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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

dame viv, i love you

dame commander of england, queen of draping.

I am an absolute fool for Sex in the City.  Don't even try to play the trivia game with me, because I could hold my own in a room full of Stanford Blatch's and Anthony Marentino's.  I made my first movie theatre debut since Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds just to see Carrie Bradshaw throw her hands together and squeal with delight... and, of course that glorious Vivienne Westwood gown...

It was bigger and better than I could've imagined -- let's just say Carrie Bradshaw wasn't the only one who "eeked!" when that dress arrived in her mailbox.  My greatest objections to modern fashion are that so many designers don't know how to drape fabric worth a darn, or they are creators of "concept clothes" that are innovative in design but do little to flatter anything more than a coat hanger.  Westwood is neither.  She worked as a seamstress for ten years before designing, and her clothes are all about playing with femininity.  

Westwood gained first recognition in the 1970's when Malcom McLaren, future manager of The Sex Pistols, opened Let It Rock (later called SEX) on King's Road selling records, Teddy Boy clothes, bondage gear, and Westwood's original and outlandish designs.  She is said to have given punk rock its visual style.

image courtesy of V&A museum

Following the success of SEX, Westwood began designing lines of clothing inspired by music, film, and history.  Her most famous designs--the Mini Crini, bustle skirts, and 12-inch platform shoes--are derived from the designer's understanding of fashion history, particularly during the Victorian age.  Her designs are both playful and elegant, always sexy and never ordinary.  It's no wonder Carrie Bradshaw loves them so!  Here's a little peek at Carrie's best moments in Vivienne Westwood.

Her first day of work at Vogue: "I'm drunk... at Vogue."
Hesitantly announcing the Aiden engagement to Samantha over drinks.  
Running into Berger's friends at BED after receiving "the post-it"
Being upstaged by Mr. Winkles the dog at her L.A. book signing
images from

The best part?  The quirky designer known for donning horns and  blue eye-liner in lieu of eyebrows (and, oh, forgetting to wear her knickers in front of the Queen) apparently only survived the first 10 minutes of the film's opening, and allegedly found the fashion "dull."  Oh, viv... if you keep creating masterpieces I guess I'll forgive you.

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