood led the punk movement in London. Their store in London SEX, became a hotspot for punk fans to converge and talk music as well as fashion. Over the years, Westwood became a regular at fashion shows but as always did things her way. Most notably, she sent Kate Moss out on the runway bare-chested eating ice cream, and almost broke Naomi Campbell's ankle when the supermodel failed to stay upright on a pair of her nine-inch platform heels.