What’s the reason Gwyneth Paltrow buys — not borrows — gowns from Vivienne Westwood? Could be that one style icon recognizes another. The English-born designer Westwood claims her place in sartorial history with her retrospective, Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion, that opened at San Francisco’s de Young Museum this week. Wandering through the exhibit is like walking down King’s Road in London and soaking up the very essence of brilliant English style. You can see the God Save the Queen t-shirt that Sid Vicious famously wore, with safety pins piercing the monarch’s image; the red-and-black hunting jacket that Amanda Pays donned in Oxford Blues with a 20-year-old Rob Lowe; the designer’s trendsetting mini-crinis; imaginative gowns that graced supermodels such as Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington; and the pair of 12-inch platforms that toppled Naomi Campbell on the runway in 1993. “Even after her fall, she still walked my next show,” says Westwood. “She was backstage crying and I heard her say, ‘Oh no, I have to wear those shoes again!” Visit the museum’s site for more info on the exhibit.
Photo: Courtesy of the de Young Museum