Since this week we are dedicating our site to influential British women, we decided to take a look at some of the women who have rocked the fashion world, whether it be by their unique approach to fashion, their model status or their attempts to incorporate their lifestyle into fashion. We have looked at veteran of fashion, Vivienne Westwood; controversial model and her contribution to high street fashion, Kate Moss and wannabe designer Katie Price, who is taking her unique style to the catwalk.
Dame Vivienne Westwood (born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Tintwistle, Cheshire, England on 8 April, 1941), is the English fashion designer largely responsible for modern punk and new wave fashions.
By her mid twenties, Vivienne Westwood’s life seemed to be passing in a distinctly unremarkable way. At 25, she was married to an air steward; she lived in Willesden, went to church and taught in a local primary school.
Then something remarkable happened, she met Malcolm Mclaren, future manager of the Sex Pistols, and he led her into the underground of the late 1960’s street. He lectured her on the political power of art and liberated her creative desires from their bondage in working class conformity. Westwood became a subversive seamstress of pop.
Her first designs hung in Let it Rock on the King’s Road in 1971. Five years later the boutique, now named Sex, sold ripped T-shirts, chains and assorted bondage gear and Westwood was dressing Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols.
In the early 80s her collaboration with McLaren was a result of the first catwalk show – The Pirate collection. Pirates were the answer. The early 1980s was the time of the New Romantics, an urban arts scene that eschewed gender distinctive dress to delight in the theatre of courtier costume and whirls of eyeliner. Catching their mood, Westwood looked back to the 19th Century for her first collection, which she called Pirates. By the mid 80s her shows were shown on catwalks of Paris, then further collaboration with huge designer as Giorgio Armani.
In the 1990s Westwood had many awards in fashion, and she was appointed as professor of fashion at Vienna. This was the time when she launched her menswear collection Cut and Slash. She continued to open new shops across the UK and abroad in places such as New York and Milan.
Her designs combine a fearless unconformity with a sense of tradition. She is renowned for her gentle parody of Establishment styles, her use of very British fabrics such as Harris tweed and tartan, her re-use of historic garments such as the corset and crinoline. Yet, her approach has always been practical, driven by a curiosity about how things work, a process she describes as ‘learning through action’.
- Educated in University of Westminster, Midlesex University and Goldsmiths.
- In 1971 opened her first shop with McLaren at 430 King’s Road, London called ‘Let it Rock’
- 3 times awarded Fashion Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council
- Awarded OBE by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll
- Has two sons from different marriages – Ben Westwood and Joe Corre
- Collections include wedding dresses, fragrances, menswear.
Katherine Ann Moss was born on January 16, 1974 in Addiscombe, Croydon, South London, England. She was first spotted by model agency boss Sarah Doukas as a 14-year-old at JFK airport, and started her modelling career doing unremarkable shoots for teenage magazines. Photographer Corinne Day, one of the key players of the early Nineties “grunge” period, spotted her potential and snapped the adolescent topless and wearing a Native American headdress. The picture was published on the front cover of style bible The Face, and a Generation X icon was born. She has appeared on over 300 magazine covers. She is one of the most recognized supermodels in the world.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, who lost their hipness through over-exposure or as a result of the fashion industry’s constant need to reinvent itself, Kate has always been at the cutting edge of style. Today she is Britain’s wealthiest model, with an estimated fortune of nearly ₤15 million.
In 1998 Kate made headlines when it was revealed she’d checked into London’s celeb-friendly rehab centre The Priory after suffering what was termed “exhaustion”.
After splitting with Johnny Depp in May 1998, Kate was involved with a number of relationships, including one with Jefferson Hack, the former editor of style magazine Dazed & Confused, with whom she had a child. Lila Grace was born in September 2002, but by early 2004 her parents had decided to call it a day on their relationship.
She soon began dating singer Pete Doherty, whose addiction problems were well documented in the press and in September 2005 Kate became entangled in a drugs furore herself after tabloids showed pictures of her allegedly using cocaine. She lost several major modelling contracts, including Burberry, and issued an apology.
Still the darling of the fashion world despite her tumultuous personal life, she went on to land a deal with high street chain Topshop to design her own range, cementing her status as a style leader.
- Attended Ridgeway Primary School and Riddlesdown High School in Purley.
- In September 2005, she was caught up in a cocaine scandal as pictures of her allegedly snorting cocaine were published by the Daily Mirror.
- Won the ‘Sexiest Woman’ NME Award in March 2007.
- Launched a fragrance and body lotion range with Coty in 2007.
- Released a collection of clothes exclusively for the TopShop chain in May 2007
Katie Price (born Katrina Amy Alexandria Infield in Brighton, East Sussex, England on May 22nd 1978) has been in and out of the headlines since she found fame as a Page 3 Glamour Model.
At the suggestion of a friend to have professional photographs taken, she decided to pursue a modelling career. After sending the picture to a modelling agency in London she was invited to their studios for photo shoots and to discuss a contract.
Unhappy with the size of her breasts, she had enhancement surgery to increse her natural 32B/C to a 32D. The Sun, however, later barred her from Page 3 after announcing they would only hire ‘all natural’ models. She still continued modelling for magazines such as FHM, Maxim, Nuts, Loaded, Vogue, British Elle and the British Edition of Playboy.
In May 2002 she gave birth to soon Harvey Price, whose father is footballer Dwight Yorke. Shortly after his birth, Harvey was found to have a condition known as septo-optic dysplasia, meaning that the development of his optic nerve was unpredictable. It has later been discovered he is on the autistic spectrum, gains weight easily and finds walking difficult.
In 2004 she appeared in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…..Get Me Out Of Here! Where she met future husband Peter Andre. The couple married in September 2005 and had two children Junior Savva Andreas Andre (born 13th June 2005) and Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther Andre (born 29th June 2007.) However the couple divorced September 2009. She later remarried cage fight Alex Reid in February 2010 but the couple announced their separation in January 2011.
Her popularity may have taken a dive since her split from Pete, but her brand hasn’t. She has successfully released books, perfumes, a hair care range, an equestrian range, bedding, reality shows and has recently created her own fashion line.
Although not everyone will agree with Jordan’s fashion choices, she has teamed up with designer Lamis Khamis to bring you Day 22. On the 22nd (which is the day she was born on) of every month they will add new limited edition piece to the collection as they wanted “a brand that is fresh all the time.” If you are interested in buying any of the Day 22 collection go to www.day22.co.uk
Jordan may not be in the headlines for all the right reasons, but she has transformed herself into a smart and savvy businesswoman, and this is inspirational to many young girls out there.
- Attended Blatchington Mill School, where she swam for Sussex in regional competitions.
- At the age of 13 modelled for a clothing line, however the project’s photographer was found to be a convicted pedophile.
- In 2002 she was treated for cancer. She had a leiomyosarcoma on her finger and the tumour was removed.
- Price is a keen horse rider and has taken part in Dressage competitions.
- After many years at ITV2, she left the channel and signed a new deal worth a reported £10million with Living TV in 2010
All pictures courtesy of Google
By Carrie-Ann Vessey and Tanya Andrejeva