Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Vivienne Westwood

The grand dame of British fashion has always had a knack for provocation. In the 1970s, Westwood made new wave and punk mainstream when she began selling her eccentric collection of bondage gear, massive platform shoes and slogan T-shirts on London's King's Road — the epicenter of posh. "It changed the way people looked. I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system in some way," she's said of that period. By the early '80s she began experimenting with, among other things, pinstripe tailoring and tartan, and debuted her now signature corsets, inspired by the silhouettes of 18th century courtesans.