For the first time ever, Dame Vivienne Westwood – the acclaimed British fashion designer known for her Punk aesthetic, rebellious creativity and environmental, philanthropic work – has co-written the story of her illustrious career, launching an autobiography titled Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly.
First news the book, which is co-penned by famed British actor and biographer, Ian Kelly, came in November last year, when Kelly (author of the critically acclaimed biographies of Beau Brumell and Casanova), hinted that it would come as a “frank revelation” from the 72-year-old and would contain “jaw-dropping details.”
In 464 pages of personal accounts of the 44 years that have led to Ms Westwood’s stature as an icon in the fashion industry and a revolutionary in postwar British culture, Westwood and Kelly have worked hard to keep a personal touch on the designer’s story. Speaking to the Guardian, Kelly explained of the tome;
“There is an extraordinary story here, offering a person-shaped keyhole on British culture, on modern feminism and, of course, on fashion.”
The book opens with the Dame’s early life in Derbyshire, before moving on to the creation of her empire and its resounding impact on Britain’s punk culture, whilst simultaneously drawing inspiration from it – chronicling her unorthodox approach from her days training to become a teacher in Tintwistle before partnering up with the late Malcolm McLaren to set up the clothes shop, SEX on London’s Kings Road in 1970.
The book, whose cover was shot by fashion photographer, Jurgen Teller, will also contain anecdotes from the likes of Naomi Campbell, Shami Chakrabarti, Jerry Hall and Prince Charles, with an official statement adding;
“Vivienne Westwood is one of the icons of our age; fashion designer, activist, co-creator of punk, global brand and a grandmother; a true living legend. Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly tells her story for the first time in all its glamour and glory, with her unique voice, unexpected perspective and passionate honesty.
For the first and only time, Vivienne Westwood has co-written and collaborated on a personal memoir and authorised biography: partly through her own voice, partly through contributions from her vast network of friends, family and associates. Based on two years with Vivienne, Ian Kelly has woven a unique narrative recording the inside story of a woman who has influenced millions.”
Upon the initial announcement of the book late last year, Westwood spoke on recounting tales of her time with McLaren, saying:
“The living deserve respect. The dead deserve the truth; Ian and I are working together on this and I am excited this will be my story, the story nobody ever did before.”
The book is already available to pre-order here on the official Vivenne Westwood website for $31.35, and will be available for purchase from October 9, 2014. We at SPICE suggest you grab a copy for a truly insider look at the fashion industry, through the eyes of one of its greats.
Image source: Theguardian.com, Fabmagazineonline.com, Tumblr.com