Vivienne Westwood passes away at 81; 5 notable moments of her life, celeb tributes and more

Vivienne Westwood, famed British fashion designer passed away aged 81. The news of her demise was confirmed by her fashion house in a statement on Twitter. The designer passed away “peacefully and surrounded” by her family in South London. Her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said, “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart.”

The announcement of her death was also shared with one of her most famous quotes which read, “There was never more need for the Tao today. Tao gives you a feeling that you belong to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life; it gives you such a sense of identity and strength to know you’re living the life you can live and therefore ought to be living: make full use of your character and full use of your life on earth.”

Tributes pour in for Vivienne Westwood 

The news of the famed designer’s death came as a shock to fashion and entertainment world. Over the years, Westwood worked with several celebrities and models. Among the first ones to express her grief over the passing of Westwood was Victoria Beckham. The Fashion designer and Spice Girls member said, “I’m so sad to learn of the passing of legendary designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood. My thoughts are with her family at this incredibly sad time.”

Also, Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall reacted to the tragic news by saying, “A true genius who never lost her northern grit.” She further remembered the designer recalling an incident and added, “Vivienne made me a new dress in 3 days and 2 others beside for each of the upcoming openings. I’ve never forgotten her generosity and kindness in making that happen and saving the day. RIP Vivienne. You are a legend. Kx.”

Model Hailey Bieber also took to her Instagram story and wrote, “Rest in peace to the iconic legend that is Vivienne Westwood. Thank you for your creations and beautiful vision.” Actress Jamie Lee Curtis also paid a heartfelt tribute to Westwood as she wrote, “Westwood has died. She was a brilliant creator, bold, brash, unique. She influenced SO MANY and gave them the permission to be themselves and beyond themselves. My longtime hairdresser and friend @seanjameshair has been a devotee and brand ambassador forever. She is tattooed all over him and was his muse. What a legacy of creativity she will always be.” 

Singer Bryan Adams also remembered the late designer as he shared a photo of her and wrote, “RIP @viviennewestwood V sad to hear of Vivienne’s passing, we made this photo together in 2008. She was a true original.” Also, Mod Sun paid a tribute to the designer saying, “Love you Vivienne Westwood, you changed my life so many times. What you did for fashion + music will never be forgotten. Your efforts with activism to save this planet were so selfless + pure. We were so lucky to have you, long love the queen of punk.”

Vivienne Westwood’s career in fashion

Vivienne Westwood has been recognised for her contribution in shaping up the punk culture in the UK.  She became popular in the 1970s as the co-owner of the boutique SEX along with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. The brand became a go-to for Punk bands and London rockers who embraced the new-age clothing consisting of rubber and plastic clothes, graffitied t-shirts and more. The designer’s early famous works also included androgynous designs and slogan T-shirts. 

Later in her career, apart from launching her own collections, she also designed the uniforms for flight attendants from Virgin Atlantic and provided a wardrobe for Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas as well as for Shadowboxer and Twenty-One as reported by Variety. 

Vivienne Westwood

Fashion show and wedding dresses

As per BBC, Westwood held her first proper fashion show in 1981 which was called the Pirate Collection. Her designs showcased the inspiration from British and French history.  Around the 2000s, Westwood began designing wedding dresses. She worked on stunning wedding gowns for the likes of model Dita Von Teese, who dressed in her purple gown to marry singer Marilyn Manson. Also, Princess Eugenie wore three Westwood designs for the wedding of her cousin Prince William and Kate Middleton. Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw character also famously wore one of Westwood’s wedding dress creations in the Sex and the City movie. 

Vivienne Westwood was a political activist 

Westwood made clever use of her platform to speak about important issues and was an activist for several important causes. She brought causes she cared about, like climate change, to the runway as well. As per Variety, she was also a longtime political activist, working to fight consumerism, protect the environment and protest causes such as wage inequality. She was made a Dame for services to fashion in 2006.

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood’s family life

The designer married Andreas Kronthaler, a former student of hers, 25 years her junior, in 1992. He also became the creative director of her company and was her creative partner while also taking on the responsibility for design work in later years. She is survived by her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, and two sons.

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