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Vivienne Westwood

"It's difficult to be avant-garde today. People have gotten used to everything."

Westwood's first runway show was the Pirate collection in London, in March 1981. Her design style had evolved so that her main interests included not only the youth and street culture but also tradition and technique. Westwood worked historical factors into her collection by using historical 17th-18th century original cutting principles and modernising them. This collection was about 'gold and treasure, adventure and exploration'. Other influences in Westwood's work have included ethnic Peruvian influence, feminine figure, velvet and knitwear. A historical influence has always shown in her work. In December 2003, she and the Wedgwood pottery company launched a series of tea sets featuring her designs. In September 2005, Westwood joined forces with the British civil rights group Liberty and launched exclusive limited design T-shirts and baby wear bearing the slogan I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don't arrest me. Her Autumn/Winter 2005/06 Propaganda Collection drew inspiration from her archive, reinterpreting designs using Wolford’s exclusive knitting technology, who she has worked in close collaboration with since 2003. Westwood accepted a DBE in the 2006 New Year's Honours List "for services to fashion", and has thrice earned the award for British Designer of the Year.

 

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