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Vivienne Westwood: World’s End 1980, an artistic legacy like no other

Vivienne Westwood, punk designer and environmental activist at a podium

The designer Vivienne Westwood left us on December 29, 2022. She will forever remain an iconic figure in contemporary fashion. At Ecostylia, we have chosen to remember particularly World’s End 1980, his cult collection. But, before coming back to it, in a few lines, who was Vivianne Westwood?

Vivianne Westwood: a fashion legend

Vivienne Westwood is a British fashion designer, who became known in the 1970s as part of the punk movement. His designs have been described as “anti-fashion”, combining traditional elements with outrageousness and provocation. She drew on her own life experiences, using them to make bold statements about the role of “sex” (gender was not yet spoken of) and power structures within society.

In addition to setting trends, she also had an incredible impact on the subcultures that followed her work – from punk rockers to Goths to new romantics and beyond.

World’s End 1980: the collection that made history

Today, World’s End 1980 is undoubtedly one of the most influential fashion collections of the last decades. It is a sort of retrospective of Vivienne Westwood’s work. Made from waste materials, this collection synthesizes the main stylistic innovations carried by the British designer.

World’s End 1980 can be seen as a testament both stylistically and in its conception. Indeed, it is a synthesis of its various contributions to the world of fashion. Moreover, the fact of building these new rooms in the remains of waste is a way to mark its consideration of ecology. While she didn’t talk much about it during her lifetime, it could be a final contribution. A way of saying “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed” as the chemist Antoine Lavoisier would have said.

The very committed Vivienne Westwood speaking
The very committed Vivienne Westwood speaking

A punk, rock and baroque style

Since her first creation, released in 1981, the English designer has never stopped reinventing herself with pieces that have always transgressed the codes of fashion, while bringing perennial innovations to the world of fashion. She has often been compared to the French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who also searched the limits of art several times.

Without ever renouncing her punk movement, Vivienne Westwood has asserted herself in the very conventional world of fashion design with authentic creations, mixing the world of rock, high fashion and many British subcultures, which had never been represented in fashion week shows.

Vivienne Westwood’s legacy lives on

Portrait of the committed British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood
Portrait of the committed British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood

Today, Vivienne Westwood’s legacy continues to inspire fashion designers and trendsetters around the world. His designs have been seen on runways from Paris to Tokyo, and his iconic 1980 World’s End collection continues to be emulated today.

Let’s hope that her husband and creative teammate Andreas Kronthaler will continue her artistic legacy.

Whether you’re going for a classic punk look or something more modern, you can be sure that Vivienne Westwood will always be remembered as one of the greatest fashion designers of all time.

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