What Makes Vivienne Westwood Rock?
Long before she was a line in a Gwen Stefani song and felled supermodel Naomi Campbell with her 10-inch platform shoes, Vivienne Westwood (April 8, 1941, Glossop, Derbyshire, England) was a punk. In fact, most credit Westwood as punk fashion’s creator.
Her most famous looks early on were the punk rock fashions she put on the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls and the pirate looks of Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow.
It all started in 1971 when she and her partner Malcolm McLaren (who later went on to manage the Sex Pistols, New York Dolls and Bow Wow Wow) opened up a boutique called Let It Rock on King’s Road in the Chelsea area of London. They started selling 50s inspired clothes and old 78s. Over the years, the shop has been named Too Fast To Live/Too Young To Die, Sex, and Seditionaries. It is currently called World’s End. And, the fashions evolved from 50s rock and roll to punk rock clothing with zippers, chains, and safety pins to S&M-inspired clothing such as her famed bondage pants and rubberwear.
Through the years, Westwood revived the corset, made asymmetry and plaids must-haves, brought Victorian-era fashion ideas to modern times, took the super-high platform shoe from the fetish world to the runway (It was in 1993 that Naomi Campbell famously fell off of Westwood’s electric blue platform shoes on a Paris catwalk), and gave an edge to the power suit (remember that stunning chalk-striped suit Carrie Bradshaw wore to her meeting at Vogue in season four of Sex and the City – Westwood!).
And, let’s not forget her wedding dresses she designed the purple gown Dita Von Teese wore to her year-long marriage to Marilyn Manson and the huge white gown Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the upcoming Sex and the City: The Movie.
If that’s not enough, even her offspring rocks! Westwood and McLaren’s son Joseph Corre is the founder of the sexy lingerie line Agent Provocateur.
Passage from Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend, and to Living Life Like a Rock Star by Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna.
Check back next Wednesday for more from her book!