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Vivienne Westwood: fashion’s original rebel


From hanging out with the Sex Pistols to designing a wedding dress for Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, Westwood is as much of a fashion icon today as she was when her career began. Worlds End, her world-famous store in London’s Chelsea, is a must-visit boutique with a rich and colourful history.

Dominique Fenn
Dominique Fenn ,

Dame Vivienne Westwood is fashion royalty. Her creative energy, subversive constructions and unconventional techniques are instantly recognisable; she played a huge part in the punk movement and zips, tartan prints and bondage trousers are still referenced in her collections today.

The boutique now called Worlds End at 430 Kings Road (formerly known as Sex, Seditionaries and Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die) is where the magic happened. The store was launched in 1971 in partnership with the late Malcolm McClaren, who was managing the Sex Pistols at the time. Designed by Westwood to look like a pirate ship, the floor is slanted like the deck of a boat, and the clothes and accessories displays are reminiscent of Charles Dickens’s Old Curiosity Shop, with a large clock telling the time backwards above the entrance.

In 1980 the shop was refitted and renamed Worlds End, the name still in use today, and its concept now is to offer an alternative to the stock found in other Vivienne Westwood West End branches and global retail outlets. Worlds End offers a range of Westwood classics, including the reissued Squiggle print and political slogan T-shirts, as well as a small selection of the Man line and Anglomania womenswear. But most importantly, it represents Westwood’s history, making it a must-visit for all fans.

Worlds End, 430 King’s Road, London SW10 OLJ, +44 (0)20 7352 6551

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