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Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dies aged 81

10:12, December 30

Dame Vivienne Westwood, the pioneering British fashion designer who played a key role in the punk movement, has died in London at the age of 81, The Guardian reported.

Westwood died “peacefully, surrounded by her family” in Clapham, south London, on Thursday, her representatives said in a statement.

She had continued to do the things she loved, including designing, working on her book and making art, “up until the last moment”, they added.

A self-taught designer with no formal fashion training, Westwood learned how to make clothes as a teenager by following patterns and by taking apart secondhand clothes she found at markets in order to understand the cut and construction.

She met band manager Malcolm McLaren in the 1960s while working as a primary school teacher after separating from her first husband, Derek Westwood. The pair opened a small shop on Kings Road in Chelsea in 1971 that became a haunt of many of the bands she outfitted, including the Sex Pistols, who were managed by McLaren.

Her provocative and sometimes controversial designs came to define the punk aesthetic, and Westwood would become one of Britain’s most celebrated fashion designers, blending historical references, classic tailoring and romantic flourishes with harder edged and sometimes overtly political messages.

In 1981, she created her clothing brand Vivienne Westwood.

In the 1990s, Westwood became the second British female fashion designer, after Mary Quant, to present her collections in Paris.

To date, more than 500 Vivienne Westwood stores have been opened all over the world.

In 2018, a documentary biographical film about the British designer was released.

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