The grand dame of the fashion world Vivienne Westwood is one of the icons of our age; fashion designer, activist, co-creator of punk, global brand and grandmother (and of course Battersea resident), and now she will be immortalised in her biography Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly. The book tells her story for the first time in all its glamour and glory, with her voice, unexpected perspective and passionate honesty. She says: ‘The living deserve respect. The dead deserve the truth; Ian and I are working together on this and I am excited that this will be my story, the story nobody ever did before.’
The personal memoir will also feature contributions from her friends, family and fellow fashionistas and activitists – from her sons and husband, to people as diverse as Pamela Anderson and Prince Charles, Shami Chakrabarti and Jerry Hall.
Based on two years with Vivienne, Ian Kelly (award-winning biographer of, amongst others, fashion maverick Beau Brummell and the original self-publicist, Giacomo Casanova) has woven a narrative recording the inside story of a woman who has influenced millions.
The cover features a portrait by the inimitable German artist photographer Juergen Teller, the man who put Victoria Beckham in a bar for Marc Jacobs’ ad campaign, shot Charlotte Rampling nude next to the Mona Lisa and Kate Moss in a wheelbarrow. You’ll also often find him naked in his own images, although not in this case. The cover is all about Vivienne.
“What’s great about Juergen’s photographs, [too], is that they look like me, they actually reflect what I think I look like, and yet they also show me myself in a new way. In this picture I’m really drawn to these wrinkly old hands. They’re my hands, of course, and yet suddenly they look new and interesting. I’m very glad to know Juergen – he’s a very special person. I don’t know how he does it, but he just seems to get to the essence of you, every time,’ says Vivienne ’
Designed by Clare Skeats for Picador, Vivienne Westwood will be published as a quarter-bound hardback, with colour illustrations throughout, on 9 October 2014.