Vivienne Westwood

These 5 Books Changed Vivienne Westwood’s Life

In the world of fashion, Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood should have her name on a plaque, carved into gold, and diamond encrusted… She’s that good.


The legendary designer has created notable looks and collections for over fifty years. She was one of the forerunners for punk fashion in the 1970s, giving the industry a bit of shock and awe which, undoubtedly, solidified her name as a serious designer. She allowed her clothing to speak for itself and create an identity, no wonder she’s an icon.


It was recently shared on Dazed Westwood’s five favorite books that she finds completely changed her. They’re all notable, classic, contain some sort of revelation, and (of course) perseverance. Here’s a list of the five that will give you the Westwood experience.


1. The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber, Vol. 1: The Golden Days by Cao Xequin


'The Story of The Stone'

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This five volume novel revolves around Chinese history, rise, and fall of the highly-esteemed Jia family. The book takes the strict and stoic culture of the Chinese society and melds it with Buddhism. It touches on society’s standards and expectations, especially for the women of the Qing Dynasty. Dig deep into history as well as the human spirit with this gem.


2. Stoner by John Williams



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Deemed as a true classic, Williams created a character that became the hero we all need in a world turned cold. William Stoner grew up poor and left behind crop studies to become a scholar of English literature. However, his life begins to turn gray as dilemmas with his career, marriage, and family begin to crumble upon him. It’s within himself that Stoner must look to find the answer for everything.


3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


'The Grapes of Wrath'

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A true classic and globally read, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel captures the historical struggles that bind us all. Set to the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Joads are forced to travel from Oklahoma to California. It’s not only the physical challenges we read about, but the emotional upheavals that must be endured. Emotions become a necessary part of survival and human morality is what will break that gap of any social class.


4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


'Brave New World'

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A book that hasn’t left it’s millions of readers, this work by Huxley was considered a major piece of the literary world. In a dystopian world where humans are genetically bred and altered as well as socially brainwashes them in order to maintain authoritarian rule. Huxley makes us wonder if losing all that we are is worth it for the power of control.


5. 1984 by George Orwell



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George Orwell has a way of pushing the envelope and making us question everything we already know. When Winston Smith begins to question the power of the Party, he finds that persecuting everyone who has outside beliefs is not the way to live. He soon realizes that, even within his thoughts, nothing is ever kept secret.


It’s no surprise that classic worldwide novels like these have made their way into the hands of the epic Westwood. Those are the same hands that have sewed, stitched, paired, pinned, and created decades of recognizable clothes for us to live our lives in. As Westwood said: “Your character is your bag of tools, use it to discover the world!” Pick up one of these yourself, who knows where they’ll take you?



Feature Image Via The Cut