Happy birthday to Dame Vivienne Westwood! Born on April 8, 1941, Westwood's career has spanned generations of fashion, from 1970s punk to her more recent interest in historicism. Today we salute her work by taking a close look at a plaid wool suit she designed in the early 1990s.
British designer Vivienne Westwood (b.1941) began her fashion career in the early 1970s, just as the prevailing fashions began a shift towards the aggressive look of punk. Embracing a design sense that explored the possibilities of decay and destruction, punk was a challenge to the concept of clothing as a means to beautify the individual. Though Westwood did not single-handedly generate the edgy and confrontational look of punk, her early work is closely associated with the visual essentials of punk style, including bondage references and intentionally ripped or torn fabrics. While these design features may seem almost commonplace today, in the late 1970s they were a radical departure from the romantic and non-Western influences present in late sixties style. This new look was simultaneously shocking and influential.