LONDON (Reuters) – Celebrities and fashionistas gathered at London’s Southwark Cathedral on Thursday to say goodbye to veteran designer Vivienne Westwood, who died in December aged 81.
The memorial service for the designer and campaigner drew famous names from the worlds of film, music and fashion, including actors Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter Joely Richardson, Helena Bonham Carter, Gwendoline Christie and Elle Fanning as well as music stars Simon Le Bon, Nick Cave, Bob Geldolf and Stormzy.
Designers Victoria Beckham and Paul Smith, models Kate Moss, her daughter Lila Grace, and Lily Cole as well as British Vogue editor Edward Enninful were among the big fashion names in attendance for the service, alongside Westwood’s husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler.
Westwood was synonymous with 1970s punk rock, dressing the Sex Pistols – a rebelliousness that remained her hallmark.
She addressed climate change, pollution, and her support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on protest T-shirts or banners carried by her models on the runway of her fashion shows.
Some guests at her memorial wore badges with the words “climate” and “revolution”, one had a skirt reading “Free Assange” while another a scarf depicting Westwood and “Queen Vivienne”.
Many were dressed in her creations, including tartan designs, her famous towering platform heels as well as strapped pirate boots.
The memorial was held a day before the start of London Fashion Week on Friday, where designers will present their latest collections.
The five-day event, run by the British Fashion Council (BFC), will be dedicated to Westwood, organisers have said.
“What a loss to the British fashion industry, but what a legacy to have left behind for us to keep thinking about how we as an industry can … be more responsible when it comes to the climate crisis and production and what we put out,” Caroline Issa, CEO and fashion director at Tank magazine as well as BFC board member, told Reuters.
“Her punk spirit will always live on, especially in the fashion industry.”
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Additional reporting by Sarah Mills; Editing by Janet Lawrence)