“Buy less, choose well & do it yourself!”
A look back at legendary Dame Vivienne Westwoods’ whirlwind career and transformative fashion moments.

Born on April 8, 1941, in the village of Tintwistle, Cheshire, Vivienne Isabel Swire, now the late Dame Vivienne Westwood grew up with a sausage factory worker father and a greengrocer’s assistant mother, Gordon and Dora. The British Fashion Designer left her hometown for London in 1957, meeting her then-partner, Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm McLaren. Eager to reflect her attitude, Westwood started designing for the band, creating a new aesthetic that’s now known as Punk Rock, and ultimately shaping the course of fashion and pop culture since the early 70s.

Fiercely devoted to revealing beauty in absurdity, Westwood claimed to have created clothes for heroes. She found her momentum by continuously pushing the boundaries of fashion, flaunting vulnerability, activism and politics in her art. Whether it was printing, knitting, pinning or painting – Westwood was an exhibitionist: she used her brand as a world fair for her beliefs.

“I don’t use fashion to open people’s eyes. I use fashion as a medium to embody my eyes.”

– Vivienne Westwood

With Westwood, what you saw was what you got – innovation, art and individuality. To her, beauty was intelligence and intelligence was imagination.

From seminal punk to conservative 17th-century dress to parodying upper classes, Westwood played with history, experimenting with all types of aesthetics and themes.

In the ’90s Westwood changed her aesthetic again, merging historical references with modern proportion and precision-cut tailoring. Playing around with powerful supermodels and subversive designs, Westwood took over the runways, delivering some of the most memorable moments in fashion history.

Vivienne Westwood excelled in all her ventures. By being fully and truly her, Westwood will be remembered as the epitome of rebellion and inspiration in the fashion world. Her work will always be nothing less than groundbreaking.

Born and Raised in Abu Dhabi, Palestinian creative Dujanah Jarrar reports on all things imaginative, immediate and intimate. Passionate about shifting perceptions and cultivating insight, her writings carry themes of cultural placement, identity and representation, exploring what innovative collaboration and creativity mean today.