Vivienne Westwood DBE is quite rightly - and not just techinically - referred to as the Grande Dame of fashion. As one of fashion's most enduring icons and with over 40 years of success in an industry, into which she smashed via fairly unorthodox methods, is an impressive feat. Or should that be fate?
For all the interviews in the world, the eccentric, fearless and boundary-breaking designer remains somewhat of an enigma; even more so nowadays with her political and social missions often taking precedence over her day job. But for the first time ever, Vivienne Westwood is ready to tell her story in full and it’s down to an authorised memoir, penned in collaboration with biographer Ian Kelly using both Vivienne’s own voice and with contributions from her vast and varied network of friends, family and associates like Naomi Campbell and Julian Assange.
Vivienne Westwood with Malcolm McLaren in 1985 [Getty]
We may finally be one step closer to understanding one of the greatest women of our time. ‘Vivienne is much more than what you first see. She is passionately committed to human rights and to eco-politics, but as well as that I am keen to tell the truth about a huge-hearted, warm and witty individual, whose face and clothes are known the world over, but who is also recognisably the Derbyshire primary school teacher who met and fell in love with Malcolm McLaren and changed the world,’ says Ian Kelly.
Viv's turn as Thatcher in 1989
Her ability to shock could give Miley Cyrus a run for her dollar - the significant difference being, Westwood has always been trying to communicate something more, than, erm, front thongs. Vivienne's A-list following is as impressive as the legions of regular girls who rely on her curve enhancing and figure loving pieces. Her tale is a rich one filled with age-defining moments. Outside of the ‘70s punk era that Vivienne Westwood co-created alongside Malcolm McLaren from a sweet spot on the hip’n’happening King’s Road, there’s still plenty of interesting topics we’d like to know more about. And that’s before we even talk fashion.
Westwood backstage with her girls at the Red Label A/W'13 show [Jason Lloyd Evans]
Like only moving out of a council house in Clapham 13 years ago when her now husband, and former student, Andreas Kronthaler persuaded her. Or that she donates most of her money to saving the rainforests and the Arctic Circle. What are her thoughts on dressing as Margaret Thatcher – in one of the PM’s very own suits - for one of the best mag covers of all time: Tatler April 1989? Aged 72 she’s still the driving force behind her fashion empire’s many collections, stores and projects – and quite possibly, the hippest granny on the planet. Oh, and we need to know it’s like to collect an OBE sans knickers, of course. All that - and more - considered, its very exciting news that the nation’s most fascinating fashion pioneer will reveal (we hope) all when the must-read is released in October 2014 by Picador. Shame we have to wait so long…