Victoria & Albert Museum

V&A acquires punk couture collection

300 early pieces funded by the National Art Collections Fund

Michael and Gerlinde Costiff (right) were some of Vivienne Westwood’s best customers and owners of the 1980s London nightclub Kinky Gerlinky. Now the National Art Collections Fund has given £42,500 to help the Victoria & Albert Museum in London acquire nearly 300 early designs from the night owls’ personal collection, including many early punk and 1980s New Romantic pieces. Westwood’s rebellious and anti-conventional designs were based on a deep reverence for the traditions of couture, tailoring and historical dress-making, mixing the most incongruous of materials with historical details. The V&A is currently working on a Vivienne Westwood retrospective to be held in 2004.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 138 July 2003