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Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dies at 81

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Iconic British

LONDON (NEXSTAR) — Iconic British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died Thursday in Clapham, south London, Westwood’s company confirmed Dec. 29.

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Vivienne Westwood

In a tweet, the brand’s official account wrote: “Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family… the world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better.”

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Queen Elizabeth II

Westwood, who was also granted the title of dame by the late Queen Elizabeth II, was born on April 8, 1941.

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Sex Pistols

Westwood’s designs rose to prominence during the punk era of the 1970s in England, with many of her dresses being worn by punk music pioneers the Sex Pistols. Westwood’s impact on punk is widely recognized, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute going so far as to call her the “Mother of Punk”.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 02: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of “Sex and the City” on October 2, 2007 in New York City (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)

Marie Antoinette

As Vogue explained, throughout the 1990s, Westwood’s designs became famous for their elaborate, lavish 18th-century European elements, similar to what Marie Antoinette saw. Many of these ornate elements can be seen in one of Westwood’s most recognizable pieces: the “Sex and the City” wedding dress. The gold and ivory multi-layered wedding dress was worn by star Sarah Jessica Parker for the 2008 film, and was worn when Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, was left at the altar.

The dress was so beloved that Westwood released a series of pieces inspired by the dress to commemorate the film’s 10th anniversary, according to Harper’s Bazaar.

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Emma Stone

More recently, Westwood’s spiritual fingerprints could be seen in the costume designs for Disney’s “Cruella,” which was set amid London’s punk fashion scene. As the titular Cruella, star Emma Stone wears several pieces loosely inspired by the Westwood style.

Andreas Kronthaler

BBC News reports that Westwood’s husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said in a statement: “I will carry on with Vivienne in my heart.”

Mario Testino

Several fashion industry greats responded via social media to express their condolences, including acclaimed photographer Mario Testino, whom the late designer “divined” and British fashion house Burberry, who called Westwood “a true british icon”.

British Vogue

British Vogue reports that Westwood’s sons and granddaughter will officially launch the Vivienne Foundation in 2023. The foundation, co-founded with Westwood herself, “will honour, protect and continue the legacy of Vivienne’s life, design and activism.”

Vivienne Westwood

A catalog of some Vivienne Westwood collections can be seen in Vogue.

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