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Happy Birthday, Vivienne Westwood!

This week, British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood turned 73. Inspiring fashion for over 40 years, original and outrageous, Westwood is one of the most recognised and influential designers of the late twentieth century.

Described as being punk’s matriarch, Westwood played a vital role in the emergence of Punk rock in the 1970s and continues to keep her punk attitude alive. Cutting edge but classic, her collections are unflinchingly rooted in her interests and beliefs, whether it is human rights or classical fiction. She has dressed everyone from the Sex Pistols to the Princess of Wales, and her ever-burning fire for politics matches her dedication to her clothing label. From speaking out on issues such as nuclear disarmament and terrorism to recently shaving her head to protest climate change, Westwood has never shied away from making political statements.

To celebrate our favourite flame-haired fashion maverick’s inimitable career, we’ve charted her top 10 most incredible, rule breaking moments…

 1. The time she ran off with a rebel…

At 22, Westwood was married with a child, living in Harrow, London and working as a primary school teacher when she met Malcolm McLaren. The Sex Pistols’ notorious manager swept Viv off her feet, introducing her to bondage, bikers and other general badass-ness.

2. The time she invented punk fashion…

3. The time she plundered history…

As the punk movement faded, Westwood knew she needed a new angle. In 1981 she decided to go in an entirely new direction and for her first ever catwalk show, Westwood presented Pirates – a collection that kick-started the new romantic look and dominated 80’s sub-cultures.

4. The time she impersonated Margaret Thatcher…

5. The time she fell in love with a man half her age…

Westwood fell for a man half her age – literally, Austrian fashion student Andreas Kronthaler was 25 and she was 50 when they met. The unconventional couple live and work together still and have been happily married for 22 years.

6. The time she broke Naomi’s ankle…

7. The time she became an eco-warrior…

Westwood has over the years supported many organisations and charities such as PETA, Aids Research, Oxfam and many more. Her work as an environmental campaigner, particularly, is now renowned and she’s still working hard to make us use more sustainable materials and stop unethical supply chains in the fashion industry.

8. The time she embraced pop icons…

9. The time she stripped off… completely

‘Fashion is about eventually being naked,’ Vivienne once proclaimed. At 68 she practiced what she preached, bearing all for provocative photographer Juergen Teller’s Men And Women exhibition in 2010.

10. The time she shaved her head…

Just last month, Westwood shaved off her famous fiery locks to draw attention to Climate Change. According to her spokesman, ‘Vivienne cut her hair because we must all wake up to Climate Change. And secondly, she wanted to cut the red out for a while and have it white – to show that she’s proud of her age.’

Nearly 50 years after she first broke the mould, our favourite fashion revolutionary is still on a mission to change the world for the better. A true original, we salute you.

Shop our vast collection of Vivienne Westwood here.

@JulesBOnline

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