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Iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dies, aged 81

The fashion designer dominated for decades

vivienne westwood
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81, with her family sharing that she died "peacefully" with them by her side in her Clapham home.

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The fashion designer launched to fame in the 1970s and helped to pioneer the punk and new wave fashion trends that dominated the decade alongside her then partner Malcolm McLaren. Together, the pair launched the SEX boutique store.

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As fashion trends developed, Vivienne was always able to stay on top of them, designing Tatler clothing in the 1980s.

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She was also approached by businesses and institutions in order to help them develop their styles, including Virgin Atlantic and King's College London.

Vivienne Westwood with raised skirt© Photo: Getty Images

Vivienne caused a stir with her OBE outfit

Her clientele loved her unique designs and she was known for dressing major celebrities including Dita von Teese and Marion Cotillard.

Her designs were even loved by Princess Eugenie, who wore one of her outfits to the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

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She even had her own run-in with royalty, with her outfit for when she met the Queen causing a stir. Vivienne attempted to show off her striking look, but revealed underneath her sheer tights instead.

Vivienne Westwood on fashion runway© Photo: Getty Images

The designer was active for many decades

She leaves behind her husband, Andreas Kronthaler and two sons Derek Westwood and Joseph Corré, the latter of whom has followed in his mother's footsteps and is the founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

Tributes have poured in with fashion critic Vanessa Friedman writing: "Farewell Vivienne Westwood, a true fashion original, and disruptor extraordinaire."

Jonathan Ross added: "RIP the great Vivienne Westwood. Unique. Brilliant. Uncompromising. Thanks Viv x," and Drag Race UK champion The Vivienne commented: "Vivienne Westwood is the woman that showed me I could do anything, I could wear what I wanted, she was an ICON and I lived my life through hers in some sorts of way. There will never be another, but we’ll continue your fight."

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