London

Vivienne Westwood on Clapham Common, London, 1994. Photo: Gavin Bond.

Vivienne Westwood on Clapham Common, London, 1994. Photo: Gavin Bond.

London

Vivienne Westwood

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
April 1–July 11, 2004

Curated by Claire Wilcox

God save the queen—of fashion, that is. Ever since she and Malcolm McLaren swung open the doors of their London boutique Let it Rock in 1971, the name Vivienne Westwood has been synonymous with British style. This retrospective of about 150 works from the ’70s to the present is the most complete to date: It covers everything from the punk T-shirts she created for the Sex Pistols to her latest high-concept runway shows. The V&A has long accumulated Westwood’s designs, and she has gleefully pillaged their collection of historical dress as inspiration for her outrageous send-ups of classic British tartans, tweeds, and Gainsborough-era gowns. Claire Wilcox, senior curator of modern fashion at the V&A, has also written the accompanying—and first-ever—book-length study of the designer’s creations.