Vivienne Westwood’s personal wardrobe goes up for sale in landmark Christie’s auction

The proceeds of ’Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection’, running this June, will go to the charitable causes she championed during her lifetime

Vivienne Westwood on runway with handdrawn background
Vivienne Westwood at her S/S 2007 runway show
(Image credit: Photography by Michel Dufour/WireImage via Getty Images)

Unlike some designers, there was little separation between Vivienne Westwood’s runway collections and her personal wardrobe, which were both defined by an eclectic, anarchic spirit that drew inspiration from historical silhouettes – albeit in the designer’s distinct, subversive style. There were her pull-up stockings and towering heels, the twisted tartans and corseted taffeta gowns, and an array of provocative slogans adorning colourful T-shirts and knits, which championed the slew of political causes she ardently supported during her lifetime.

Announced this morning (22 April, 2024), British auction house Christie’s has announced a landmark sale of the designer’s personal wardrobe, which will take place across a live London auction on June 25, 2024 and an online auction which will run from 14 to 28 June, 2024. Avid Westwood fans and collectors will be treated to the opportunity to purchase clothing and accessories spanning over four decades (the first piece is from the designer’s A/W 1983/84 collection), which will also go on show in a free public exhibition at Christie’s headquarters on King Street, London from 14 to 24 June, 2024.

’Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection’ auction at Christie’s

Vivienne Westwood Christie’s Auction

A selection of items from ’Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection’ at Christie’s

(Image credit: Courtesy of Christie’s)

Proceeds will go to The Vivienne Foundation (established by Westwood’s family to continue her legacy of activism), Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as ’The Big Picture: Vivienne’s Playing Cards’, a project by The Vivienne Foundation which supports Greenpeace. The sale includes rare pieces from Westwood’s seminal ’Dressed to Scale’ (A/W 1998/99) and ’Propaganda’ (A/W 2005/06) collections, and encapsulate Westwood’s wide-ranging fascinations – from messages of anarchism and protest to the blousy portraiture of 18th-century artists Boucher, Watteau and Fragonard.

’A genius born 1941 / Vivienne was a rebel / An outsider who had a calling / To be different / To explode the system / She was an original thinker / Vivienne was our heroine,’ said Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood’s husband who is now creative director of Vivienne Westwood, via a poem which accompanied the news.

’Vivienne Westwood’s sense of activism, art and style is embedded in each and every piece that she created,’ added Adrian Hume Sayer, director private and iconic collections, Christie’s. ’[These looks] 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 the private world of the great Dame Vivienne Westwood and to raise funds for the causes in which she so ardently believed.’

’Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection’ will run as a live auction on June 25, 2024, and an online auction which will run from 14 to 28 June, 2024. For more information visit Christie’s website.

A free public exhibition at Christie’s headquarters on King Street, London will also take place from 14 to 24 June, 2024.

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.