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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Remembering the Legacy of Renowned Fashion Designer, Vivienne Westwood

Eva Cress Palencia (‘25) searches through her closet to find an outfit to wear. Many people at Webb wear things that are inspired by Vivienne Westwood. Trending designs such as layered clothing, graphic tees, platform shoes, pearl necklaces, and plaid have all been influenced by Vivienne Westwood.

On December 29, 2022, the world was shocked by the passing of fashion designer and style icon, Vivienne Westwood. Her family, friends, and millions of her fans were devastated by her recent passing. Her death was announced on Westwood’s eponymous company, Vivienne Westwood. 

Westwood’s design career started when she began making clothes for herself as a teenager. As she got older, she started wearing various “punk” outfits, making a statement in society and changing the way people looked at fashion. When she was a young adult, she would wear many statement items such as massive platform shoes, t-shirts with slogans, pearl necklaces, and plaid. Westwood’s style has been incorporated into the style that is popular today. These items of clothing are now very common to see at popular clothing stores, too. 

By the time she was 40, in 1981, Westwood launched her first catwalk show with her then husband, Malcolm McLauren. In the catwalk, she created gender neutral clothing, provoking the audience. The punk style that was on the catwalk was rarely seen before Westwood’s first show. Later, Westwood started becoming more well known in the designing industry due to her punk style becoming more prominent in runway shows. 

“My sister and I are both really into fashion, and the day Vivienne Westwood died, we didn’t know but we bought a beautiful piece of jewelry from Vivienne Westwood,” said Jolina Zhao (‘23). “From that, we saw how the industry [would] change because Vivienne Westwood has been an integral part of fashion, especially in setting trends in the past. She set the standards for punk and goth culture, and she introduced a lot of new genres into fashion, so losing her is detrimental in the fashion industry.”  

Vivienne Westwood also had a major impact on many well-known designers and celebrities. She inspired millions of people, who fell in love with her and her unique and stylish designs. Many people are seen walking around with graphic t-shirts, platform shoes, and Westwood’s popular pearl necklace, all clothing items that relate to Vivienne Westwood herself. These fashion trends that were sparked by Westwood, are also commonly worn by Webb students, too. On the day of her death, tributes began flooding in on all social medias from millions of fans and famous personalities such as Bella Hadid, Edward Enninful, and Boy George. Sharing their stories about how Westwood inspired them, they proved her to be a true icon of British fashion, leading the world through punk and beyond. 

Vivienne was extremely well known in the media not only for her iconic fashion designs such as wedding dresses, purses, and skirts, but she was also recognized for her trademark punk character that pushed the boundaries of the fashion industry. In the media, she was also known as “the high priestess of punk” and the “Queen of Extreme”. 

“I love Vivienne Westwood’s designs, I think they’re really cool, and I like the way she pairs them with different kinds of textures, cuts, and colors.” said Eva Cress Palencia (‘25). “I feel like her outfits are very unique and different.”   

She was not just known for her casual wear clothing designs: Westwood was also very talented and well-known for her wedding dresses. Many celebrities such as Anna Shafer, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Sabina Szymura all insisted on wearing her dress designs for their wedding.  

Large social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, have also played a major role in people finding out and learning more about the fashion industry and designers including Vivienne Westwood. Social media is also a place that has helped spark different fashion trends and bring light back to different clothing brands, such as Vivienne Westwood, particularly her unique custom wedding dresses, street fashion clothing, and jewelry. 

“I know Vivienne Westwood from seeing the TikTok slideshows of her wedding dresses and I just think they’re so beautiful and unique,” said Jarra Jallow (‘25). “I feel like she contributed so much to the wedding dress designing community because her designs are just so luxurious. It’s sad that she won’t be making anymore but I feel like we’re lucky that we still have her designs left over for us to appreciate.”  

Not only was she an inspiring fashion designer, she was also a passionate activist who talked about many current issues, from free speech to climate change. Vivienne was a big advocate for the planet and would use her fashion to spread awareness to help save the planet. For example, at the 2019-2020 show at London Fashion Week, Westwood sent out her models with political signs to spread awareness to help save the planet. 

Vivienne Westwood’s death is a tragic one, as she was such an inspiration to everyone around the world. A lavish and creative designer who loved her job and constructed beautiful clothes and dresses, The Queen of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, will be dearly missed by the world. 

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About the Contributor
Sydney Mildon
Sydney Mildon, Co-Editor of Features
When speaking with Sydney Mildon (‘25), you should always expect the unexpected. Usually quiet in class, Sydney can be strikingly loud when the vibe feels right. A bubbly and talkative person, she likes to hang out with friends, go on weekend runs, try different foods, and watch Gilmore Girls on replay. This summer, she traveled with her family to the Bahamas, Utah, and back to her home in Las Vegas. While enjoying the lighthearted side of life, Sydney also takes on many responsibilities in the Webb community. As a prefect for Jones dormitory, she takes care of her fellow boarders and ensures that they can fully engage in residential life. As an admission ambassador, she introduces prospective Webb students to the campus family. As a scholar, she is passionate about women's rights and is interested in becoming a lawyer to pursue the legal aspects of feminism and rape culture. Returning to the WCC as Editor of Features, Sydney is willing to have fun with her role while ensuring WCC articles’ quality. Additionally, she wants to increase the amount of her article outputs this year. With so many different aspects coming together in her, let us expect the unexpected articles from Sydney Mildon this year!   Favorite Song: "Lovers Rock" by TV Girl

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