Vivienne Westwood
34 years in Fashion

An Exhibition organised by the V&A, London

12 November – 30 January

Media preview
12 noon Thursday 11 November 2004

After a fantastic season in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Vivienne Westwood exhibition will be in Australia for a one stop show at the National Galley of Australia. The retrospective celebrates one of the world’s most influential designers exploring Westwood's career in fashion.

The exhibition features more than 150 designs and brings together clothes, accessories, images, film and music to tell the remarkable story of Vivienne Westwood. Drawn from her personal archives, the V&A’s collection and from our very own national collection, it is the largest exhibition ever devoted to the work of Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition examines Westwood’s career from the 1970s to the present day.

Westwood has been a major influence on fashion design from haute couture to ready-to-wear. Throughout her career Westwood's designs have been diverse, ranging from punk — including outfits worn by the Sex Pistols in the 70s which she designed with Malcolm McLaren — to the grand ball gowns that draw inspiration from historical art and dress. Recently she dressed Sarah Jessica Parker in the hit TV series Sex in the City, the artist Tracey Emin and actress Cameron Diaz, who wore a dress designed by Westwood at the 59 th Annual Golden Globe awards in 2002.

Vivienne Westwood said 'It is extremely exciting to show case my work in Australia, at the National Gallery of Australia. I am delighted to be able to share my archive and ideas. I congratulate the NGA for the continued commitment to fashion exhibitions — fashion is an applied art and it is extremely vital and alive today'.

Robert Bell, Senior Curator of International and Australian Decorative Arts and Design at the Gallery said 'Westwood is highly influential and ahead of her time, she encapsulates a particular kind of Britishness, combining fearless non-conformity with a sense of tradition. She has made a major contribution to international fashion over the last 30 years and the Gallery is delighted to be hosting this retrospective of her work'.

The exhibition will include sections devoted to tailoring, tartan and accessories. The famous blue mock-croc platform shoes Naomi Campbell wore when she fell on the catwalk in 1993 will be on display. Also in the exhibition are sumptuous ball gowns worn by Demi Moore, Linda Evangelista and garments worn by Jerry Hall. A film and catwalk footage about the life and career of Westwood will be shown in the exhibition space.

Media contacts
Jenny Blake — + 61 2 6240 6700 or 0423 784 299
Alix + 61 2 6240 6431