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Image / Culture
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STYLE

Punk princesses did not dress to please the male gaze – they dressed to repulse it


by Rose Mary Roche
30th Dec 2022

Vivienne Westwood @thewestwoodarchives

Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81. She was the most innovative and original designer of the punk era and we will be forever grateful. Over the past four decades the punk movement has been celebrated largely as an expression of male anger and rebellion. It’s a misrepresentation - female punks were just as fierce as the boys, claiming visibility and recognition in a misogynistic arena. Their reign lives on...

Although punk is often portrayed as a singularly macho phenomenon, it was an equally exciting and liberating experience for young women. When recalling female punks, too much focus has rested on the tragic figure of Nancy Spungen (allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, Sid Vicious) and not enough on the other radical women of the punk crusade who wrote, performed and created the visual template for the movement.  Middle-class suburbia Vivienne Westwood was the godmother of...

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