Vivienne Westwood: 15 Facts You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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Vivienne Westwood has been an iconic figure in the fashion world since she got her start in the late 1960s-early 1970s. Best known for her collaborations with Malcolm McLaren, she was instrumental in creating what people know today as the iconic British punk look. Read on to find out more about Vivienne Westwood, and keep an eye out for part two of our list, coming soon.

Number Fifteen: In 1995, She Had to Make Two Lines. At this point, her “hourglass figure” shapes were becoming so full that her original designs were deemed too extreme for people to wear. She had to make a second line that was less extreme so that people would purchase her designs.

Number Fourteen: She Collaborated with Malcolm McLaren. Malcolm McLaren owned a store at 40 Kings Road starting in the early 1970s where Westwood would sell her designs. Over the years, the shop, originally named “Let It Rock,” would change names, with its most famous incarnation being the biker, fetishist-themed “Sex.” The two of them would collaborate as well, with Westwood crafting all of McLaren’s conceptions.

Number Thirteen: Westwood Had an Affair with McLaren. Not only did they collaborate on clothes, they were also intimates. McLaren is the reason Vivienne Westwood left her first husband. Westwood and McLaren purchased a council flat in Clapham and had a son together.

Number Twelve: Westwood Dressed the Sex Pistols. A pioneer of punk style, Vivienne Westwood wanted to push the envelope and “put a spoke in the system.” Hers and McLaren designs included BDSM styles, bondage gear, safety pins, chains, razor blades and spiked dog collars, which became synonymous with punk style. As McLaren is best known for creating and managing British punk pioneers the Sex Pistols, Westwood would dress the band in her and McLaren’s designs.

Number Eleven: She Created a Line of Shoes for Nine West. Westwood teamed up with the shoe brand in 2006 as part of their Project Front Row series. The first designer to participate, she developed a limited edition collection for them based on her designs, which were sold in select Nine West and Macy’s locations.

Number Ten: She Designed an Academic Gown. King’s College London approached Westwood in 2007 to design the institution’s academic graduation gowns. She has said that the gowns are a reflection of the past, present and future, and premiered in 2008.

Number Nine: Pharrell Made One of Her Hats Popular Again. At the 2014 Grammy Awards, Pharrell Williams turned heads with his large brown hat and red track suit. The hat was actually designed by Vivienne Westwood as part of her 1982-1983 Buffalo collection. The entire outfit was an homage to Malcolm McLaren’s “Buffalo Gals” music video. Check back soon for part two of our list of 15 interesting facts about Vivienne Westwood.

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