L’Anarchie Pour Le UK

 When Sex Pistols’ „God Save The Queen” is being played on cassette decks all over the country and gets banned from British national radio stations, Vivienne Westwood dresses the band members in t-shirts with an image of the Queen Elizabeth II and a title of the famous track scribbled across the Queen’s eyes. British fashion designer and former teacher will continue to influence UK’s both fashion and music scene for the next few decades, teasing and provoking not only the government and national media but the whole system of Great Britain.

Vivienne Westwood becomes a stylist of famous punk band Sex Pistols in the 70s thanks to her then-partner and band’s manager Malcolm McLaren. Thriving in the rebellious approach and playing against the rules, both the band and the designer find common ground - Westwood has a platform to pursue the anti-systemic design vision and Sex Pistols can manifest being a hot topic through the way they dress. Vivienne masterminds the message she wants to send through band’s outfits to the public and introduces Sex Pistols to swastika elements, tops with images of the Royal Family and controversial slogans such as ‘Only Anarchists Are Pretty’.

Westwood’s relationship with Malcolm McLaren gets off to a rocky start, only two years after she gives birth to a son from her previous marriage. The couple meets through Vivienne’s brother and hits it off immediately, quickly establishing a small boutique in London, primarily famous for thought-provoking signboards. For years it has served as a testing ground for the Westwood’s brand. “I’m using my shop as a crucible. The stuff that’s in there is what will sell elsewhere… It’s kind of market research…” she tells The Face magazine in 1986. The shop goes through various names throughout the years, starting with “Let It Rock” that later changes to “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die”, “SEX”, “Seditionaries” and finally “Worlds End” - the final title that sticks to this day.

Written by Julia Siechowicz


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