Vivienne Westwood: The Core of Punk Fashion

SEX and the origin of the British punk Movement.


When someone thinks of the culture of the 1970s, several things could come to mind, such as Rock and Roll or Disco. However, it’s unlikely that punk would be an initial thought. The punk movement was bubbling under the surface of the jolly and pleasant British society of the 70s. Aiming to derail this society in whatever way they could, 70s punks used loud music, bad language and makeup and clothing that was considered shocking to overthrow the peace of society at that time.

However, not-so-behind the scenes of this movement was Vivienne Westwood. With her boutique, SEX, on King’s Road styling and fueling the revolution, Westwood lay at the heart of the Punk movement of the 70s. SEX was designed to create as many waves as the fetish wear that it sold. Given the name and the attire sold within, the boutique stood out for all the wrong reasons among the other classic and traditional shops on King’s Road. It was punk both by name and by nature.

Ragged and torn tees, the use of the queen in her designs and the iconic safety pin motif were all elements of Westwood’s work seen on many different artists of the time, such as the Sex Pistols. Due to the influential anarchy caused by the brilliant and outlandish mind of Vivienne Westwood, punk has grown since the 70s to be what it has become today. The insurgence stirred by the subversive mindset and clothing of Westwood in the 70s means that punk remains a fashion and cultural unification. The expression and authenticity of being oneself while standing up to the status quo is something that remains ever vital in the trying times in which we live, and it would be impossible to discredit the work and value of Vivienne Westwood in this timeless revolution.

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