Liverpool Walker Art Gallery Artwork of the Month – January, 2007
‘Outfit from the Buffalo Girl collection ‘, by Vivienne Westwood
About the artwork
Vivienne Westwood is perhaps best-known, together with her former partner, Malcolm McLaren, as one of the pioneers of punk fashion during the late 1970s. Their clothes shop, under various names, in London’s Kings Road was at the centre of the punk movement. In 1981 Westwood launched herself as a fashion designer and began to look to a whole range of influences for her designs, encouraged by McLaren. The theme of her first collection was ‘pirates’. She went on to produce garments inspired by other historical subjects, ethnic styles, 18th century French art, and classic British tweeds and tailoring.
This outfit is from her second collection, known both as the Buffalo Girls Collection (Autumn-Winter 1982-83) and the Nostalgia of Mud Collection. It comprises a machine-knitted wool dress with train, a wool felt hat and ‘baggy’ suede shoes. Its baggy, layered look, earthy colours and felted wool hat were all inspired by garments worn by Peruvian Indian women. Nostalgia of Mud was also the name of one of Westwood and McLaren’s short-lived shops in London’s St Christopher’s Place. In 1983, McLaren, pursuing his own musical career by then, released a single and video, Buffalo Gals, in which Westwood’s collection was featured.
Free Gallery Talks Wednesday 10th January and Thursday 25 January, 13.00