Dame Vivienne Westwood was a true fashion icon, one of the world’s most enduring and important creative voices. She was the first designer to bring politics to the world of high fashion, becoming as well known for her signature pieces – from corsets and platform heels to pearl chokers and tartan jackets – as she was for her eco-activism. As a testament to her enduring legacy, many of her most instantly-recognisable designs remain as covetable today as they were when she first created them 30 or 40 years ago. Here, we’ve edited some of the most iconic Vivienne Westwood fashion pieces to invest in now.
Iconic Vivienne Westwood fashion pieces to invest in
If you were tasked with picking out the most emblematic of all the Vivienne Westwood fashion pieces, chances are the corset would be at the very top of that list. These waist-nipping, boned pieces swiftly went on to become one of her signatures after she showed them in her 1990 Portrait collection, where they were emblazoned with the works of Boucher.
Classic Portrait Corset
Portrait Corset Boucher
Classic Portrait Corset
Triple Row Pearl Choker
While Westwood was best known for her punk aesthetics, she liked to marry many of her more subversive looks with ladylike touches – like her famous triple row pearl necklace. Dating back to one of her earliest collections, the Bas Relief choker features her now-iconic silver orb logo at its centre, surrounded by three hand knotted rows of Swarovski pearls. The pearl choker has recently gained a cult following with a new generation on TikTok, as well as being spotted on a host of celebrity influencers including Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and Rihanna.
If there’s one print that’s synonymous with Vivienne Westwood fashion, it’s tartan. The plaid pattern first appeared as part of her 1993 Anglomania collection, and sought to reinvent how the traditional British fabric was used. Perhaps the most striking example of this is the use of her custom-made MacAndreas tartan, named after her husband and co-designer, Andreas Kronthaler.
Another key look from Westwood’s seminal 1993 Anglomania collection was her vertiginous Super Elevated Ghillie platform heels, crafted out of leather and embossed with a faux crocodile effect. They’ve gone down in fashion history thanks to the moment when Naomi Campbell took a tumble on the runway while wearing a purple pair. Hardly surprising, when you consider the platform soles measured 30.5cm in height. The current Elevated Ghillie platform is available in range of colours and features a decidedly more wearable 15cm heel.
Originally named after the French designer Yasmine Eslami, who was working for Westwood in the 80s, the Yasmine handbag was first presented at the Gold Label autumn/winter 1987 runway show and later appeared in seminal Westwood shows such as 1994’s Café Society and Anglomania. It’s said that Yasmine carried the first prototype of the bag to hold her absolute essentials – cigarettes, lighter and a lipstick.
Designed as part of her seminal Pirate collection in 1981, Westwood’s slouchy pirate boots became an instant hit with London’s coolest tastemakers, who paired them with snake-patterned leggings and belted tunics. In the 2000s they enjoyed a return to the spotlight, when they became the off-duty footwear of choice for the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, and have remained one of Westwood’s most popular designs ever since.