Vivienne Westwood

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I've constantly tried to provoke people into thinking afresh and for themselves, to escape their inhibitions and programming.

Vivienne Westwood

Traditionalist, provocateur, utterly contemporary: Vivienne Westwood is one of British fashion's most famous – and most contradictory – designers. The woman who helped create punk has now clocked up over four decades on the cutting edge, and produced some of modern style's most recognisable looks, many of which are represented in our collections.

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The V&A's fashion collection holds garments from some of the most influential periods in Westwood's career. These include exuberant footwear designs, bondage outfits and provocative T-shirts from the punk years; mould-breaking garments from important 1980s collections such as Pirates, Buffalo Girls and Witches; and outfits from the 1990s that demonstrate Westwood's signature reinvention of historical styles.

Exploring Vivienne Westwood

Photo of T-shirt, Jamie Reid archive, designed by Jamie Reid, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, modified by Johnny Rotten, 1976, England. Museum no. S.794-1990. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
T-shirt, Jamie Reid archive, designed by Jamie Reid, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, modified by Johnny Rotten, 1976, England. Museum no. S.794-1990. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Pirate ensemble, Vivienne Westwood, 1981 – 2, England. Museum no. T.334 to I-1982.  © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pirate ensemble, Vivienne Westwood, 1981 – 2, England. Museum no. T.334 to I-1982. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Jacket, designed by Vivienne Westwood, made by Levi Strauss & Co., 1986, England. Museum no. T.200:1-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jacket, designed by Vivienne Westwood, made by Levi Strauss & Co., 1986, England. Museum no. T.200:1-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Pair of platform shoes, Vivienne Westwood, 1993, England. Museum no. T.225:1, 2-1993. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pair of platform shoes, Vivienne Westwood, 1993, England. Museum no. T.225:1, 2-1993. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Corset and sleeves, Vivienne Westwood, 1988, England. Museum no. T.203:1 to 3-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Corset and sleeves, Vivienne Westwood, 1988, England. Museum no. T.203:1 to 3-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Boots, Vivienne Westwood, 1991, England. Museum no. T.232:4,6-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Boots, Vivienne Westwood, 1991, England. Museum no. T.232:4,6-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Cut, Slash & Pull ensemble, Vivienne Westwood, 1990, England. Museum no. T.230:1 to 5-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Cut, Slash & Pull ensemble, Vivienne Westwood, 1990, England. Museum no. T.230:1 to 5-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Suit, Vivienne Westwood, about 1995, England. Museum no. T.37:1 to 3-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Suit, Vivienne Westwood, about 1995, England. Museum no. T.37:1 to 3-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Seditionaries ensemble, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, 1976, England. Museum no. T.405 to 7-1995. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Seditionaries ensemble, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, 1976, England. Museum no. T.405 to 7-1995. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Watteau evening dress, 1996, England. Museum no. T.438:1 to 4-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Watteau evening dress, 1996, England. Museum no. T.438:1 to 4-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Vivienne Westwood, photograph by Juergen Teller, 1993. Museum no. E.84-1997. © Juergen Teller/Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Vivienne Westwood, photograph by Juergen Teller, 1993. Museum no. E.84-1997. © Juergen Teller/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Man's bondage ensemble, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, 1976, England. Museum no. T.85:1 to 5-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Man's bondage ensemble, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, 1976, England. Museum no. T.85:1 to 5-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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