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The hippie movement was still the fashion look of late 1960s London, but this did not inspire Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, they were more interested in rebellion and in particular 1950s clothing, music and memorabilia. Vivienne began by making Teddy Boy clothes for McLaren and in 1971 they opened Let it Rock at 430 Kings Road.
‘We’ve only stopped to note significant innovations, otherwise the ideas carry through and develop throughout the collections.’
During this period Vivienne’s heros changed from punks and ragamuffins to ‘Tatler’ girls wearing clothes that parodied the upper class. A chance encounter inspired one of her most important and influential collections, the Harris Tweed collection of Autumn/Winter 1987.
Beginning to put historicism to one side, Westwood returned to a more asexual cut, exploring the natural dynamic of the fabric by treating it like a living mass.
Vivienne believes that fashion is a combination and exchange of ideas between France and England; “On the English side we have tailoring and an easy charm, on the French side that solidity of design and proportion that comes from never being satisfied because something can always be done to make it better, more refined.”