Formerly Punk & Currently Quirky Vivienne Westwood: "Why Don't People Tear Their Own Clothes?"

Illustration for article titled Formerly Punk & Currently Quirky Vivienne Westwood: "Why Don't People Tear Their Own Clothes?"

You've gotta love Vivienne Westwood. The 66-year-old British fashion designer is sorta insane, but she sorta knows it, so it's all good. She hates expensive shit, yet continues to sell it (a girl's gotta eat?) and is basically single-handedly credited with creating punk. When Sabine Durrant of the Telegraph interviewed Westwood recently, Viv informed her: "I can't think without my glasses." Glad to see someone else suffers the same problem! Everything that trickles out of her mouth is somehow amazing and perversely awe-inspiring. She's kind of a big dork: "Every time I have to look up a word in the dictionary I'm delighted." And of her early days as a pre-school teacher, she says:"My sympathies were with the kids. I could understand why they were naughty." And wait until you hear what she says about punk now:

Why don't people tear their own clothes if that's what they want? Why buy a torn T-shirt from me? ...If you hear Anarchy In The UK today your hair stands on end. It gives you the shivers... I moved on. I realised that it's only ideas that are subversive in the end. It's not rushing around being a rebel.


On her children and how she raised them:

I never tried to impose things. And I felt my sons should respect me. It would have to be a real emergency, for example, if they would wake me in the middle of the night, or even early in the morning. But I always thought what I could give to my children were my opinions. I don't think I was very good at educating my children... Oh, maybe I was in a way. My eldest son [a porn photographer] reads... And my younger son... Well, until a year ago he had only read The Great Train Robbery and a history of Jimmy somebody or other... But then he's Malcolm's son as well, so...

On ex-husband, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren:

I do all these shows in Paris [where he lives] but I don't think of inviting him even. I think he's been too bad to me. Finally I decided he wasn't worth seeing. Sorry, I shouldn't say it in that way, but I don't expect he'll mind.

On current husband Andreas Kronthaler, who is both bisexual and 25 years younger than Westwood:

He needs my calmness and my grounding because he's very hysterical. He gets overwhelmed by himself. [...] I've never been interested - I've never worried - what he's up to or anything. I let him go - not let him, I mean he goes - on holiday by himself. And he'll change his clothes two or three times a day, even on the beach. And that man - he has to change his underwear. He has to feel things. He's a very sensual person.


On her 10-year old granddaughter, Cora:

She's really conservative. I'm very disappointed in that. She wears jeans. I think jeans are terrible... She said to me, "It's more important if people are nice people than what they wear." I said, "Rubbish."


Viva Viv [Telegraph]



You are mistaken, as clearly, Green Day did.

and also, I laughed for real at your comment.