T he grande dame of British fashion Vivienne Westwood first made a splash in 1970 when she and her then partner Malcolm McLaren of the Sex Pistols opened up Let it Rock. The 1950s-revival boutique on London’s Kings Road was an outlet for them to showcase their passions. For Westwood, it was her penchant for leather and zippers. In 1974, they renamed the shop Sex, selling S&M gear and racy, shredded T-shirts that became punk’s visual insignia. She helped create the look of bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The shop, now called World’s End, carries her couture and ready-to-wear lines.
In 1981, she made her debut on London’s runways with her Pirate collection and, a year later, was the first British designer to show in Paris since Mary Quant.
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