V is for Vivienne Westwood

I’ve mentioned this dress before but I’ve been waiting until the letter V to talk about it properly.

I started my fashion and sewing class just after Easter, and when I was asked what I wanted to make in my first session, I said “A 1950s dress!” before I’d even thought about it.

Years and years ago I found a feature in a magazine of a newly-famous Holly Willoughby. She was stood centre-fold, describing her outfit and where she got it all from. Her dress was stunning, and I was slightly dismayed to read she had had it made by a tailor, who copied a Vivienne Westwood style. A unique one-off copied from a designer? I’d never get hold of it! Still, I pulled the page out of the magazine and it was in my possession for years before it eventually got lost between house moves.

Last year while I was travelling South East Asia I considered having one made. The tailors over there are renowned for their quality and price as well as their liking of western custom, and I still regret not taking up the opportunity, but carrying around a tailored dress in a backpack seemed wrong somehow.

I’m not sure why making the dress myself never occurred to me before. Skill probably has something to do with it. It’s a tricky design without darts or zips, multiple pleats and gathers and a collar in so many pieces I wouldn’t know where to start. Thanks to my evening class though I’m getting the tuition and help I need to try such a complicated design and can’t wait to have my own Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Monday dress soon enough!

I bought the fabric below to keep in line with the classic VW look of punk, and a lot of her ranges incorporate similar designs of fabric too, especially the chequered bags and scarfs from a couple of years ago.

I hope that once I’ve made the dress at my class I’ll have got to grips enough with the design to make several of them in all sorts of prints. I want summery ones, winter ones, ones for work and of course some classic gingham for the true ’50s housewife style (hardcore feminists, forgive me, I love that look)!

Here’s the dress I’ll be attempting, along with the fabric I’ll be using.

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