Vivienne Westwood quotes

Vivienne Westwood quotes. Westwood (1941- ) is a British fashion designer, best known for reinventing and popularizing punk and new wave fashion. Together with her ex-husband, the late Malcolm McLaren, Westwood ran an influential clothing shop on King's Road in London, variously named Sex, Seditionaires and Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die.

McLaren was then the manager of the Sex Pistols; together, they designed many of the band's clothes, which incorporated elements of BDSM, bondage gear, traditional Scottish design, as well as safety pins, dog collars, bicycle chains and even razor blades. Members of the Bromley Contingent, like Soo Catwoman, Jordan and Siouxsie Sioux, modeled many of her creations.

Ms. Westwood became a dame in the early 90s; she wore no underwear to the ceremony, which caused a stir in the British press. Recently, she released a 22-page manifesto against conspicuous consumption; some quotes from the manifesto appear below.

Conspicuous Consumption

I think stamped-out clothing is just for clones and I think that everybody looks terribly miserable. Fashion is life-enhancing and I think it's a lovely, generous thing to do for other people.

If you ask me what I think people should be getting next season. I'll tell you what I'd like them to buy—nothing. I'd like people to stop buying and buying and buying...
There's this idea that somehow you've got to keep changing things, and as often as possible. Maybe if people just decided not to buy anything for a while, they'd get a chance to think about what they wanted; what they really liked.


You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes.

In Italy they take cheap cloth and make it look expensive, but I take expensive cloth and make it look cheap. They just don't understand.
––after losing a contract with Armani

I thought Sex And The City was supposed to be about cutting-edge fashion and there was nothing remotely memorable or interesting about what I saw...I went to the premiere and left after ten minutes.

Fashion is about eventually becoming naked.

Why do people think that if you don't dress up, others will appreciate your beauty more – that style will somehow emanate from you? It's rubbish. If you dress up it helps your personality to emerge––if you choose well.

My son has followed fashion since he was a punk. He and I agree that fashion is about sex.

Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.

There's something really awful about the way people dress now. Everyone looks the same. Everyone wants to look neutral.

What a load of rubbish!
––on her own son's "Celebrity Spawn" exhibition

Life, the Universe and Everything

If people are not thinking then we really don't have any future.

The young need discipline and a full bookcase.

Intelligence is composed mostly of imagination, insight, things that have nothing to do with reason.

Wandering around the shelves [of a library] from Aldous Huxley to Flagellation, Coco Chanel to Tourette's Syndrome.
––on her idea of happiness

There is no hierarchy of values any more. Real progress is due mainly to human genius, and that's rare, and usually stems from a real elite, from a hierarchy.

My manifesto is saying, essentially, every time you learn something, you see something you understand, you are helping to change the world and you are a freedom fighter. Even if it just means looking a word up in the dictionary you didn't know before.

Every time I hear that word, I cringe. Fun! I think it's disgusting; it's just running around. It's not my idea of pleasure.

When we were young I fell in love with Malcolm [McLaren]. I thought he was beautiful and I still do. I thought he was a very charismatic, special and talented person. The thought of him dead is really something very sad.
––on her ex-husband's death


Personally I'm not a feminist, as I can't stand puritans.

I'm anti-feminist. They don't see the wood for the trees and everything has to be viewed from this feminist point of view. I know women have suffered and I think it's great that people stand up for women's rights but the problem with feminists is that they somehow consider women to be superior beings. And in the end, they just want to be men anyway. They want to do men's work.

Nazism is politically embedded in our history and it is still there, spreading like an oil stain in a society that worships business.


We wanted to create a feeling of being inside a womb, but in a sort of sex torture chamber.
––On her clothing shop "SEX"

Malcolm [McLaren] and I were probably the straightest people on that scene.

When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do. The thought of him dead is really something very sad. We hadn't been in touch for a long time.
––on McLaren's death

I was walking down the street in rubber negligées and high-heel stiletto shoes at a time when other people were wearing denim, flares and platforms. You felt very heroic. I knew I looked good.


Anglomania shoes by Vivienne Westwood. Photo by BitchBuzz.

Photo by BitchBuzz.

I like to literally put women on a pedestal.
––on her high heels


I'm not trying to do something different, I'm trying to do the same thing but in a different way.

It is not possible for a man to be elegant without a touch of femininity.

When I'm in the street, the only people I notice, are usually at least 70 years old, because they look really stylish.

It's better to look important than sexy.

So many women don't seem to even understand what sexy means. Sexy is about looking powerful and important.

It is life-enhancing [to dress well]. It's generous. It's a self-expression to find clothes that suit you. And it does make for a communication. We're not naked.

You have a better life if you wear impressive clothes.

Related Reading:

Lydia Lunch Quotes

Coco Chanel Quotes

Punk Models

Lady Gaga - A Dissenting Opinion

Punk Hairstyles

Girl's Punk Hairstyles

Kathleen Hanna Quotes

Sid and Nancy

Vivienne Westwood quotes appears as part of our Quotes section.

Return to Enjoy Your Style's home page.

Search Enjoy Your Style:

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
ModCloth Super Sale Check out our SALE section for 25% off & more Buy now!