- Lifestyle & Sports
- 30 Dec 22
Chrissie Hynde, Holly Johnson, Bryan Adams and Boy George are among those paying tribute to an exceptional talent
The news that we'd lost Brazilian footballing legend Pele was quickly followed last night by official word that the Queen of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, has died aged 81.
29th December 2022.
Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.
The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better. pic.twitter.com/YQwVixYUrV
— Vivienne Westwood (@FollowWestwood) December 29, 2022
"Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better," a post on her Instagram reads. "She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future."
Westwood first came to widespread attention in 1976 when she conjured up the ripped t-shirts, tartan designs and bondage trousers that clothed the Sex Pistols and many of their punk counterparts.
Along with Pistols manager and then partner Malcolm McLaren, she ran the SEX shop on London's King's Road whose staff and customers included Siouxsie Sioux, Jordan, Billie Idol and Chrissie Hynde who tweeted: "Vivienne is gone and the world is already a less interesting place."
Another SEX regular, Boy George, adds: "R.I.P to the great and inspiring Vivienne Westwood who lead us through punk and beyond. Laughed at by the fashion industry but without question she is the undisputed Queen of British fashion. I love you! Oh bondage up yours!"
Despite her starring role in the punk insurrection, she was awarded an OBE in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2006 was made a Dame for her services to the British fashion industry.
Westwood, as superbly portrayed by Talulah Riley, was in the thick of the Pistol bioseries action this year on Disney+ as you can read here:
Punk may have imploded in 1978 but Vivienne continued to push the fashion envelope for the next five decades with Harry Styles and Pistol/Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams among her young generation of admirers.
"I imagined punk as being quite blokey, but in addition to Jordan, Vivienne and Chrissie you had other strong female characters like Soo Catwoman, Siouxsie Sioux and Simone Thomas," Williams told Hot Press. "They were just as much a driving force as the boys were.
"I went to one of Vivienne’s shows, but didn’t pluck up the courage to talk to her. Fashion is a fiercely competitive industry, which she’s been at the top for almost fifty years. I’d love to sit down and have a bottle of wine with her.”
Sadly, that will now never happen but the name Vivienne Westwood will be remembered for centuries to come.
Here's a small selection of the tributes that have been paid to the punk and fashion provocateur:
Icon and iconoclast, #VivienneWestwood was a true one-off. Honoured to have worn one of her incredible creations on my wedding day twenty one years ago… pic.twitter.com/XokDZ96lOH
— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) December 30, 2022
After receiving her OBE from the Queen in 1992, Vivienne Westwood did a twirl for the photographers and revealed that she wasn’t wearing underwear (this pic is blurred). The Queen was supposedly amused by the photograph. pic.twitter.com/hdNT3zLWaR
— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) December 29, 2022
How sad I was to find out about the passing of #VivienneWestwood. Such a groundbreaking force in the fashion world. And she designed this sustainable dress I wore at @TheAcademy Awards in 2021; I never felt more beautiful. RIP, dear Vivienne. pic.twitter.com/92UjY4Vc8o
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) December 30, 2022
Vivienne Westwood R.I.P. 🧡 pic.twitter.com/SOEOV3kcwk
— Seán Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) December 29, 2022
Goodbye Vivienne Westwood @FollowWestwood you were a one off that helped change the world and the way we dressed , you made Britain less boring . A climate change activist despite the consumer culture you thrived within . pic.twitter.com/tbCaqKNCZt
— Holly Johnson (@TheHollyJohnson) December 30, 2022
V sad to hear of Vivienne’s passing, we made this photo together in 2008. She was a true original. #VivienneWestwood pic.twitter.com/7AFNF9rZ4J
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) December 30, 2022
RIP Dame Vivienne Westwood, a true pioneer. An incredible force in fashion & longtime activist who will continue to inspire for generations🕊 pic.twitter.com/bwJBhPuTn6
— Bananarama Official (@VivaBananarama) December 29, 2022
Seriously?? 💔 What a horribly sad loss... truly an extraordinary woman! #VivienneWestwood pic.twitter.com/cBUZS3s8nN
— Belinda Carlisle (@belindacarlisle) December 30, 2022
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