‘You never failed to surprise and shock’: Tributes to designer Dame Vivienne Westwood | UK News

Some of the fashion industry’s biggest names have paid tribute to designer Dame Vivienne Westwood after she died at the age of 81.

Dame Vivienne died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, south Londonon Thursday her representatives said in a statement.

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.

“I will always remember the night we bonded over our mutual love for Yves Saint Laurent.

“You never failed to surprise and to shock. I am grateful for the moments I got to share with you and (her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler).

“Rest in peace dear Vivienne, although somehow peace seems like the wrong word.”

As well as her fashion, the Derbyshire-born designer was known for her campaigning, standing up for issues such as pollution and climate change, as well as supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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In 2020, Dame Vivienne Westwood told Sky News why she supports Julian Assange

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Dame Vivienne closing LFW 2019

She once dressed up as Margaret Thatcher for a magazine cover and drove a white tank near the home of former prime minister David Cameron to protest against fracking.

Dame Vivienne also showed her rebellious nature when receiving an OBE from the Queen in 1992.

She turned up without underwear – a fact she revealed with a twirl of her skirt for photographers.

“The only reason I am in fashion is to destroy the word ‘conformity’,” she said in her biography.

“Nothing is interesting to me unless it’s got that element.”

At London Fashion Week in 2017
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At London Fashion Week in 2017

Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham 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 VB.”

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!”

Girl band Bananarama described Dame Vivienne as “a true pioneer”, adding that she was “an incredible force in fashion and a long-time activist who will continue to inspire for generations”.

Dame Vivienne showcasing her menswear collection in Milan in 1998
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Dame Vivienne showcasing her menswear collection in Milan in 1998

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan also paid tribute to the designer.

Mr Khan described her as “a creative icon who helped cement the UK at the very forefront of modern fashion”.

Ms Donelan said: “Vivienne Westwood was and will remain a towering figure in British fashion.

“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.”

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) described Dame Vivienne as a “true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion”.

A tweet said: “We are saddened to learn about the passing of legendary designer Vivienne Westwood. A true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion.”

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