GOD SAVE THE QUEEN Vivienne Westwood Retrospect

Vivienne began by designing and making Teddy Boy clothes for Malcolm and in 1971 they opened a small boutique called Let it Rock at number 430 Kings Road, Chelsea in London A year later, Vivienne’s interests had turned to biker clothing, zips, and leather. The shop re-branded with a skull and crossbones and was renamed Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die.  Vivienne and Malcolm began to design their own t-shirts with provocative printed slogans, which led to their prosecution under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act; they responded by re-branding the shop once again and producing even more t-shirts featuring hard-core images. 

SEX: 1974 1976. Sex, a shop “unlike anything else going on in England at the time” they used the slogan ‘rubberwear for the office

1977 – 1980 Seditionaries
Pirate A/W 1981
The 1981 ‘Pirate’ Collection was Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s first official collaborative catwalk show. It informed the aesthetic of The Worlds End Boutique with its pirate’s galleon and ship features. This collection was filled with romantic looks in gold, orange, and yellow which burst onto the London fashion scene, ensuring its place in the house’s history of influence.
‘We’ve only stopped to note significant innovations, otherwise, the ideas carry through and develop throughout the collections.’ ‘Pirate’, Autumn-Winter 1981/82 was their first catwalk show. Looking at plundering history and the Third World. The research was into historical dress, keeping the original cuts as fashion. Inspired by Native American patterns, the ‘Pirate’ trousers had a baggy bum, in complete contrast to hippy hipsters and ‘tight arses’ of the time. The position of the neck when worn, was asymmetrical. 

SavageS/S 1982 – Flat cutting from Japan. – Inspired by: Matisse and Picasso. – “In taking from other cultures I’m just doing what Picasso did in his painting Demoiselles d’Avignon’” (Vivienne) – Examines rapport between clothes and the body. – Slashed sleeves and contrast linings. – David Lynch’s ‘The Elephant Man’ inspired foreign legion hats.

Buffalo Girls (Nostalgia of Mud), A/W 1982/83 – Colours: Mud. – Raw cut sheepskin. – Bras – underwear as outerwear. – Inspiration: Peruvian women wearing bowler hats and full skirts, dancing with their babies tied on their back.

Punkature: S/S 1983 – Inspiration: ‘Blade Runner’, desert landscape. – Distressed fabric and recycled junk. – Punk and couture. – Hand-dyed, hand-stitched. – Shoes of disused tyres and cord from favelas. – Giant tin can buttons. – The jersey Tube skirt.

Witches, A/W 1983/84 – Visit to New York, met Keith Haring. His art looked like magic signs and hieroglyphics. Therefore – collection “Witches”. – Hip Hop, styling of garments. – Stop-frame look. – White trainers customised with three tongues. – Pointed Chico Marx hats. 
Mini-Crini: S/S 1985 – Cardinal change. Fitted clothes. – English tailoring. Princess line coats, inspired by the Queen as a child. – Wish to kill masculine big shoulders of the 1980s. – Models are sexy, and curvaceous. – Attention drawn to hips. – Inspiration: Petrushka. – Rocking horse shoes.
Harris Tweed, A/W 1987/88 – Tailored and childish look inspired by Royal Family continued. – Inspiration: British fabrics, especially wool which had provided all the uniforms of the British Empire. – Black velvet. – 18th-century corsetry. – Fine twin sets. – Red Barathea Mini-Crini. 
Time Machine: A/W 1988/89 – Named after H.G Wells’ novella. – Oscillating through different eras – Tailored Harris Tweed suiting. – First reference of the Wallace Collection. – Examining British culture and tradition. – Dedicated to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. – Men in Norfolk jackets. 
Voyage to Cythera, A/W 1989/90 – Inspiration: Watteau, Commedia dell’ Arte and Ballets Russes. – Tights worn without skirts. Inspiration: a man who forgot his trousers.- Classic nudity and ancient sculpture. – Homeric themes
Salon: S/S 1992 – The boundaries of gender. – Photographic prints of 18th century lavishness on denim. – Inspiration: elitism and the intellectual’. – Berets and smocks. – Tulle ball gowns. – Cut-out leather.