The question was asked on the Kitmeout forum:
“I am a big Vivienne Westwood fan. How many men here buy Vivienne Westwood menswear? Do most people still see it as a ladies brand?
Does Vivienne Westwood have the same problem as Juicy Couture appealing to the menswear market? ”
Take a butchers at the full thread here – see more
To my mind Vivienne Westwood doesn’t have a problem in the menswear market. Viv’s connection to the Sex Pistols will always ensure her brand has a macho edge. I think her nigger problem is convincing punters of her ethical credentials which she’s being attempt to tout over the past few years.
Are fashion personas a dated phenomenon, Girogio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto and so on… ? Has society move beyond worshipping the cult of the personality and up to a more profound level where style is held in higher regard than the hype generated around a single personality. Maybe the question is even, has the Internet helped fashion evolve from a monarchy (cult of personality) to a democracy?
Vivienne Westwood predicts humanity is heading for the gas chamber.
Her extreme viewpoints on human rights, the financial crisis and the environment ended up being the focus of a Guardian profile from this weekend. She’s even reluctant to encourage people to buy her clothes.
On the inevitability of human extinction:
I will say something that sounds terrible. We’re all going into the gas chamber, and what I’m saying is that it’s not a bathroom. We’re going to be killed. The human race faces mass extinction.
On the contradiction between selling expensive clothes while fighting to save the planet from the harm that consumerism is supposedly doing to it:
‘My message is: choose well and buy less,’ she said then – as if to suggest you should buy one Westwood dress rather than filling Primark trolleys regularly.
‘I don’t feel comfortable defending my clothes. For 15 years I hated fashion.’ Why? ‘It’s not very intellectual, and I wanted to read, not make fashion. It was something I was good at; it wasn’t all of me.’
Dame Vivienne said she donated the money after learning that only a tiny amount of the $6.5 billion (£4.2 billion) committed to the World Bank’s Climate Investments Funds (CIF) has been spent.
Dame Vivienne has pledged the cash to the charity Cool Earth, which is trying to raise £7 million to prevent logging in the rainforests of Borneo, the Congo Basin and Peru.
Here we take a butchers at one of Kitmeout’s favourite fashion brands:
“I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution.” remarks Dame Vivienne Westwood, who cites China as the key inspiration behind her Spring/Summer 2012 Gold Label collection at Paris Fashion Week. “I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet,” she added.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT VIVIENNE WESTWOOD GOLD LABEL
THE COLLECTION has 3 main influences : China, because I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet; the desert because of climate change; and 17th century corsets.
When I was in Nairobi I met Mr. Xijia Wang who is working there with the United Nations. Our conversation left me with the wish to sum up my ideas. The result is the World Family Tree which you will see printed on Tshirts and bags. Mr. Wang wrote my name and the words “Green economy” in his calligraphy and I incorporated this in a print taken from Chinese flower painting.
There is a blow-up oversize jacket called the Mao jacket and I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution. Perhaps our love of uniforms comes from a wish to look alike, be part of a group – and maybe a group not happy with the status quo.
The desert inspired me to look at the Berbers with their burnous and the Tuaregs with their layers and their sunlight blue. There is a lot of black, indigo and copper fabric plus whites. Dresses are long.
Something I always do is mix up historical dress with ethnic clothes and new shapes or it could be a torn scrap of dress worn with court shoes and a chic handbag.
For some time I wanted to do oversize historical corsets. I thought I could give them a feeling of armour, worn as a jacket they would look touph – like a soldier or biker. The corsets we chose to oversize are from the England of Charles II; those beauties who, in their portraits dressed themselves in the sheets and satin covers pulled from the bed.
One of Kitmeout’s favourite brands, Vivienne Westwood, has been issued with legal proceedings by Hervia.
Hervia Limited, which operates seven Vivienne Westwood shops in regional cities, has issued High Court proceedings for breach of contract after the designer sought to end a long-standing franchise agreement in June.
“The litigation relates to an attempt by Vivienne Westwood to terminate an existing franchise agreement which has been in place between both parties since 1995, allowing Hervia to operate branded stores in the North of England and Midlands for a total of 60 years,” Hervia said.
60 years! Really? That is one messed up agreement if true.
Vivienne Westwood said it was fighting back, adding that it had successfully defended Hervia’s application for an interim injunction, which was refused by the court.
“While proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further on the matter, save to say that pending the outcome of the litigation, the parties will continue to work together in the best interests of the brand,” it said.
Vivienne Westwood Menswear S/S 2011
With denim at her centre, Dame Vivienne Westwood takes handy-man chic to a whole other level. The look is shamelessly rough and ready artisan ahoy! The shirts exhibit the same contrived randomness which makes the whole collection a shining paradox or pure Westwood which we’ve all come to love and admire.
Taking a leaf out of Maclaren’s old book of the contrived “rough and ready”, Select’s Tati joins Vivienne Westwood, her husband Andreas Kronthaler and Pamela Anderson for a graffiti adorned spring 2010 campaign image photographed by Juergen Teller.
Vivienne Westwood is perhaps one of fashion’s most anti-establishment figures (how could the queen mother of the sex pistols not be), but that hasn’t stopped her from teaming with the posh British firm Cole & Son for a collection of wallpaper. The range, based on designs from past ready-to-wear collections, launched this month under the label Vivienne Westwood for Cole & Son. The wallpaper designs include Squiggle, which was taken from Westwood’s autumn 1981 Pirate collection, and Cut Out Lace, based on a fragment of antique lace taken from the spring 2007 I Am Expensiv collection. Prices range from 55 pounds, or $87, for a standard roll to 188 pounds, or $298, for a trompe l’oeil design that looks like a ruched tartan fabric. The collection will be available through Cole & Son’s U.S. stockists later this year. “This collection is a perfect opportunity to be able to work with a heritage company and to see my ideas from fashion translated into the world of interiors and wallpaper,” Westwood said.
Dame Vivienne Westwood’s eldest son Ben Westwood is launching his own fashion line for men. Known mostly as an erotic photographic of girls, his decision to break into menswear is not surprising.
Rather, it is a natural progression of things. His mother designs both womenswear and menswear; his brother Joseph Corre, the founder of Agent Provocateur has never ventured into men’s fashion. It is about time that someone in the family takes up the torch from their mother.
Interestingly enough, Ben’s men’s collection of jackets, trousers and shirts competes directly with his father-in-law Andreas Kronthaler’s MAN collection for Vivienne Westwood.
Ben has been designing and making the clothing range at Vivienne Westwood HQ in Battersea, London. He is putting together a capsule collection for September’s Fashion Week in London.
Meanwhile, his brother Joseph Corre had announced that he is stocking Ben’s range in his new store ‘A Child of the Jago’ in Great Eastern Street, London.
Last month Ben Westwood held his Spawn:Bound exhibition at the Bodhi Gallery in London. Sharon Osbourne purchased Ben’s fetish depiction of Kelly Osbourne wrapped in ties reading Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.
Mad Madge, whose latest single is in support of Barack Obama, isn’t the only one injecting politics in to pop music. Vivienne Westwood is tossing her hat into the ring too: “I’ve written a political song about the legalized, 42-day detention of suspected terrorists,” said the designer at the London launch of her compilation CD at Selfridges on Monday. “I never listen to the radio, but I had to recently to see who’s out there to sing it. I didn’t like any of them! So it looks like I’ll have to. I’m not a singer really, but I’ll do something.” Westwood’s CD “Catwalk Breakdown,” a selection of favorite tracks by everyone from Tchaikovsky, The New York Dolls and Luca Mainardi, is on sale this week in Selfridges’ in-house concept store the Wonder Room. Maybe she can get Johnny Rotten on backing vocals.
Can you spot Viv?… By the face?
Vivienne Westwood was born in Derbyshire, England in 1941. Her father was a shoemaker and her mother a cotton weaver. When she was 16, her family moved to London and Vivienne attended the Harrow School of Art. After spending just one term there, she left to become a primary school teacher. She met her first husband Derek Westwood in 1962 got married to him. They had a son Ben. In 1965, she met Malcolm McLaren who became her partner in fashion as well as life. Vivienne Westwood is known as the most eccentric and influential of Britain’s fashion designers. Every season, she puts out on the runway the most amazing and spectacular clothes. Her Logo is a royal ORB with a cross on top, bejewelled and impressive as befits the Queen of British fashion.
In 1971, Vivienne Westwood started a shop with her husband called “Let it Rock” on London’s trendy Kings Road. She would spend all night stitching rock-inspired clothes, visiting punk clubs and grunge bars. Three years later, the couple opened another boutique called “Sex”, selling pornographically printed T-shirts and garments with sexual slogans printed on them. In 1977 they changed the name of their boutique to “Seditionaries” and sold garments with a bondage look made of leather. Three years afterwards there was yet another change of name to “World’s End” and Vivienne introduced her Pirate collection, including frilly shirts and romantic swashbuckling styles. It was very successful.
In 1982 Vivienne Westwood introduced the first collection bearing her own name which proved very popular. Her collections were called Buffalo, Savage, and Punkature. A year later, she gave a fashion show in Paris, the first British designer to do so since Mary Quant in the 60’s. People remember it as one of the best shows ever, but chic Parisiennes were horrified by the riotous behaviour and punky London garments. The collection was called “Punkature”.
When her relationship with McLaren ended, Vivienne Westwood’s shops closed but her talent could not be kept down. She opened a studio in London’s Camden area. In 1984 her new collection was called Hypnos and was the first sports collection with fluorescent fabrics on the catwalk. Other collections included crinoline, tweed, Greek drapery and fig-leaf tights.
Vivienne Westwood won her first British Designer of the Year award in 1990 and then a second one the year after. In 1992 Vivienne Westwood was also awarded an O.B.E. and went to receive it from the Queen in a see-through blouse, and a skirt which when swirled around displayed her lack of underwear. She shocked the world.
Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, a lifelong Labour supporter, is considering switching to the dark-side; or the darker-side at least.
Making a statement: Vivienne Westwood’s spring/summer 2008 collection at Paris Fashion Week: “I’ve never voted Conservative in my life,” said the “godmother of punk” before her spring/summer 2008 collection at the Paris prÃªt-Ã -porter season. “But I would do anything to get this bad lot out.” Vivienne Westwood, 66, said she was “incensed” by the current Government’s track record on human rights, personal freedom and heritage.The Grandmother of punk issued copies of her latest political manifesto, “Active Resistance to Propaganda”, in which she argues that art and culture are the antidote to propaganda and the secret of civilisation.
Vivienne Westwood clothing has deep and historical roots in the anti-establishment arena, dating all the way back to her time with Malcolm McLaren and the infamous Pistols.