Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly
Picador, £25; ebook, €18.07
In a book that feels like one long, fascinating gossip session with his subject and co-author, Ian Kelly chronicles the life of the designer who has had an unparalleled impact on British fashion.
From teacher to punk pioneer, Sex shop owner and anarchist to activist and Dame, Westwood talks candidly about her career, collections and relationships (including her hugely influential partnership with former husband Malcolm McLaren — ‘tumultuous’ doesn’t begin to cover it).
Right from the off, when Kelly goes behind the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week, we get a glimpse into all the late nights and hard graft that go into those collections, tough enough for the 20-something interns, let alone a 73-year-old.
Shot through with nearly 80 photos and illustrations, it’s a weighty work, but a thorough and fitting tribute to Queen Mother West (the Chinese translation of her name), still going strong after more than 40 years in fashion.
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