2000 – 2016
The exhibition ‘Vivienne Westwood: the collection of Romilly McAlpine’ opens at the Museum of London from April to June 2000.
The official e-commerce website www.viviennewestwood.com launches in 2001.
In 2002, Vivienne Westwood opens a boutique in Hong Kong and two in Korea.
Vivienne receives the UK Fashion Export Award for Design in June 2003.
In Autumn-Winter 2002/03, the Vivienne Westwood X Commes des Garçons collaboration launches in Japan and Milan through the Cosa Coma Comme shops.
Aoyama, the Japanese Vivienne Westwood womenswear flagship boutique opens in March 2003.
In 2003, the house collaborates with the English fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories manufacturer Calport for the Westwood Home Collection.
A new Vivienne Westwood flagship boutique opens up in Milan, Italy in 2003.
In 2004 the Victoria and Albert Museum hosts a retrospective exhibition celebrating Vivienne Westwood’s contribution to fashion. This was their first exhibition of its kind.
Moet & Chandon Fashion Tribute honours Vivienne Westwood as the first fashion designer to have a solo exhibition at the V&A.
Vivienne Westwood begins a long-term collaboration with The Rug Company designing rugs and cushions in 2005.
Vivienne visits Buckingham Palace for a second time to meet his royal highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales to accept her Damehood in 2006.
Vivienne receives the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design award at the 2007 British Fashion Awards.
Omotesando, a Japanese Vivienne Westwood menswear flagship boutique, opens in October 2008.
Vivienne receives the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2010.
The Made in Kenya collaboration launches in 2010, as a partnership with the United Nations in support of the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Artisan Fashion.
Climate Revolution, Vivienne’s activist team and website launches in 2010.
The Vivienne Westwood Los Angeles flagship boutique opens its doors in 2011.
Vivienne donates a million pounds to the charity Cool Earth in 2012.
The first Vivienne Westwood cafe opens in Shanghai in April 2015.
A second Vivienne Westwood cafe opens in Hong Kong’s Harbour City Mall in October 2015.
Vivienne launches her ‘Playing Cards’ in 2017.
“I formed Climate Revolution: to save the environment through work with charities and NGOs. Our target is to speak with one voice. As an activist, I have created many graphics promoting political and environmental issues, which I reimagined in the design of a pack of playing cards. Lo and behold! In the cards lies the answer — a complete strategy to save the world: Buy less, stop subsidies to industrial fishing, educate children, and so on. We even have a manifesto, detailing our need to move away from capitalism toward what I call “No Man’s Land” — a vision for the world based on the principle that no one should be allowed to own land.” – Vivienne.
Beginning to put historicism to one side, Vivienne returned to a more asexual cut, exploring the natural dynamic of the fabric by treating it like a living, breathing mass. Inspired by James Lovelock’s ‘Gaia hypothesis’, which suggests life on Earth is a self-regulating community of organisms interacting with each other and their surroundings. Vivienne started looking at her environment and reflecting on the world around us and the worlds that came before. Activism became her number one priority, she started using her collections as a vehicle for change. Encouraging consumers to analyse and react to the climate crisis. She began using her clothes like a megaphone, a political warning that tells a story of a complex past and future fear.
“The map is by NASA, it’s geothermal and coincides with the New Scientist map. I simply drew along the line of division and marked off below the line as uninhabitable; above it: all that was left. This is public information, it’s my job now to get people to internalise it. We’re already at around 2 degrees. 2 degrees is cited as the tipping point for runaway climate change and it won’t stop until it reaches around 5 degrees. At this point, according to the map, there will only be 1 billion people left, this is inevitable and it could happen by the end of the century.” – Vivienne.
Summertime, Spring-Summer 2000 – Final collection of the 20th century. – Symbolism of Bacchus, Roman god of agriculture, wine, and fertility. – Inspired by: Bacchanalia. – Pixelated print of fellatio. – Muted colours and florals. – Bestial shoes. – Tailored drapery. – The ‘Booze’ jacket. – Grass stains and red wine spillage. – Wool mélange.
Winter, Autumn-Winter 2000/01 – Inspired by: Shakespeare’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’. – Cloaks with hoods in fringed wool. – Weighty trompe l’œil jewellery in silver. – Soft jerseys. – Tracey Emin. – 16th and 17th centuries.
Exploration, Spring-Summer 2001 – Ode to literature. – “Reading is the biggest passion of my life, more than fashion” (Vivienne). – Aristotle, Aldous Huxley, and Bertrand Russel. – Photographic ‘Bookbinder’ print of Andreas and Vivienne’s bookshelves in Clapham. – Studies of butterflies and insects. – Folded rectangles of cloth like the pages of a book. – Soft tailoring. – Mocking the pipe-smoking intelligentsia.
Wild Beauty, Autumn-Winter 2001/02 – Cora Corré’s (Vivienne’s granddaughter) first appearance on the catwalk at 3 years old. – Mini kilts. – Tiger stripes. – ‘Animal’ cut. – Curved seams and jigsaw pieces like animal hide. – Crushing silk taffeta to create folds and creases. – Embroideries. – Sexual misbehaviour.
Nymphs, Spring-Summer 2002 – Fragonard, Boucher and Watteau. – Mythological pastoral idylls. – Long feathered eyelashes. – Traditional striped rugby jerseys. – Angular construction. – Intentional unevenness. – “It’s incredibly lively-looking and nervous-looking” (Vivienne). – Giant corsages. – Models emerged from the foliage.
Anglophilia, Autumn-Winter 2002/03 – Second step from Anglomania. – Vivienne’s favourite red dress. – Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. – Unfinished and undone. – Inspired by: Holbein and Boucher. – Fetishising Englishness. – Snagged argyll knits. – Madame de Pompadour gown. – Subdued palette. – Ribbons and tweeds.
Street Theatre, Spring-Summer 2003 – Fashion as an everyday spectacle and performance. – Rooted in punk. – The urban jungle. – Strapped and restrained. – Union Jacks. – Deliberate destruction. – Relaxed fits. – Geometric sections cut at different angles. – Reversible fine wool.
Le Flou Taille, Autumn-Winter 2003/04 – Fluidity. – Haute couture, tailoring and flou. – “The clothes look very spontaneous but they are incredibly well constructed underneath” (Vivienne for Vogue). – Daytime pyjamas. – Knee-high cossack boots. – Slip and slide. – Satin boxer shorts.
I Am Expensiv, Spring-Summer 2007 – Using Disney characters as a universal expression. – “Endearing heroines and repulsive baddies” (Vivienne). – Block colours. – Exploring the 21st-century obsession with wealth accumulation. – Cut-out lace. – Inspired by: Bowes Museum in Northumberland.
Wake Up Cave Girl!, Autumn-Winter 2007 – Hyper exaggeration of the female form. – “A sculpture in cloth” (Vivienne). – The Stone Age. – Dresses are named after the Flintstones. – Foundation corsets. – Carrie’s taffeta wedding dress in ‘Sex and the City’. – Customizable buttoned seams.
56, Spring-Summer 2008 – July 2007, British government proposed counter-terrorism legislation to imprison people without trial for 56 days, double the existing 28-day period. – Inspired by: 17th century ladies and prostitutes. – “What if Marilyn Monroe married an English lord with a country estate and they had a kinky relationship!” (Vivienne) – The prototype woman. – Pagan ritual. – Abstract graphics.
Chaos Point, Autumn-Winter 2008 – Primary school collaboration. – Freedom fighters in the jungle. – Symbols of CHAOS and Active Resistance. – The ecological crisis is reaching a tipping point. – Childish innocence. – Cut out paper dolls. – Theatrical and magical.
Do It Yourself, Spring-Summer 2009 – “In these hard times – Dress up. Do it yourself!” (Vivienne). – Tablecloths, safety pins, and curtains. – ‘Make Do and Mend’ ethos. – The wonders of drapery. – Signature corsets. – Recycling.
+5°, Autumn-Winter 2009/10 – Inspired by: colour and techniques of painter Andrea Mantegna. – Burnt orange, red and blue. – Renaissance armour translated into knitwear. – Pamela Anderson. – Ecological ‘Gaia’ hypothesis of James Lovelock. – Gaia. – Titled after scientific assertions that climate change would alter global temperatures to a new equilibrium, with catastrophic consequences.
Get a Life, Spring-Summer 2010 – Vivienne’s activism uniform. – Conservation. – Bleached stripes. – Lovelock’s ecological theories part two. – Plastic sleeves. – Powdered faces and high teased pompadours. – Hair up in flames. – Shredded ribbons. – Full skirts.
Prince Charming, Autumn-Winter 2010/11 – The ‘Principle Boy’ in pantomime. – Gender blurring. – “The kind of people you could meet in the Black Forest of Grimm’s Fairy Tales” (Vivienne). – Pencilled-on mustachios. – In solidarity with Marlene Dietrich.
Gaia The Only One, Spring-Summer 2011 – Dedicated to the curvaceous, the voluptuous, and the hyper-feminine. – Themes included Matisse, Commedia dell’arte and ballet. – Tutankhamun, Noh theatre, and little girls on the mountains in Peru, ‘waiting to marry the sun’. – Heart dresses. – Tutus and lampshade skirts.
World Wide Woman, Autumn-Winter 2011/12 – Female agency and power. – Mother Earth. – “It is women who forge the bonds of society” (Vivienne). – Golden brocade woven with faces of medieval icons. – Byzantine jewellery. – Tailoring as armour. – “They are the guardians of culture, most importantly in their creation of the salon (Napoleon agreed to ennoble his generals on condition that their wives opened a salon)” (Vivienne).
War and Peace, Spring-Summer 2012 – Confucianism. – Inspired by: Chinese and Tuareg dress. – Oversized historical corsets. – Tweed as armour. – Audience received a ‘family tree’ connecting Earth and science. – Progress and quality.
London, Autumn-Winter 2012/13 – 17th Century. – “I rely on historical reference. By engaging with human genius I have tried to capture the past in my fashion” (Vivienne). – The connection between theatre and everyday dress. – Andreas’ love for the city. – Unfinished hems. – Children’s drawings.
Climate Revolution, Spring-Summer 2013 – Inspired by: the articulation and colours of beatles. – Paintings of Velazquez. – Pattern found on a Chinese tea box. – Squiggle print. – Clomper shoes. – Waste reduction techniques. – ‘Square’ t-shirts and dresses. – Kate Moss campaign. – London 2012 Paralympic closing ceremony.
Save the Arctic, Autumn-Winter 2013/14 – Medieval Europe. – “I believe that designers always create a virtual reality: the(y) create clothes for a place that does not exist, somewhere better” (Vivienne). – Looking at 14th century illuminated manuscripts. – Models as illustrations. – Taffeta capes.
Everything is Connected, Spring-Summer 2014 – Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure’. – Pilgrimage sandals. – Splattered mud. – Embroideries made from recycled sunglass lenses. – Frida Kahlo iconography references. – Tulle.
Save the Rainforest, Autumn-Winter 2014/15 – An homage to Charles Frederick Worth, the founder of haute couture. – Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s 1865 portrait of Empress Elizabeth of Austria. – Frilled capes. – Military fatigue. – Anti-fracking slogans.
Unisex – Time to Act, Autumn-Winter 2015/16 – ‘Bisexual’ looks. – A male, chest-baring ‘Westwood Bride’. – Soft and fluid versus heft and structure. – English hand-tailoring. – Playing with proportion. ‘It’s so sexual because it’s new. It makes you look at the person from the outside’ (Vivienne).
Mirror the World, Spring-Summer 2016 – Venice of the Renaissance. – Bellini, Giorgione and Titian. – 15th Century Murano mirror-manufacturing. – Pagan origins of Venice Carnival. – Jackets suspended on structures above models’ heads referencing the stilt-supported Palazzos. – Belle Epoque hats. – Final Gold Label show.