Vivienne Westwood is proud that she has always sought to make clothing more distinctive and dramatic, urging her clients to react against the uniformity of modern clothing and to "do their own thing". She is also a perfectionist, famously saying that "Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and like everything that gives pleasure, is is worth doing well". After decades in the fashion limelight, she has inevitably moved from her anarchic punk beginnings to a far more mainstream position. However, she is still in essence anti-establishment, combining in her work a striking non-conformity with a subversive adaptation of British traditions, even parodying those twin bastions of the state - religion and royalty.
This shoe is typical of Westwood's provocative stance, with its very high cuban heel and platform sole. Such shoes are very difficult to walk in and these famously caused Naomi Campbell to topple over on the catwalk. Below is a remarkable evening cloak from the archive collection of Vivienne Westwood herself, exemplifing the boldness and theatricality of so much of the designer's work. In its colour and voluminous size, it sports fantasy elements, looking back in history to a vague medievalism, and to fairy tale components like Little Red Riding Hood. The hooded cloak is made from scarlet acetate, fully lined with furry royal blue velvet.
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