Dame Vivienne Westwood’s stand out fashion moments

Dame Vivienne Westwood’s stand out fashion moments

Dame Vivienne Westwood, punk icon, environmental activist and designer extraordinaire, has died at the age of 81.

She emerged on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts, and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

Since then, she continued to break boundaries.

She is responsible for some of fashion’s most famous designs – including her take on the corset, the ‘mini-crini’ – a shortened version of the Victorian crinoline dress – and Carrie Bradshaw’s bridal dress in the 2008 Sex And The City movie.

The designer also made a name for herself as an activist, staging public protests to raise awareness around causes close to her heart.

Here is a look at some of her own stand-out fashion moments:

Receiving her OBE…

Vivienne Westwood – OBE – Buckingham Palace, London
Dame Vivienne at Buckingham Palace in 1992 where she received her OBE from Queen Elizabeth and gave a twirl for photographers – underneath her tailored skirt suit she wore no knickers (PA)

When awarded an OBE in 1992, Westwood wore a perfectly tailored skirt suit with a grey matching hat. The outfit might have been demure, but she soon started twirling for photographers – only to reveal she wasn’t wearing any knickers underneath.

ROYAL Investiture
Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood after collecting her ensignia from the then Prince of Wales during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2006 (PA)

Westwood returned to Buckingham Palace in 2006 to be made a dame, and was once again without underwear – but she refrained from doing any twirling this time.

At the opening of her V&A exhibition…

Dame Vivienne Westwood at the opening of The Vivienne Westwood Exhibition at the V&A museum, London (Doug Peters/PA)
Dame Vivienne Westwood at the opening of The Vivienne Westwood Exhibition at the V&A museum, London (Doug Peters/PA)

In 2004 the V&A Museum dedicated an exhibition to Westwood’s designs, and she attended the opening in suitably provocative style: wearing a red coat dress that clashed with her vibrant orange hair, and two tiny silver devil’s horns atop her head.

At the Fashion Awards…

British Fashion Awards – London
Vivienne Westwood arrives for the British Fashion Awards at the Royal Courts of Justice, London (PA)

Dame Vivienne won multiple gongs at the Fashion Awards – including designer of the year twice – and for the 2009 ceremony, she played around with proportions in a vibrant orange jacket with big shoulders and a sleek chiffon dress underneath with a revealing slit.

Collaborating with Burberry…

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In 2018, Westwood collaborated with another giant of British fashion: Burberry. Westwood appeared in the campaign alongside Kate Moss, wearing the iconic Burberry check with her signature platform shoes and wild hair.

Protesting fracking…

Anti-fracking protest
Dressed as an angel, Dame Vivienne Westwood takes part in a protest against the government’s fracking policy outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (PA)


Westwood often brought an element of performance to her protests – in December 2018 she protested fracking by dressing as an angel clutching a stone tablet, reframing the 12 Days of Christmas as the 12 days until climate collapse.

In 2014, she also shaved her signature orange hair to protest climate change.