© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Vivienne Westwood - Godmother of Goth

Kate Davey
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Jet black hair, dark eye makeup, mesh, ripped t-shirts, BDSM chains and belts. These things were indicative of an 80s gothic look.

“I've constantly tried to provoke people into thinking afresh and for themselves, to escape their inhibitions and programming.” -Vivienne Westwood

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Vivienne Westwood will always be known for her part in the creation of the goth movement. Her provocative work in the late 70s created tidal waves in fashion and essentially started the gothic revolution of the 80s. Westwood, along with her partner at the time, Malcolm McLaren said good riddance to the flared denim and hippie style that dominated the sixties.


They opened a series of shops at 430 Kings Road in London, but in 1974 Westwood and McLaren opened their most famous shop, SEX. Westwood and McLaren dressed the outside of their shop as an actual fetish shop, forcing those who were truly interested to walk in before they could see what was on offer to buy.  Mostly selling garments to prostitutes and young punks, brave enough to take the very edgy look to the streets. Mick Jagger, Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and all the other members of the Sex Pistols were all regulars at SEX.