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Mother of punk and 'Queen of British Fashion', Vivienne Westwood dies aged 81

LONDON, Dec 31: A self-made English fashion designer and businesswoman, who pioneered modern punk and new wave fashions, Vivienne Westwood died on Thursday aged 81. She died "peacefully and surrounded by her family" in London, her fashion house said in a statement.

The godmother of punk, Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood led a rebellion in the world of fashion. She was made a dame for her contributions to fashion in 2006. She was also honoured with an OBE in 1992.

She dressed some of the biggest stars in fashion. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who had worked with Westwood, called her a "force of nature".

Singer Boy George called her "the undisputed Queen of British Fashion". Music legend Sir Paul McCartney called her "a ballsy lady who rocked the fashion world." Spice Girl Victoria Beckham said she was a "legendary designer and activist".

Vivienne Westwood launched a fierce campaign for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Vivienne Westwood had brief stints in art and jewellery but was not trained in any discipline. However, she started tailoring her own dress in her teens. She worked as a school teacher and married factory worker Derek Westwood but separated soon after.

The outlandish punk icon started her first clothing shop named 'Let It Rock' in association with band manager Malcolm McLaren in the early 1970s. Punk band Sex Pistols of McLaren was the first to use their products. In 1981 she held her first major catwalk fashion show called Pirate Collection. By early 2000s she had metamorphed into a celebrity designer. Andreas Kronthaler was her husband and partner in later years, who said he will carry on her mission.

What is Punk: Punk is a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking or outlandish clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc Vivienne Westwood pioneered the trend in fashion in 1970s. Punk or punk rock is also a rock music that is played in a fast, loud and aggressive way violating conventional style and behaviour.

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