Trend Bids Farewell to Vivienne Westwood at Southwark Cathedral in London

LONDON “When in doubt, gown up!”

That was one of Vivienne Westwood’s numerous mottos and the gown code for her sophisticated, candlelit memorial services that took area Thursday afternoon at Southwark Cathedral, on the edges of the bustling Borough Current market in southeast London.

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Pals, acolytes and fellow designers like Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Zandra Rhodes and Bella Freud took Westwood at her term, streaming into the Gothic cathedral in their finery to pay back tribute to the revolutionary designer and activist, who died Dec. 29 at age 81.

There was Stephen Jones putting on a floppy velvet crown, Westwood T-shirt and ’70s bondage trousers Matty Bovan with eyeliner sketched across his deal with, just like Westwood made use of to dress in it, and Helena Bonham Carter, remarkable in tartan and platforms, her multicolored hair piled high on her head.

“Maybe we really should communicate to the king about a obtaining a countrywide Vivienne Westwood day,” claimed the actress at the get started of her quick and witty eulogy. She explained the designer as a “true feminist” who was in a position to remodel ladies on the outside, and the inside.

“The attire do all the get the job done for you,” claimed Bonham Carter, adding that she can set away a whole English breakfast and a bacon roll and nevertheless look very good in her slinky Westwood Cocotte attire. “Even on a extra fat day, I feel like a lady. No diet plan expected.”

Bonham Carter praised Westwood, who drew closely on 18th-century costume, for providing her the likelihood to “wear a Fragonard” relatively than see it trapped on the wall of a museum. Bonham Carter said the types are so magical that she wouldn’t be amazed if they obtained up at night time and danced with each other.

The company was a cultural feast, reflecting the passions and interests of the late designer. Westwood may perhaps be synonymous with punk and famed for plundering historical past for her sexy, swashbuckling models, but her pursuits have been broad and the mastering in no way stopped.

Producing garments was something she appreciated, and was outstanding at, but it was crystal clear from Thursday’s order of company that Westwood’s enthusiasm for vogue was eclipsed by her commitment to her family, her politics and a drive to proper the world’s wrongs.

Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof

She campaigned for the natural environment, social justice, and for the freedom of her longtime pal Julian Assange, who stays in British jail and faces rates in the U.S. for publishing categorised and diplomatic files.

Assange was barred by British authorities from attending Westwood’s funeral past month in England’s Peak District (wherever the designer grew up), and from Thursday’s services, too.

Westwood was a lifelong learner who started her occupation as a main college instructor and was a voracious reader right until the conclusion.

Her spouse and style and design heir Andreas Kronthaler, whom she fulfilled though instructing trend style at the Vienna Faculty of Used Art, stated she invested her previous months reading through Chinese poetry.

In her later years she started writing her possess poetry, converted to Taoism and persisted with her quite a few activist strategies. “She challenged everybody to do far better by educating themselves” and standing up to injustice, mentioned Westwood’s granddaughter Cora Corré.

Dressed in a spectacular black jacket with wide shoulders and Elizabethan swagger, Corré said her grandmother “remained legitimate to her interior force, and considered that with sincerity of application, everything is achievable.”

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin

Looking at was not Westwood’s only appreciate. At the get started of Thursday’s service, Arnfield Brass, a band from the Peak District, played tracks ranging from “The Sound of Music” basic “Do-Re-Mi” to Miles Davis’ “Concierto de Aranguez” and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

At one issue the Australian musician Nick Cave played piano and sang “Into My Arms” whilst Maria Ladurner sang George Frideric Handel’s “How Wonderful Are the Feet” and Chrissie Hynde crooned “Raining in My Heart.”

Westwood herself included a light-weight contact to the proceedings in a movie produced by her brother Gordon Swire called “My Sister Vivienne.”

In it, she talks about increasing up in Derbyshire, “the most wonderful area in England,” her enjoy of mother nature, a childhood put in skipping rope and singing tunes with her girlfriends, and teenage yrs invested “drinking whisky,” dancing and kissing boys.

“By the time I was 18, I’d had about 200 boyfriends,” she states in the film. “But it was just snogging. Nothing more than that.”

The punk rebel — and operator of the Sexual intercourse boutique — would emerge later.

“It was youth versus age,” she suggests of the punk motion, introducing that her antiestablishment sights derived partly from the U.S. war in Vietnam. She was offended due to the fact “some of the people today who prompted the war ended up still in electric power. They required to exploit inexpensive labor in the location. We didn’t need to have these guys telling us what to do,” she suggests.

The apparel have been a bonus. “Punk was so glamorous. You just appeared remarkable,” claims the designer, who liked carrying her political statements on her sleeves (and T-shirt)s. “Wear a slogan, and that idea will spread,” she says.

Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave

Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave

Through the service Westwood sprang to lifetime in so quite a few approaches. Her youthful son, Joseph Corré, claimed she left him certain recommendations in advance of she died. “She remaining us all extensive to-do lists. This was my mine: end war, stop local weather improve, battle for human rights,” he stated, stifling a snicker.

Guests, who also involved Kate Moss, Tracey Emin, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Beth Ditto and Bob Geldof remembered her each as a fiery spirit and the queen of cool.

Rhodes mentioned she marvels at how Westwood was able to be a designer and an activist simultaneously. “Somehow, she manufactured it get the job done. She managed to do it all,” stated the designer.

Jones cherished her but said “she wasn’t quick. I was terrified of her. We labored collectively and she improved my existence. She created me consider.”

Jacobs, who attended with Beckham and whose show previously this thirty day period was a tribute to Westwood, reported that when he was a teen likely clubbing “only the coolest kids wore Vivienne Westwood — it was not even accessible in the U.S. at the time. If you wore it, you were being aspect of a incredibly elite team. Her apparel just resonate with young persons. It is challenging to explain that power.”

Ellen von Unwerth stated she constantly beloved photographing Westwood’s apparel. “They had been sexy and elegant with hoop skirts and stockings, and a minor bit kinky, too. The ladies had so much enjoyment on her runway — I generally required to shoot everything, and put on it, much too, of training course.”

— With contributions from Violet Goldstone

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