Vivienne Westwood’s private clothing collection to be auctioned for charity

The personal wardrobe of the late fashion designer Vivienne Westwood will go under the gavel at Christie’s Auction House in London in June. The funds raised will benefit an array of environmental and human rights charities.

A visionary, a revolutionary, quirky, eclectic, an icon… Vivienne Westwood was described as many things during her five-decade career in fashion. She added theatre, drama and rebellion to the world of couture, made corsetry cool again and brought punk rock to the masses. She also became an unlikely Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 and was a very visible figure in human and animal rights campaigning as well as being a supporter of numerous environmental initiatives.  

She died at the age of 81 in December 2022, leaving behind her leagues of fans and admirers all around the world.  

Now her private clothing collection is to be auctioned off in support of the causes dearest to her heart. The auction, which will be handled by Christie’s, has been entitled Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection. 

“Vivienne was a style icon throughout her lifetime,” says a representative from the Vivienne Foundation, one of the organisations that will benefit from the sale. “Her deep interest in intellectual and political ideas informed her natural skill in fashion design, where she became one of the very few true originators. There will simply never be another Vivienne Westwood.” 

In addition to her eponymous charity, the results of the auction will also provide funds for Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières and The Big Picture: Vivienne’s Playing Cards, a project by The Vivienne Foundation to raise funds for Greenpeace. 

See more: Pattie Boyd Collection shatters expectations, fetches €3.3 million in record-breaking Christie’s auction

Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood’s surviving husband and the current Creative Director of Vivienne Westwood, has chosen 200 pieces that will be sold over two separate auctions.  

The first is an online sale that will run from 14th to 28th June, with a second live auction set to be held on 25th June at Christie’s headquarters on King Street, London.  

A free public exhibit of the clothing, jewellery and accessories that feature among the lots will be held from 14th to 24th June, also at Christie’s London offices.  

The items will come from three collections: her magic-filled A/W 1983/84 collection called Witches; her nod to 18th century costumes in Dressed to Scale from A/W 1998/99; and her politically charged A/W 2005/06 offering, Propaganda.  

“Vivienne Westwood’s sense of activism, art and style is embedded in each and every piece that she created,” says Adrian Hume Sayer, the director of Private and Iconic Collections at Christie’s. “The pre-sale exhibition and auctions at Christie’s will celebrate her extraordinary vision with a selection of looks that mark significant moments not only in her career, but also in her personal life. This will be a unique opportunity for audiences to encounter both the public and the private world of the great Dame Vivienne Westwood and to raise funds for the causes in which she so ardently believed.”   

For more on the auction and the collection, click here

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Photo source: Vivienne Westwood, Facebook