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    What Was Vivienne Westwood Dress Controversy When She Was Conferred OBE In 1992?

    The mother of punk has been finally put to rest after a relentless journey of five decades to mainstream punk fashion. Vivienne Westwood, the fashion de force, rested in peace. Vivienne was one of the pioneers who fueled the punk movement in the United Kingdom. When the young population in the country was raging due to the system’s failure, she was the disruptor challenging the monarchy, channeling it via fashion and music. She was responsible for a culture reset in the 1970s and till she took her last breath.

    The year 2022 took the mother of punk and the monarchist Queen Elizabeth II, too. In September 2022, the late monarch’s death news shook the entire world. On September 8th, 2022, the queen took her last breath after being one of the longest serving monarchs of Britain. Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle, Scotland. She, according to her daughter, died of old age. In her reign, she was subjected to many controversial and eyebrow raising moments. One such encounter was with Vivienne when she was to be conferred Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

    Read More: Vivienne Westwood: The British Designer And Mother Of Punk Fashion Died At The Age Of 81

    Vivienne Westwood Arrived At The Honorary Event Without Her Undergarment

    During the 1992 OBE
    During the 1992 OBE

    Vivienne Westwood always lived vicariously throughout her life. She was 81 years old, but still young at heart. Westwood has had many notoriously rebellious moments throughout her life. The designer was alive because of these moments. It was an orchestrated rebellion in a camp and high fashion way.

    The themes that she always explored were dealing with latex, leather, and sadomasochismo elements. Her free spirit has landed her in some controversies.

    In 1992, the Crown decided to honor her with the second highest coveted ranking after Commander and before Member. When she was to receive her Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), she posed for the paparazzi. While posing for them, she twirled to flaunt her dress.

    But, in one of the pictures, it was seen that she was not wearing anything underneath and chose to go commando. That is Vivienne for you! Despite strict dressing protocol, she did not conform. In her 2014 biography, she wrote, “The only reason I am in fashion is to destroy the word “conformity”. Nothing is interesting to me unless it’s got that element”.

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    The Designer Was Not Aware The Positioning Of The Cameras

    Vivienne Westwood during the 2006 'Damehood' conferring ceremony
    Vivienne Westwood during the 2006 ‘Damehood’ conferring ceremony

    It was not the last time that Vivienne graced Buckingham Palace. In 2006, she was conferred with the coveted title ‘Dame’, which is exclusively given to the women. It is like knighthood, but given to women. As per The Sun, “A damehood is the female equivalent of a knighthood and can only be bestowed upon people by the Queen”. When she went for the second, did she follow the protocol? She has been anti-establishment since her youth, so no! She went commando again. But this time around, she refused to twirl for the photographers and provide fodder to the petty tabloids.

    She later gave the clarification about the pictures saying, “It did not occur to me that, as the photographers were practically on their knees, the result would be more glamorous than I expected… I have heard that the picture amused the Queen”. Westwood weaved statements with each piece of fabric. She turned the oppressive corsets into statement pieces for sexual liberation of women. The icon told Jess Cartner-Morley from The Guardian, “I’ve always been a rebel … punk was a protest, [the clothes] said we don’t accept your taboos, we don’t accept your hypocritical life”.

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    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise is a Sub-Editor at FirstCuriosity. He has more than 2 years of experience in Entertainment content writing with the organization. Besides being a journalist and humanist, he loves cinema and intersectionality, basically everything that screams love, hope, and of course, Lady Gaga. Nishant loves and breathes popular culture, music, especially hip-hop and pop, and the royal family drama. Along with that, he takes great interest in the happenings in the technology world and politics. He is an LGBTQIA+ ally. Approach him with an apple juice to discuss Modern Family, Pose, and Schitt’s Creek.

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