Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81

After meeting the then art student malcolm mclarenWestwood gave birth to her second son, Joseph Corré, in 1967, and her two children grew up together in south London, where she taught at a primary school. ‘I was a very good teacher,’ Westwood told The Guardian in 2007. ‘Except I always liked the kids that everyone considered a pain in the ass. The Little Rebels’.

In 1971, Westwood and McLaren they opened a boutique (for a few hours each afternoon) on the King’s Road called let it rock, where they sold memorabilia from the 50s and dandy outfits. There they made teddy boy pants, draped coats and mohair jumpers, before going on to dress the 70s punk band Sex Pistols; around the same time, they began selling T-shirts with slogans and colored words stylized from chicken bones, pants with front-to-back zippers, and tie-dyed tops.

Over the years, the store has acquired new names: Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die (Too fast to live, too young to die) in 1972, gender (Sex) in 1974 (with the introduction of fetish latex dresses, nipple clamps and spiked shoes), Seditionaries (Seditious) in 1976 and, finally, World’s End (End of the World) in 1979. ‘I’ve got a reputation for being a bit of a sex maniac and things like that, and I’m not,’ Westwood told The Guardian in 2007. I love that quote from Jean Shrimpton: ‘Sex has never been in top of my priority list. Before parting ways, Westwood and McLaren designed together the iconic Pirate collection from 1981inspired by the New Romanticism, under the label World’s End, with the ruffled-sleeved blouses, the rigid felt hats and the jacquard pants that covered the pages of British Vogue that same year.

‘It changed the way people look at it,’ says Westwood of some of his most emblematic collections, such as Buffalo/Nostalgia of Mud (1982), the creation of the minicrini (mini crinolines) in 1985 and the launch of his line Anglomania in 1993. ‘I was a punk messianic, to see if I could somehow put a pike in the system’, she says, ‘and I realized that there was no subversion without ideas. It is not enough to want to destroy everything’.

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