Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vivienne Westwood: Fashion Icon

Dame, fashion goddess and business maven, Vivienne Westwood is a living legend. Her quirky yet sophisticated image introduced looks from new wave and punk into the fashion and cultural mainstream decades ago. Today, she is one of the most recognised and sought-after fashion designers in the world.

From humble beginnings as an art student in London, young Vivienne became enamoured with the burgeoning punk movement which began in the 1970s. Her fashion and style drew inspiration from the reckless abandon personified by early punks. She mixed unusual fabrics and asymmetrical cuts to create looks which in time would take her to the top of the fashion world. Now a fashion establishment, Westwood has expanded her line considerably. While here women's line is of course popular, Vivienne Westwood shoes, accessories and handbags are also a hit. Often less expensive than the dresses, Vivienne Westwood shoes are popular due to their unique use of colour and materials.

Despite her punk origins, Westwood has found many clients in the mainstream. Most notably, the women of British royal family are often spotted at events adorned in Vivienne's outfits. Always a hit with celebrities, Westwood's garments are a staple of Hollywood red carpets and galas. In 2008, a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress was prominently featured in the film Sex and the City, where the film's main character Carrie is gifted the dress by Vivienne herself.

Even at 70, Westwood shows no signs of letting up. Her latest collection has been a hit on the runways and in stores. Filled with greys, dark blues and black, the 2012 collection evokes a powerful image. On the runway, the looks pay homage to distinctive looks in the past with references to Victorian England and Japanese Geisha girls. Models were adorned in dark makeup and teetered upon high Vivienne Westwood shoes while strutting down the walkway.

After decades of continued success in the very fickle fashion industry, Vivienne has achieved an iconic status that very few people experience. Breaking through cultural and social norms, she brought a tough and wild image to the public and was received with open arms. In 30 years she has gone from dressing punk rockers to princesses and has also been the subject of an art exhibit at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A pioneering force in fashion and business, the Vivienne Westwood brand is sure to remain a staple in fashion houses for years to come.

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