30th March 2020
GARMENT ARCHIVES: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD
Welcome to Garment Archives, where we delve into archive collections from our favourite designers, taking a look at iconic collections and unforgettable pieces.
The designer we're focusing on first is Vivienne Westwood, the punk pioneer famed for her provocative prints and elegant designs.
Initially working alongside fellow designer, band manager and cultural icon Malcolm McLaren, Westwood has gone from clothing the punk army in zips and leather - to building a fashion empire and branching into activism, becoming a Dame in 2006 for services to fashion.
Here are some of Vivienne Westwood's most iconic designs and collections.
The Pirate Collection 1981
Westwood and McLaren’s first catwalk show. The Pirate Collection was inspired by historical dress and ethnic design from issues of National Geographic magazine.
Westwood wanted to keep the cut of the fabric as close as possible to the originals she had seen in National Geographic. The pirate trousers had a baggy fit and were loose around the bottom, a contrast to the peace & love of the hippy movement of the 1970's.
Harris Tweed collection AW 1987
Inspired by a school girl Vivienne Saw on the tube, the Harris Tweed collection made its debut in 1987. Harris Tweed has become a staple of Vivienne Westwood collections and is a prime example of her determination to champion sustainable British production.
Handwoven by islanders at their homes in Scotland's Outer Hebrides Islands, the Harris Tweed collection is made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides. The variety of Harris Tweed designs includes suits, coats and even tracksuits.
Inspired by far away galaxies, black holes and deep sky photography, Vivienne's iconic Orb came to be when she in Italy with Fiorucci. As well as astronomic inspiration, Westwood found a muse in Prince Charles, imagining a jumper the Prince of Wales might wear in his spare time.
Westwood decided it should be decorated with symbols of the United Kingdom; for Wales a leek, Ireland a shamrock, Scotland a thistle and the crown jewels for England. The design was given a futuristic twist with an Orb featuring a satellite ring.
Westwood showed the designs to a friend in Italy, who told her that the Orb was the ideal logo for her. The Orb has featured throughout her collections ever since.