Vivienne Westwood dies: Five times British fashion legend courted controversy

Legendary English style designer Vivienne Westwood died on Thursday at the age of 81. She will be remembered for ushering in traits like modern-day punk and new wave to preferred trend. She attained fame when she built outfits for the boutique she ran with the late impresario Malcolm McLaren on West London’s King’s Highway. The boutique came to be regarded as Sexual intercourse. Westwood and McLaren blended garments and trend to form the punk scene of the 1970s United Kingdom. McLaren was also a manager of the Sexual intercourse Pistols, the band that pioneered the punk motion in the United kingdom.

Like the punk motion by itself, Westwood was anything of an anti-institution figure, and was never concerned to share her sights in the most eloquent way she knew—through style. In this article are the moments she courted controversy:

A no-underwear physical appearance at the Buckingham Palace


The Order of the British Empire is one particular of Britain’s best honours and gives the title ‘Sir’ to males and ‘Dame’ to girls. Vivienne Westwood was bestowed with the honour in 1992. The honour includes a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the seat of the Windsors, the British royal loved ones. Westwood did settle for the honour (lots of remaining-leaning figures involved in British counterculture don’t). But she was not going down without the need of a combat. She turned up at the spot without having underwear. She even did a twirl for the photographers, um, showcase her sartorial decision.

Margaret Thatcher impersonation


On the 1989 go over of Tatler journal, Westwood appeared as the then British Primary Minister and Conservative Occasion politician Margaret Thatcher. She reportedly even donned the suit that Thatcher experienced purchased but had not collected. The image appeared on the April Fools edition of the magazine and demonstrates Westwood seeking uncannily like Thatcher. The stunt, nonetheless, price tag the magazine’s editor Emma Soames her task. 

Birthday present to David Cameron

It was not just Thatcher, in 2014 Westwood also took purpose at then-Prime Minister David Cameron. She sent to 10 Downing Avenue an ironic birthday desire that incorporated a letter and a box of asbestos to protest in opposition to fracking, a practice of drilling holes into the ground and sending a significant-force combination of h2o, sand and substances to extract gasoline and oil. Fracking severely damages ecosystems. Westwood claimed that Cameron was “taking part in Russian roulette with the life of the British community.”

Shirt with the Nazi symbol and graphic of an inverted Christ

In 1977, Westwood wore a shirt that had the Nazi symbol, which signifies fascism and anti-Semitism, emblazoned on it, and also an picture of the inverted Christ image, reported to be anti-Christian and Satanic. The anarchic piece of clothing represented the punk politics of Westwood and McLaren. Because sporting that controversial shirt, Westwood has explained that she wore it as a protest towards dictators all over the globe.

Anti-feminist views

Vivienne Westwood

If there is just one specific, quick matter to be said about Westwood, she was contradictory. You would feel soon after all that anti-establishment and anti-conservative views and antics, she would be an avowed feminist. No this sort of matter. She said she essentially identifies as an anti-feminist.  “They never see the wooden for the trees and everything has to be viewed from this feminist stage of see,” she after told The Guardian. 

She included, “I know women have endured and I assume it can be great that persons stand up for women’s legal rights, but the dilemma with feminists is that they someway look at girls to be top-quality beings. And in the stop, they just want to be males anyway.”