Vivienne was art, she was rebellion, she was a whole revolution.
On 29th December 2022, the world lost an icon, the whole globe came together to mourn the loss of Vivienne Westwood. Famously known as the godmother of Punk, Vivienne was one of the most celebrated British fashion designers who gave people new lenses into the world of fashion.
Generally people use fashion to look good, but she used it to let people express themselves at their rawest, she taught the world that fashion can be used to create huge waves, to scream messages, a lot of her clothes were extremely political or controversial…for someone whose life screams color, who stirred storms and brought a change in the industry itself, a memorial is the least we can do. On Thursday 16th Feb, huge names including celebrities, fashion figures, designers and Vivienne’s close ones all got together to celebrate the woman that she was.
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The memorial was held on Thursday, 16th February at London’s Southwark Cathedral.
The attendees included eminent figures including Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs, Anna Wintour, Stormzy and Kate Moss to name a few. Westwood’s invaluable contribution as a mother, role model, grandmother, wife, fashion pioneer, activist were all to be brushed over in 1.5 hours.
The memorial was graced by the touching performances.
Australian singer-songwriter, Nick Cave, performed one of his own creations, “Into my arms” which got the gathering teary eyed. Chrissie Hynde performed a lower version of Buddy Holly’s “Raining in my heart”. The service’s end and beginning were both marked by a performance by Arnfield Brass, a local from Westwood’s birthplace
The other attendees remembered memorable parts of their time with the dame and reminisced the magic she brought into their lives.Vivienne’s husband, Andreas Kronthaler recounted 2 anecdotes from their lives together. One was based in 1988, about their first date together where they went to see Old paintings.
He recalled with accuracy her outfit that day which was a brown stretch-velvet catsuit. A scarf draped around her hip with A leopard fake fur in pink and orange curls adorning her face. While stealing a glance at her during the picture staring session he realised how much he was in love and that was the moment he knew they were meant to be forever.
The second was a mention of how Westwood had overused a Chinese poetry book to its full potential, to the point that it had fallen apart. He had promised to fix it but happened to find some of the missing pages only after her passing.
Her younger son Joseph Corre went on to talk about her never ending contribution in activism and the ways she’s changed the world, he remarked about how learning about the tragedies from the Vietnam war, 1970, led her to draw inspiration from chaos, and made it one of the main themes of her clothing.
He reflected on how her clothes have given so many a voice and have made so many feel like they could fearlessly be themselves. He wrapped up by mentioning a to do list she had left him which included some really huge tasks like ‘protect human rights’ and ‘stop the war’
Her brother went on to display an emotional video with snippets of her childhood and her grown up self talking about her love for fashion and what she is doing.
After her family, her most loyal customer, actress Helena Carter (famous for playing Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films) went on to make a speech about her own journey with Vivienne. She went over how her closet was overflowing with pieces made by the British fashion icon.She has repeatedly sported Westwoods’ art on red carpets for which she received scrutiny from media.
From having bought her first piece at age 15 till present day, she brushed over how amazing her pieces made her feel, “I feel like who I want to be, I feel like a woman”- she remarked. She described her clothes as magical, dynamic, alive. In fact she owns so many of her pieces that Westwood herself told her to “buy less”
Westwood was a strong pioneer of sustainable fashion and was strictly for buying less, selecting pieces and wearing them over and over.
The guests dressed true to Westwood’s spirit.
The punk icon stood for “when in doubt, overdress”, and the attendees seemed to follow just that. The event was embellished by bold designs, vibrant colours, classic Tailored clothing and some of her own pieces.
Among the outfits that stood out was Richard E Grant’s.
The actor wore a Westwood scarf and a fascinator headpiece. The musician, Stormzy paired a black suit with a Westwood orb brooch.
Phillip Sallon, a costume designer who had worked closely with Westwood came dressed in her red jumpsuit and boxing gloves. Hollywood actress, Elle Fanning strutted in Westwood platforms while rocking a 50’s themed class black look.
Vogue’s chief editor, Anna Wintour looked elegant as ever dressed skirt-suit.
It is safe to say that the event did Vivienne’s spirit justice and she will forever remain an icon in our hearts.