Dame Vivienne Westwood, English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream, died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, South London, today, her representatives said in a statement.
The 81-year-old’s husband and creative partner, Andreas Kronthaler, said: “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with…Thank you darling,” he said.
Westwood came to public notice when she made clothes for the boutique that she and Malcolm McLaren ran on King’s Road, which became known as SEX. Their ability to synthesize clothing and music shaped the 1970s UK punk scene which was dominated by McLaren’s band, the Sex Pistols. Always avant-garde and provocative, she viewed punk as a way of “seeing if one could put a spoke in the system.”
Despite her edginess, she also captivated a mainstream audience. Westwood’s designs were featured in the 2008 film adaptation of the television series Sex and the City. In the film, Carrie Bradshaw becomes engaged to long-term lover Mr. Big. Being a writer at Vogue, she is invited by her editor to model wedding dresses, including a design made by Westwood. The dress is subsequently sent to Carrie as a gift, with a handwritten note from Westwood herself, and Carrie decides to use the Westwood gown. The wedding dress has been described as one of the movie’s most iconic features, adding to Westwood’s considerable luster.
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