Punk pioneer and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, RIP

Dame Vivienne Westwood, the fashion designer who shaped the transgressive style and DIY substance of punk rock, has died at her home in London, England. She was 81.

"The only reason I am in fashion is to destroy the word 'conformity,'" Westwood once said.

From The Guardian:

A self-taught designer with no formal fashion training, Westwood learned how to make clothes as a teenager by following patterns and by taking apart secondhand clothes she found at markets in order to understand the cut and construction.

She met band manager Malcolm McLaren in the 1960s while working as a primary school teacher after separating from her first husband, Derek Westwood. The pair opened a small shop on Kings Road in Chelsea in 1971 that became a haunt of many of the bands she outfitted, including the Sex Pistols, who were managed by McLaren.

Her provocative and sometimes controversial designs came to define the punk aesthetic, and Westwood would become one of Britain's most celebrated fashion designers, blending historical references, classic tailoring and romantic flourishes with harder edged and sometimes overtly political messages[…]

As an anti-consumerist, Westwood gleefully undermined her own business interests. In 2010, she told AAP: "I just tell people, stop buying clothes. Why not protect this gift of life while we have it? I don't take the attitude that destruction is inevitable. Some of us would like to stop that and help people survive."