2/24/2023 - Entertainment and Well-being

God save the queen: Vivienne Westwood

By Milagros Orcellet

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The origin of punk fashion: Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in the 70's Chelsea

In the early 1970s, a small place in the Chelsea district of London, began to show in its gloomy, dark-colored, and adorned with chains. Private and even grotesque dyes as t-shirts with the face of the queen crossed by pins on the nose stood out about the other locations of King’s Road.

The store changed its name several times, but did not change its owners, Vivienne Westwood and her then husband Malcolm Mclaren.

This place began to be attended by private people, with a lifestyle that tried to get out of the imposed system and lived parallel to, people who considered art should no longer be reduced only to the contemplative, if not, that should have cultural, political and environmental impact. This clothing site was becoming the niche of the punk subculture.

In contrast to a progressive rock that not anyone could access for its musical and compositive complexity, without much technique anyone could play punk, but punk was more than a genre, it was a lifestyle and an ideology to which Vivienne gave an image according to his principles.

While New York had the Ramones or the New York Dolls, London had nothing to envy with The Clash or the Sex Pistols, but they had in common? To both sides of the ocean was as manager the husband of Vivienne: Mclaren.

Asi, she begins to shape the aesthetics of the punk scene, resembling the traditional English and religious symbolology of the hand of her greatest exponents, wearing both The Clash and the Sex Pistols (with whom she co-wrote the lyrics to the song “Who Killed Bambi?”) and even reaching the design of the dressing of the film “That’ll Be the Day. ”

However, in 1981, when presenting its first collection, it was observed a break from the aesthetics that had popularized it.

Titulada “Pirate”, evicts from London and presents it in Paris even with Mclaren, where you appreciate an aesthetic that would take bands like the Bow Wow. About this collection she herself says “I thought: the rest of the designers would go to Mexico on vacation and get ideas from there. I couldn't do that. I didn't have a hard one and I had two kids. But I could look at the past in the books [...] That's when I started thinking about pirates. It was an idea to get off the island, the small island where it was stuck, and deepen the story”.


Imágenes de su debut con "Pirate"Imágenes de su debut con "Pirate"[caption id="attachment_7427" align="aligncenter" width="564"]Imágenes de su debut con "Pirate" Images of his debut with "Pirate"[/caption]


Over the years, the massification of punk, and the loss of its original values, Vivienne also moves away from this movement, but maintaining the criteria and activism that brought it closer to this world for the first time, taking religious iconography, royalty, history books and giving them a new meaning.

Starting in 2000, he began using his parades as a space medium to continue his narrative, giving visibilizing different social problems and claiming his ideals, as in his spring-summer 2013 collection where he appeared with a large track, while on the runway the models paraded with tormented patterns of references to climate change. This fact recreates in a similar way in 2016 with fracking, making this kind of activism part of your identity as a designer.

" Climate change, not fashion, is now my priority”, I declare The Guardian in 2014. A year later, in 2015, he led a tank to the residence of the then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, as a form of protest against environmental damage.

More recently in an event as important as it is the fashion week, presenting its Autumn-Invierno collection 19/20 reiterates the message and closes its parade with a group of actors, activists, models, and intellectuals who seek to visibilize the problematic, carrying posters and posters, of which particularly one of the most striking says: "What is good for the planet is good for the economy".[caption id="attachment_ 7643" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Vivienne Westwood cerrando su show en el London Fashion Week 2015 Vivienne Westwood closing her show at London Fashion Week 2015[/caption]

His work was one before and after in the design world, mark the precedent that inspired designers such as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, as well as a plethora of references in musical and cinematic works. His legacy will transcend time, for as Bella Hadid said "I will be grateful to have been in your orbit because, for me and for most, in fashion and in humanity, you, Vivienne, were the sun" .

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milagros orcellet

Milagros Orcellet

Hello! My name is Milagros Orcellet, student of Architecture, Design and Urbanism. I write about fashion, music and design, my areas of greater interest and knowledge. I like to consider myself an amateur bassist. You can find my articles in the "Entertainment and Welfare" section.

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