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Fashion Icon Vivienne Westwood Dies at 81

This Thursday, British designer and fashion icon Vivienne Westwood passed away at 81 years old, surrounded by family in Clapham, South London, according to the.


The public renounces the designer as the “High Priestess of Punk” for the innovative way she combined music and fashion. This first started with the attention she gained from the shop she ran, Malcolm McLaren on. Her flair for bondage gear and platforms dominated punk scenes in the 1970s UK, which McLaren’s band he managed, the Sex Pistols, dominated.


Westwood changed fashion forward in other ways, often becoming very political in her pieces. As stated, she has “always had a political agenda and has used fashion to challenge the status quo.” That she did, creating activism through the fabric. The most significant piece in her vast body of work is her Propaganda collection. A gown is reminiscent of 1950s French haute couture assembled by draping around the body in a single unbroken length. It broke the conventional drapery and way of dressmaking, which is the core of her design process: to break the pattern.


She also was conscious of the materials used in her designs, using sustainable materials like organic cotton, linen, and recycled synthetic fabrics. The company’s  HYPERLINK "" webpage details its sustainability and lays down its policies and roots in activism as a part of fashion. She has also used her name and status to launch a campaign for Climate Revolution and later a global movement to stop local drilling and industrial fishing in the arctic.


Vivienne Westwood’s career is not just one of style and flair but a steady path in activism that holds impact today. She is survived by her children and third husband, Andreas, who will continue to carry on her legacy in fashion.

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