Punk pranks, wild dreams, and Anglomania at the Met


Shown at Olympia in Spring 1987 Harris Tweed was Westwood’s first show for two-and-a-half years.  The move towards a more traditional, fitted look had started in the summer, and in the Mini-Crini, collection she could explore the potential of British fabrics and styles in Harris Tweed…. She paid homage to the tailoring traditions of Savile Row and the jacket she designed then, named the Savile jacket, still features in her collections today.

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD told listening admirers at the opening of her retrospective in Sheffield in May, 2008, that the underwear as outerwear was Malcolm McLaren https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_McLaren ‘s idea.  She was reflecting on British Fashion influence over the rest of the world.  Anthropologist Ted Polhemus, said the British were renowned for ‘wild Fashion.’  Hat designer, Stephen Jones, thought that Fashion would not be the way it was unless Vivienne Westwood ‘had been around,’ and Anna Wintour, US Vogue, clinched the concept with,I think the English designer is afraid of nothing.’ 

Later that year the V&A Vivienne Westwood retrospective set off from the Pennine hills, once again on its overseas journeys to set bells ringing on cash tills around the Pacific Rim.  Whatever Westwood and McLaren set out to do, politically, in the 1970s they could not have realised how their project would grow to become a dynamic 21st century commercial success; and that an academically inspired exhibition, celebrating their vision, would travel round the world continually on view for more than five years. 

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