Thursday, 1 January 2015

Review / Vivienne Westwood Book

On an average day, picking up a few groceries in my local Tesco store, I decided to take a trot down the book aisle. Usually the books are the latest biographies and autobiographies of the stars of The Only Way is Essex, Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore (popular UK addictive reality series') with the occasional Mary Berry cookbook and Jamie Oliver's recipes to convince us that we really can be the next Great British Baker (another reference to a British TV series - sorry internationals!). What I thought was going to be a quick and brisk browse of the latest reality TV stars' autobiographies, actually turned out to be one of the most exciting moments in my life (well, not quite up there with my top favourite moments but definitely a runner up). There, amongst the usual books was the Queen of all Queens, sitting poised and elegantly radiating her powerful presence - Vivienne Westwood. Yes, Vivienne Westwood's very own personal memoir written by the legend herself and collaborated with biographer, Ian Kelly. Obviously, being the fashion-obsessed/crazed person that I am, it was second nature to grab the book and flee to the checkout, forgetting all previous responsibilities of grocery shopping - who needs food when you've got a feast of a book to indulge in?!
  I was pleasantly surprised by the size of this book; weighing the equivalent of a small sack of potatoes and containing 463 pages, this is no quick read. Well, it isn't usually a quick read but with my determination to read the fashion Bible of the year, I'd finished the book in 2 days (had I had a whole day dedicated, it would've been complete in a day for sure). Personal memoirs can be quite boring - you learn about their childhood, browse through their family photo albums and learn about how they always knew what they wanted to be since the day the popped into the world. Vivienne's book was so much more than this. Renowned for her creation of the Punk era - infusing fashion with zips, safety pins and daring t-shirts and slogans and more - fashion was reinvented in the 70's by Vivienne and McLaren. Continuing the grow and become one of fashion's favourite faces and brands, Vivienne Westwood is one of Britian's greatest talents. In this memoir Vivienne talks about her past, present and future adventures both within and outside the fashion world. Intelligent, inspiring and incredibly motivational, this book is definitely my favourite book of 2014.
  I read this book a few months ago and at that time I was also preparing my application for University. For those of you who have already applied for Uni, you can relate to me when I say that it's probably the most scary but exciting time of your life. I've since sent my application off but I can honestly say that Vivienne Westwood's inspiring quotes and motivational power really encouraged me along the way. Westwood's story truly is the definition of inspirational. A fan not only of her edgy and energetic clothing but also of her outlook on life and its possibilities - Vivienne has shared not only her memoirs in this book but the lessons that she has learned along the way. A definite must-have for anyone who is even moderately interested in the fashion world, this book will make you consider what it is that you want to achieve in life. I'm trying to be tactful and not give away what's inside the book because part of its charm is its hefty size and content stuffed scripture. However, what I will say is this - the pictures, illustrative drawings of designs, the words and the direct wording of Vivienne Westwood herself, collectively, create one of fashion's best books to date. If Vivienne Westwood isn't one of your top most inspiring people after reading this - then I really don't know who else can encourage you along the journey of life. A keepsake for definite, this book will remain on my bookshelf for many, many years to come. Thank you Vivienne Westwood.


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