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Vivienne Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood is a national institution recognised as an innovator who brought modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. Westwood came to public notice when she made clothes for Malcolm McLaren's boutique in the King's Road, which became famous as "SEX". It was their ability to synthesise clothing and music that shaped the 1970s UK punk scene, dominated by McLaren's band, the Sex Pistols. She was deeply inspired by the shock-value of punk - "seeing if one could put a spoke in the system". Her first catwalk ("Pirates") show in 1981 featured a collaboration with McLaren. Westwood's subsequent theme titles in the early years included "Savage" (1982), "Buffalo Girls" (1982–83) and "Clint Eastwood" (1984–85) under the Worlds Ends label; she stopped producing the line in 1985 to concentrate on her Vivienne Westwood lines. She dubbed the period 1981 to 1985 "New romantice" and 1988–91 as "The Pagan Years" during which "Vivienne’s heroes changed from punks and ragamuffins to ‘Tatler’ girls wearing clothes that parodied the upper class." A chance encounter inspired one of her most important and influential collections, the Harris Tweed collection of 1987. Since 2000, Vivienne Westwood has put historicism to one side, returning to a more asexual cut, exploring the natural dynamic of the fabric by treating it like a living mass.