Tag Archives: Vivienne Westwood

➤ Is the sun setting on Westwood’s Worlds End?

Worlds End , shop, fashion, London

430 King’s Road: the crazy Worlds End clock slips from sight

◼ IF I WERE THE V&A, I’d be eyeing up that fairytale frontage at 430 King’s Road and hoping to buy it up for our national collection, along with its crazy 13-hour clock that turns time backwards. Today the nursery-rhyme cottage façade with slate roofing and wonky door frame vanished behind a builder’s hoardings. For 34 years the Worlds End shop has played home to savages, witches, pirates and other Vivienne Westwood fantasies, but can demolition be imminent?

The shop has stood empty for weeks, “closed for refurbishment until further notice”, according to its blog, which adds that more space has been acquired in the basement of the listed 19th-century building. Viv’s son Ben has given one deadline after another, promising that Worlds End would reopen in October, then “further into November”, and last week “the beginning of December”. A council notice on the hoarding validates it until 30 Jan 2015, so this could mean all promises are off until February.

Click any pic below to launch slideshow

Viv’s Mayfair flagship store heads her chain of 12 UK retail outlets with Ben supervising Worlds End and devising between them clever ways to reinvent mum’s vast repertoire of silhouettes from squiggle shirts to mountain hats. Following her former partner Malcolm McLaren’s death in 2010, Viv asserted her rights to the various shop names and retail trademarks from their 13 years together and has adroitly capitalised on their sales potential since.

Ben has wittily related the freaky tale his father Malcolm told him about how he acquired 430 King’s Road, when the owner gave him the keys one day in 1971 and never came back.

A dynasty of subversive shops have mythologised this Chelsea address which is today one of Britain’s youth-cultural tourist magnets. The hippie boutique Hung on You of 1967 was followed by Mr Freedom, Paradise Garage, and in 1971 Let It Rock, the first of five retail ventures pursued by McLaren and Westwood, after meeting at Harrow School of Art. Next came Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die, then the most notorious, Sex, the home in 1975 of punk and the Sex Pistols, Malcolm’s creation wearing his Svengali hat. Here too Jordan (née Pamela Rooke) became the female face of punk as both sales assistant and living mood board who single-handedly turned the safety pin into a fashion statement.

Simon Barker, Six, Punks Dead, Jordan, photography, exhibition, London, Berlin

Reunited at the 2012 Punk’s Dead exhibition: a plonker from Six for Jordan at London’s Divus Gallery. Photograph © Shapersofthe80s

This week from Berlin Jordan expressed concern about the rumours surrounding the shop: “Really shocked, has it closed or is it being redesigned? Surely Vivienne hasn’t closed it, it is iconic!” Jordan was in Berlin, coincidentally, for the latest leg of the Punk’s Dead touring exhibition of Simon Barker’s photos of the movement’s earliest flowering. Simon, of course, aka Six, was one of punk’s feted Bromley Contingent who himself went on to front the Worlds End shop for many years. He piped up: “The problem is it is lined with asbestos. Plus Malcolm wouldn’t have cared about Worlds End being redeveloped – a ‘dance in the ruins’.”

Time for a check-call to the Westwood HQ. A spokeperson there purred soothingly: “What’s happening is a major renovation. To remove what’s in the walls and floors will take one or two months. Worlds End is definitely not in danger of being closed.” Sorry, Malcy: your dance has been postponed.

Punk’s Dead,exhibition, books,photography, Simon Barker , Siouxsie Sioux

In the Punk’s Dead show: Siouxsie Sioux at the St James hotel in 1977. Photographed by Six

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: 2012, Punk’s Dead – Fresh pix from the “14 months” of punk

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: 1983, The day Vivienne and Malcolm realised the end was nigh


30 years ago ➤ The day Vivienne and Malcolm realised the end was nigh

End of the world: The last public appearance together by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Oct 17, 1983. As they take the applause for their Paris show, a bitter battle for control of the Worlds End label is raging behind the scenes. Picture © by Shapersofthe80s

End of the world 30 years ago: The last public appearance together by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Oct 17, 1983. As they take the applause for their Paris show, a bitter battle for control of the Worlds End label is raging behind the scenes. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ My Evening Standard exclusive breaks the news
of a parting of the ways – read it inside Shapersofthe80s

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

Vivienne Westwood, fashion, retail

Guess who’s still in business today: Vivienne Westwood as triumphant tribal queen in a new portrait posted only this week at Facebook


➤ Vivienne brings Cool Britannia to Last Night of the Proms

Proms,Joyce DiDonato ,Vivienne Westwood

Joyce DiDonato sings at the Proms, while Vivienne Westwood’s puce patriotic cape rules. Picture © BBC

❚ ANOTHER GLORIOUS Last Night of the Proms, conducted for the first time by a woman, Marin Alsop, who said she was amazed to be the first in its history because it is after all 2013 and we’ve had 118 years in which to dare! Stars included violinist Nigel Kennedy who indulged himself in some wild and hilarious improv all the way through Vittorio Monti’s accelerating gypsy piece, Csárdás (you’ll know it when you hear it, most recently in Lady Gaga’s song Alejandro).

But the singing sensation of the evening was the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato who lifted Over the Rainbow way out of the Garland league into a coloratura heaven of her own, wow! Then she led 6,000 voices in the Albert Hall, plus thousands more in public parks across the UK, in Rule Britannia. As is tradition, she swished the wings of her expansive bat-cape to reveal it to be a dreamy puce abstraction of the Union Jack – which we were told was designed for the occasion by Vivienne Westwood. Cool Britannia Rules again.

Proms,Joyce DiDonato ,Vivienne Westwood

Joyce DiDonato leads the Prommers in Rule Britannia. Picture © BBC


2010 ➤ Punk glitterati see McLaren noisily to his grave

Malcolm McLaren ,funeral, punk, 2010, London

Black horses, black plumes, black-toppered pall-bearers: In Camden, a tattooed punk honours the hearse carrying McLaren while sporting a God Save the Queen souvenir from his hero’s Jubilee collection of 1977. Picture © AP

❚ THE ARCHITECT OF BRITISH PUNK was buried in bright sunshine in London’s Highgate Cemetery this afternoon, not many plots away from that other revolutionary, Karl Marx. For all the cheering and irreverence and mild expressions of anarchy that made this an exuberant funeral for Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols, few people beyond the fashion world appear to have discovered his last musical creation, an astonishing romantic soundtrack to a Paris fashion show, aired only the month before he died. It can be heard in part on the fashion video in the post dated April 23 (above) and in full as an mp3 audio stream. The music now assumes near gut-wrenching poignancy.

funeral , Malcolm McLaren, 2010, London, Jordan, Mark Moore

Seeing Malcolm off: At the church club deejay Mark Moore met up with McLaren’s punk protégé Jordan, the platinum-blonde who appeared in Sex Pistols shows and starred in the movie Jubilee. Today she works as a veterinary nurse. Photograph © by Richard Law

Music was a constant accompaniment to today’s events. When told the mourners would be asked to sing You Need Hands, which McLaren immortalised in the Sex Pistols film The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle, his ex-partner, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood said: “It’s actually better when you hear Malcolm’s version. He sang it so well and so beautifully. I’ve been playing that song more than anything since he died. It makes me cry.”

Boy George had sent a wreath of crimson flowers shaped in an A for anarchy sign which sat on the horsedrawn hearse during its four-mile procession from a secular gathering at the deconsecrated church of St Mary Magdalene in Marylebone, central London, northwards through Camden Town. Sex Pistol Sid Vicious’s version of My Way blared from the bus carrying celebrants.

Dozens of punks followed the black coffin sprayed with the mantra “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die” — the name of the Chelsea shop McLaren opened in 1972 with Westwood. Joseph Corré, McLaren’s son with her, asked that people mark his passing with a “minute of mayhem” at midday. Among the selection of mayhems reported at Guardian Online was one from Gareth100 who wrote: “I managed to shrug my shoulders in apathy for a full minute. Now I’m going for a nap. Will this do?”

➢➢ McLaren’s funeral cortege videoed by irencid

➢➢ View the ITN video of McLaren’s funeral

➢➢ View The Guardian picture gallery of McLaren’s funeral

➢➢ Tributes following McLaren’s death, from those who knew him


2010 ➤ McLaren – Svengali of Pistols and punk remembered by those who knew him

❚ MALCOLM McLAREN, THE SVENGALI OF PUNK, DIED YESTERDAY AGED 64. One of his most quotable quotes was delivered to Shapersofthe80s in 1983: “What we create on the streets out of the dustbins of England is an extremely exportable commodity.”

❚ CHRIS SULLIVAN, club-host, Blue Rondo singer and author of Punk (Cassell) “I first met Malcolm McLaren in 1976. I was a naive 16-year-old hot off the bus from South Wales and wandered into his shop Sex, in the armpit of the King’s Road. He invited me to a Sex Pistols concert that night and it changed my life.” ➢➢ Read Sullivan’s full appreciation in The Times, April 10

Malcolm McLaren, 1977, Bob Gruen

Malcolm McLaren in 1977: Sex Pistols manager and punk’s Svengali

❚ GARY KEMP of Spandau Ballet was first to summarise McLaren’s influence for Shapersofthe80s: “He drew up the road map by which we all found success. I am shocked and reminded of my own mortality.”

❚ KIM BOWEN, fashion stylist and former Blitz Kid, said “Malcolm left his diary at my house once. I nosed, obviously: ‘There are Fashion Victims everywhere, I’m a Fashion Beast.’ He was.”

❚ RUSTY EGAN, deejay and former Blitz Kid “Malcolm was the Fagin of entertainment, teaching the young how to sell their youth for his benefit.”

❚ DEREK RIDGERS, photographer of the punk years “He had a lot of radical ideas but his true talent was the ability to wind up and goad the media.”

❚ GRAHAM K SMITH, TV exec “Talcy Malcy? The arch Situationist, cultural prankster and near-psychic futurist. He was a seer, who took glee in monetising tomorrow – classically, chaos into cash.”

❚ ANDY POLARIS, former singer with Animal Nightlife “A master manipulator, a magpie and a maverick.”

❚ JAY STRONGMAN, club deejay, said “Malcolm was a true cultural visionary … an alchemist who mixed history, politics, rock’n’roll and fashion to try and create an alternative future and had fun doing it. Some say Malcolm was Britain’s Andy Warhol but I think that does Malcolm a disservice… In terms of popular culture Malcolm was much more influential than Andy Warhol.”

Simon Withers, 1980, Neil Matthews

Simon Withers in 1980. Photographed © by Neil Matthews

❚ SIMON WITHERS, one of the original fashion designers who defined the New Romantic era, and in 1983 worked on the final Worlds End collection before McLaren and Westwood split “I am really shocked by the news. Malcolm was dangerous and inspiring. I have been lucky enough to work with five mentors, he and then Vivienne being the first. Nothing compared to the scale, ambition and sheer Dickensian cheek of what I was shown working with Malcolm and Vivienne. There was a fundamental inquisitiveness about them.

“I worked three days and two nights making stuff in Paris for the last Worlds End catwalk. Vivienne and Malcolm were about to split up, as was the company. What I saw working with them both was that Vivienne had the tenacity and the intense focus, but certainly it came to little without Malcolm. After Paris, I left Vivienne’s workshop for Malcolm’s. He, Andrea Linz and I worked for a year on two or three collections. We did some really good work to find that Malcolm sold our ideas to Jean Paul Gaultier.

“One side of Malcolm that seems to be little written about is that he was a remarkably generous and attentive host and was very kind in surprising ways.”

Read how Shapersofthe80s broke the exclusive news
of the Worlds End split in Paris, 1983

➢➢ Pictured together on the very day Malcolm and Vivienne parted

Vivenne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren, Paris 1983, Worlds End, Picture © by Shapersofthe80s

Their last public appearance together, on a Paris runway in 1983... Westwood says: “Malcolm has one more chance to be good.” McLaren says: “I’m not incapable of designing the next collection myself.” Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s


❚ DAME VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, ex-lover and business partner and fashion icon “The thought of Malcolm McLaren dead is really something sad. When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do. I thought, he is a very charismatic, special and talented person. We hadn’t been in touch for a long time. Ben [her son] and Joe [the couple’s son] were with him when he died.”

Vivienne Westwood, Joe Corre, 2008, Condenast

Mother and son: Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corre in 2008

❚ JOSEPH CORRE, son and co-founder of Agent Provocateur “He was the original punk rocker and revolutionised the world. He’s somebody I’m incredibly proud of. He’s a real beacon of a man for people to look up to.”

❚ YOUNG KIM, his partner of 12 years “Everything he did was groundbreaking, as an artist he carried on the link from Andy Warhol. I think Malcolm recognised he had changed the culture.”

❚ BARRY MARTIN, his tutor at Goldsmiths college, 1968 “Where he was clever was in using other people to do his bidding without them realising. I didn’t like him much – I didn’t like the manipulation of people’s souls.”

❚ JOHN LYDON, ex-Sex Pistol “For me Malc was always entertaining and I hope you remember that. Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you.” ➢➢ Video: despite Fox News spoiling for some dirt on McLaren, Lydon does the decent thing “I missed him almost immediately I heard.”

❚ MARCO PIRRONI, Ants guitarist “He didn’t need to accept people who disagreed with him. He wasn’t a stroll in the park.”

❚ ANNABELLA LWIN, singer with Bow Wow Wow “He was a strange creature from another planet” ➢➢ Full interview with Annabella Lwin at EntWeekly

❚ JULIEN TEMPLE, who directed the 1980 Sex Pistols film The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle “Malcolm was an incredible catalyst. To be in the room with him was to be bombarded with energy.”

❚ SYLVAIN SYLVAIN, founding member of punk rock band the New York Dolls “Malcolm opened up the doors for punk music around the world. He was a visionary and took what was going on in New York City and made it global. His passing represents the final chapter in an era when music was exciting.”

❚ BOB GRUEN, veteran celebrity photographer “What he really wanted was for the New York Dolls to wear his clothes, but the Dolls were falling apart at that time. They credited him with saving their lives because he put [some of them] into rehab… and revitalized them for a little while – long enough to wear his clothes.”

❚ GARY ‘MANI’ MOUNFIELD, Primal Scream and former Stone Roses bassist “What Malcolm and the Sex Pistols started was a generation of musicians who had the balls to think for themselves and challenge the normal working practices of the recording industry.”

❚ TONY PARSONS, author and 70s music journalist “Malcolm gave us our haircuts, our direction and even our clothes. He gave us our look and our swagger.”

❚ NEIL SPENCER, editor of music weekly NME 1978-85 “Malcolm was a loveable rogue, but he wasn’t always loveable either.”


❚ MARK MOORE, club deejay “The man was always such an inspiration and a real pleasure to work with. So very sad.”

❚ JANETTE BECKMAN, photographer
“Malcolm McLaren R.I.P. – impresario, music and fashion genius.” See pix: “Hey DJ let’s play that song keep me dancin’ all night”

BBC REPORT, April 8, at 22:08 GMT

“Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of punk group the Sex Pistols, has died aged 64, his agent has said. McLaren, the ex-partner of designer Vivienne Westwood, was believed to have been diagnosed with cancer a while ago. He set up a clothes shop and label with Westwood on London’s King’s Road in the 1970s and was later a businessman and performer in his own right. The couple had a son, Joseph Corre, the co-founder of lingerie shop Agent Provocateur. His agent told the BBC that McLaren passed away on Thursday morning. He died in Switzerland, according to his family. His body is expected to be returned to the UK for burial.”

GOOGLE, April 9, midday

“Results 1 – 10 of about 83,200,000 for ‘Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren dies’.”

Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren, 1971

Vivienne in her new spiky dyed-blonde hair and the newly graduated Malcolm in summer 1971 when he changed his name from Edwards to McLaren... They became home-makers and business partners in their first retail outlet done out as a 1950s Teddy Boy’s suburban sitting-room in Paradise Garage at 430 King’s Road, Chelsea. They named it Let It Rock and a great British subcultural saga had begun as they took over the shop, which evolved into Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, SEX, Seditionaries, and in 1980 into Worlds End which is still there today


➢➢ Adam Ant on Malcolm “Skin like Napoleon and a nose to match” – MTV video from 1990 of Adam telling the story of how he met one of Britain’s most irrepressible cult figures
➢➢ McLaren’s Enough Rope interview for ABC TV, 2008 Q: What is it you actually do for a living? A: Somehow I remain permanently cool
➢➢ McLaren’s solo performances include the landmark Buffalo Gals video, which parodied a 19th-century US black-face minstrel standard in weird square-dancing style, complete with Westwood silly hats in 1982
➢➢ Inspiration for Madge? The Bootzilla Orchestra, Deep In Vogue, 1989

How punk bridged the class divide

❚ JON SAVAGE, music writer and author of England’s Dreaming (Faber) “That Malcolm McLaren’s death has made such an impact should not come as a surprise, as it reinforces the privileged place that punk had and still has on our national consciousness. Anyone under 40 or so will have grown up with this as a fact, but for those who were there at the time, there will always be a slight sense of wonder: how did a minority cult have such a powerful impact?”
➢➢ Read Savage’s full piece in The Independent, April 10


❚ JOHN TAYLOR on his band’s website “Before Malcolm being a musician in England meant you had to read music, and clock up years of dues and motorway miles, hours of practice and play interminable solos wherever possible. Malcolm’s attitude changed everything. Without him, no punk rock revolution, no Anarchy in The UK, no Never Mind The Bollocks. No Sex Pistols, no Clash. No Duran Duran…”
➢➢ Read on – “Just check out the playlist on the jukebox of ‘Sex’.”


➢➢ The Times of London McLaren, punk who shook up the Seventies
➢➢ New York Times “I Will Be So Bad”
➢➢ The Guardian Blood, spit and tears as the punk provocateur dies
➢➢ Financial Times Punk Svengali: “Beaten up several times during his time in the Sex Pistols, McLaren was an uncaring dilettante who treated the violence unleashed by punk as just another ironic stunt.”
➢➢ The Daily Telegraph Svengali and arch media manipulator
➢➢ The Independent Drab world of pop needs McLaren’s brand of anarchy
➢➢ BBC News “Charlatan, hustler, plagiarist and … the most evil person on earth”


➢➢ The Independent Asbestos from his punk shop “killed McLaren”