Can you guess what Vivienne Westwood did before she became a desginer? Record store clerk? Barmaid? Berlesque dancer? Well, before she sold lavatory chains and dog collars she was an elementary school teacher. In 1971 her passion shifted to opening her punk clothing clothing store, Let It Rock, with Malcolm McLaren (manager of the Sex Pistols). She outfitted the Sex Pistols for their first gig and gained a fanbase amongst punks.
The shop's name went through several transformations (Sex, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, Seditionaries) before becoming World's End. She still owns the shop and sells her Anglomania line from there.
Vivienne and Malcolm threw fashion through a loop with chains, bones (used to spell out words) and hair on t-shirts (sometimes all at once) and made the humble buttondown appealing to not so neat people like me. The paint drippings and writings like "Only Anarchists are Pretty"! make me smile. Miniskirts, shoes and dresses adorned in a similar unconventional manner.
Vivienne Westwood's designs correspond with one of my core interests in fashion. She was part of a place and a time that challenged typical standards of dress and behavior. Her clothes took part in a cultural and musical movement that can't be recreated and no one will forget it.