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Vivienne Westwood – no introduction necessary

A Vivienne Westwood piece is a treasure – possessing one is like owning a gold ingot. The London fashion icon's range changed the game forever in the '70s, and today its pieces are as challenging, counter-cultural and bold as they were then. Think eye-catching prints, sweeping silhouettes and in-your-face embellishments. Want a piece of the action? Here’s where to get it. 

Femininity re-imagined, re-empowered and reclaimed 

Vivienne Westwood is the highest of high-end fashion. The label's pieces are as unique as they are unconventional. Think chequered suits, explosively colourful prints, dresses in shapes that evoke science fiction outfits. A button-down blouse is a fantastic way to step outside of gender norms without giving up your feminine power. Check patterns give off a traditional vibe, while block colours are great for turning heads.

We love the label’s range of party frocks and cocktail dresses. Poloneck pieces give off a dignified air, and pair delightfully with hoop earrings. Elegant, graceful high necklines bring to mind traditional tribal wear, and work perfectly with statement earrings – take your pick from studs or drop. Marl patterning creates an almost magical shimmer as you walk. Or you could go with a chaotic print to stamp yourself indelibly on any situation. Pair with big boots for a full-on effect. Oh, and we adore the brand's flowing, graceful take on the maxi dress as well.

Vivienne Westwood is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the aesthetics of the punk and new wave movements into the world. The label’s biker-inspired lines for the SEX range went on to shape fashion trends throughout the 70s, with the designs never failing to capture public imagination. The world of fashion has never been the same since.

Formal but far from stuffy: step outside your limits

If you really want to impress, you can't do better than a matching, formal jacket/skirt combo. With all the authority of a suit, but none of the rigidity, these are modern clothes for the contemporary woman. In Vivienne Westwood's hands, the blazer jacket takes on a quirky new angle but maintains a dignified air, whether it's one button or four. A pencil skirt is superb for elongating and straightening the silhouette, emphasising height and strength, both inner and outer. The A-line skirt realigns that outline, shifting it into something off-kilter and energetic.

To create an outfit that’s truly unique, you'll want a couple of things. A simple blouse works nicely underneath the jacket, playing up the formality but letting the jacket and skirt do the aesthetic heavy lifting. We love these looks with a pair of high heels, as they really emphasise the feminine aspect, but a flatter sole works just as well. A thigh-length boot is a peerless prop for projecting power. Accessorise but make it understated – we think a bag and artfully placed jewellery accent this ensemble nicely, without overshadowing it.

Having risen from humble origins on the London streets, Vivienne Westwood still fights the system to improve lives to this day. She supports civil rights campaigns, global nuclear disarmament and anti-climate change initiatives. Her iconic label’s clothes are designed to reflect her commitment to making the world a better place.

A bold new masculinity

No other brand makes men's fashion the way Vivienne Westwood does. There are classic logo tees and polos, and traditionally-cut trousers, but there are also pieces with a twist. Elongated or off-centre collars, high waists, button layouts shifted sideways, velour jackets. With creative designs that give more than a nod towards androgyny, the label is redefining men's clothing –  and we love it. Gone are the days of sticking to boring, old-fashioned shapes and traditions – this label left them behind long ago.

Check out the range of jumpers, too. Whether it's a long-sleeved polo neck or a classic cut, you can start off an outfit by pairing a casual top with slim-fit jeans or classic trousers. If the weather's warm, shorts are the way to go – the wide, boxy cuts are preppy delights. We love to combine a turtleneck with tracksuit bottoms for contrast. Throw on a little jewellery and designer trainers, and you're good to go.

Modern collections by Vivienne Westwood have moved away from the hardcore punk ensemble look of the past, but they're still all about attitude. Unisex styling has characterised the more recent ranges in a move with the times. One thing you can be sure of: the label always does fashion differently, never indifferently.

Accessories that exude elegance

The right accessories will always bring an outfit to life. The most important piece in your wardrobe is arguably your bag. It's as practical as it is important, but with Vivienne Westwood, it can be as glamorous as the rest of the outfit, or even steal the show. We adore tartan and chequered accents and are suckers for silvery space-age material, too. Of course, the brand's instantly recognisable, always-on-show orb logo lends serious cultural cachet to your look.

Jewellery is a great way to add texture and flair to your outfit. In the women's range, the pieces are flamboyant and ostentatious, and always sport the trademark logo. We're talking necklaces, earrings, bracelets. They work with just about any outfit and are particularly effective showstoppers on a big night out on the town. The men's range is all about smaller, subtler pieces, though these are stamped with the same stylistic detail. Think rings, cufflinks, neck chains. Of course, use your judgment when accessorising, but you can't go far wrong with such well-crafted pieces.

Of course, everyone should have a wallet. But yours stands out definitively when it's got Vivienne Westwood’s name on it. When the weather gets colder, a scarf is essential – it keeps you warm and looks cool while doing so. Don't neglect a belt, either. Every part of your outfit is about self-expression, and few designers know more about helping you achieve that than Vivienne Westwood.