Vivienne Westwood and partner Malcolm McLaren gained attention in the 1970s for designing clothes that captured the iconoclastic spirit of Punk style. In 1980, they changed the name of their London store from Seditionaries to World’s End and left Punk behind to move in a new direction. They began to show their collections on the runway for the first time, shaking up the fashion industry from within.
Although Westwood and McLaren ended their partnership by
mid-decade, Westwood found continued success as a solo designer, as her idiosyncratic style earned her international acclaim. In 1989, Women’s Wear Daily publisher John Fairchild crowned her one of "the six best designers in the world." Vivienne Westwood, 1980-89
is the first exhibition to focus on Westwood’s transformation from street style provocateur to influential fashion designer.
The exhibition, on view March 8 - April 2, 2011, offers three different views of Westwood’s work during this pivotal decade. In the Press examines the coverage she received from fashion and lifestyle publications as she rose to prominence. In the Streets and On TV contextualizes her work within the street style and music scenes. On the Runway features selections of Westwood’s work from The Museum at FIT’s collection and period catwalk footage to demonstrate the rebellious, sexy style that is distinctly 1980s Westwood.