Farewell to Vivienne Westwood, Fashion’s Rebel With a Cause

LONDON — The invitation to the memorial service for Vivienne Westwood came with a last specific command from the late designer herself: “When in doubt, dress up!”

The congregation at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday afternoon — the eve of London Fashion Week — had clearly taken those words to heart. Attendees spilled into the historic churchyard in white pinstripe bustiers, devil-horn tiaras and strings of statement pearls. Between majestic bouquets of purple heather, thistles and mimosa inspired by the Scottish Highlands, the pews heaved with splashes of bold Westwood tartan, embroidered bomber and biker jackets, PVC platforms, sequined tuxedos, slashes of colored eyeliner and oversize pink top hats.

Designers including Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Zandra Rhodes and Marc Jacobs arrived to pay tribute to Ms. Westwood, who died in December at 81. So, too, did the supermodel Kate Moss and the Vogue editors Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful. In other words, the great and the good of fashion royalty had come for a final farewell to the queen of British fashion, an anti-establishment, anticapitalist pioneer of punk who famously accepted her Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace in 1992 in a finely tailored dark gray skirt suit — and no knickers.

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