Fashion legend Vivienne Westwood dies at her Clapham home

·2-min read
Fashion legend Vivienne Westwood dies at her Clapham home

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81.

She made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

Dame Vivienne died on Friday “peacefully, and surrounded by her family in Clapham, south London”, her representatives said.

In a statement, her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart.

Dame Vivienne Westwood

(PA Wire)
(PA Wire)
Dame Vivienne Westwood poses for a photo after collecting her insignia an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2006 (AP)
Dame Vivienne Westwood poses for a photo after collecting her insignia an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2006 (AP)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the applause at the end of her Fall/Winter 2010/11 Men’s collection during Milan Fashion Week (REUTERS)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the applause at the end of her Fall/Winter 2010/11 Men’s collection during Milan Fashion Week (REUTERS)
Vivienne Westwood is carried after her catwalk show at London Fashion Week Men’s 2017 (REUTERS)
Vivienne Westwood is carried after her catwalk show at London Fashion Week Men’s 2017 (REUTERS)
: Vivienne Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler in 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)
: Vivienne Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler in 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood outside Bow Street Magistrate’s Court in 1977 (Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood outside Bow Street Magistrate’s Court in 1977 (Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood at Buckingham Palace, after receiving her OBE in 1992 (PA)
Vivienne Westwood at Buckingham Palace, after receiving her OBE in 1992 (PA)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the audience after her show during the spring/summer 2003 ready-to-wear collections in Paris. - British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died in London (AFP via Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the audience after her show during the spring/summer 2003 ready-to-wear collections in Paris. - British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died in London (AFP via Getty Images)
Jerry Hall with Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2005 (PA)
Jerry Hall with Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2005 (PA)
Vivienne Westwood salutes the public after the presentation of her Spring/Summer 2006 collection in Paris (AP)
Vivienne Westwood salutes the public after the presentation of her Spring/Summer 2006 collection in Paris (AP)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the public at the end of Spring/Summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection show in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood acknowledges the public at the end of Spring/Summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection show in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)

“We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling.”

She was known as a staunch activist and brought causes she cared about, like climate change, to the catwalk.

The designer was made a Dame for services to fashion in 2006.

TV presenter Jonathan Ross was among the people paying tribute to Dame Vivienne Westwood following her death aged 81.

He tweeted: “RIP the great Vivienne Westwood. Unique. Brilliant. Uncompromising. Thanks Viv x”.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan paid tribute to Dame Vivienne Westwood, writing on Twitter: “A sad day, Vivienne Westwood was and will remain a towering figure in British fashion.

“Her punk style rewrote the rule book in the 1970s and was widely admired for how she stayed true to her own values throughout her life.”

Dame Vivienne, who was born in Cheshire in 1941, is largely accepted as being responsible for bringing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream with her eccentric creations.

Princess Eugenie waves as she leaves Westminster Abbey in London following the wedding service of Prince William and Kate in 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie waves as she leaves Westminster Abbey in London following the wedding service of Prince William and Kate in 2011 (AFP via Getty Images)

Her designs were regularly worn by high-profile individuals including Dita Von Teese who wore a purple Westwood wedding gown to marry Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore three Westwood designs for various elements of the wedding of William and Kate Middleton.

Dame Vivienne’s designs also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of Sex And The City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

In addition to her work as a designer, Dame Vivienne was vocal in her support of a number of social and political initiatives including campaigning for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting to avoid being sent to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.

In July 2020, Dame Vivienne sounded a warning over an Assange “stitch-up” while dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage.

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Dame Vivienne led a colourful band of protesters chanting “Free Julian Assange” outside the Old Bailey in central London.

Suspended inside the cage, she said: “Don’t extradite Assange – it’s a stitch-up.”