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The Rachel Report

Never mind the bollocks

Andreas Kronthaler, Kim Kardashian and Juergen Teller in Westwood’s New York store Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood

The British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood may have helped bring punk into the mainstream, but lately she’s been busier making the mainstream look punk. Kim Kardashian, Pamela Anderson and Howard Stern all made appearances at the opening on 6 September of Westwood’s new store in midtown New York, where she was selling T-shirts emblazoned with words such as Revolution and Climate Economy. Westwood’s counterculture aesthetic has been aided heavily over the past decade by the German photographer Juergen Teller, whose gritty, warts-and-all photos of celebrities and models were on display to celebrate the store’s opening and their long collaboration. But the most striking—and indeed subversive—images in Westwood’s world that night were those that Teller took of the designer herself, aging and nude, with flame-coloured hair and blinding white skin. As young fashionistas in bandage dresses gazed at the septuagenarian spreadeagled on a sofa or suggestively eating a banana, one might easily decide that punk is not dead—just getting a little older.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper, 294 October 2017