Tributes have been flooding in from across the fashion world after it was announced that Dame Vivienne Westwood passed away yesterday.
She died “peacefully surrounded by her family” in Clapham, South London yesterday aged 81.
Widely considered as an icon of the fashion world, with her work revered globally, the Derbyshire-born fashion designer and businesswoman was the largely-responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.
A statement announcing her passing reads: “Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better.
“She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future.
“Vivienne considered herself a Taoist. She wrote, “Tao spiritual system. There was never more need for the Tao today. Tao gives you a feeling that you belong to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life; it gives you such a sense of identity and strength to know you’re living the life you can live and therefore ought to be living: make full use of your character and full use of your life on earth.”
“The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better.”
Born in the High Peak village of Tinwistle in April 1941, Dame Vivienne first took a jewellery and silversmith course at Harrow Art School, before taking up a job in a factory and studying at a teacher-training college to become a primary school teacher.
During this period, she also created her own jewellery and sold it at a stall on Portobello Road.
Dame Vivienne first caught the public’s attention when she made clothes for the boutique that herself and Malcolm McLaren – the manager of the Sex Pistols – ran on King’s Road, which became known as SEX, and synthesised clothing and music to shape the 1970s UK punk scene.
She viewed punk as a way of “seeing if one could put a spoke in the system”.
Following the success of SEX, Dame Vivienne eventually went on to open four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world.
Outside of the fashion world, Dame Vivienne was also known to be a vocal spokesperson and promoter of many political causes – such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change, and civil rights groups.
Notable figures from across the fashion world and celebrity sphere have been pouring in since Dame Vivienne’s passing was announced.
American fashion designer Marc Jacobs said he was “heartbroken” at the news of her death, writing in a post on Instagram: “You did it first. Always. Incredible style with brilliant and meaningful substance. I continue to learn from your words, and, all of your extraordinary creations.
“Rest in peace dear Vivienne, although, somehow peace seems like the wrong word.”
Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham also wrote on Instagram: “I’m so sad to learn of the passing of legendary designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood. My thoughts are with her family at this incredibly sad time.”
Singer Boy George tweeted: “RIP to the great and inspiring Vivienne Westwood who led us through punk and beyond. Laughed at by the fashion industry but without question she is the undisputed Queen of British fashion.
“I love you! Oh bondage up yours!”
Model Bella Hadid wrote on Instagram: “Dearest Vivienne. Queen of punk. From the first day I met you to the last day I saw you, you made me smile, listen, learn and love more than the day before. I will forever be grateful to have been in your orbit, because to me and most, in fashion and in humanity, you, Vivienne, were the sun.”
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said Dame Vivienne “was and will remain a towering figure in British fashion”, adding that “her punk style rewrote the rule book in the 1970s and was widely admired for how she stayed true to her own values throughout her life.”
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture