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happy birthday vivienne westwood, leader of the climate revolution, queen of british fashion, godmother of punk!

As fashion icon and fearless campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood, celebrates her 73rd birthday, we ask her friends, admirers, muses and colleagues to pour out their love for her... Happy birthday Viv! x

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“Vivienne has cut her own independent path. Her discoveries along the way, her thirst for knowledge and understanding and her exceptional natural talent have honed her craft to a perfection point where all her results have an irresistible vitality of life. I cannot express enough, how privileged and proud I am to be her son.” Joe Corré

“Vivienne Westwood is a true inspiration to the world of fashion and I have had the privilege to work with her many times throughout my career. From my iconic fall on the runway in Paris in 1993 wearing an amazing pair of Vivienne’s shoes, to her exceptional help and support with Fashion For Relief over the years - every meeting with Vivienne is one I will remember always. Vivienne is one of the great innovators and has created the heritage that is British fashion and I know her unique and identifiable style will live forever.” Naomi Campbell, model

“Vivienne is not only a close friend - she is an amazing spirit, driven by her creativity and the urge to make this world a better place. Vivienne is very committed and a great activist, putting a lot of effort and time into bringing her mission closer to the public. Fashion is one way of grabbing people’s attention and raising awareness of what’s going on with our planet. Her Get a Life campaign is a great inspiration for me.” Pamela Anderson, actress

“Vivienne Westwood is my style icon. I love the way she went from punk princess to really wanting to make a difference. When Vivienne started making clothes, she wanted to shock and is always looking to challenge people and to make you think about what is important. Plus she is Northern, which is always a brilliant thing!” Agyness deyn, actress

“I love Vivienne because she is a trailblazer!” Pixie Geldof, singer

“When I look at Vivienne I feel happy. She is the greatest girl I’ve ever met and I trust her because she always gives her best.” Andreas Kronthaler, husband and design partner

“Vivienne is everything I’m longing for in a human being. I truly care for her a lot. Her mind, her interests, her work, the way she is, the way she looks, everything makes sense to me. Andreas, her husband who i also love, makes a lot of sense to me too.” Juergen Teller, photographer

“There are so many memories and things I could say about Vivienne, all wonderful things. I feel incredibly fortunate to be chosen by Vivienne to work with her. I love her. She is the greatest designer of all time. The shows were so exciting to be part of. The front row was always full of all the other famous designers watching in awe and respect. She is and will always be the greatest.” Susie Bick, model

Cool Earth has never had a more hands on supporter. Vivienne Westwood wants to understand and be involved in every stage of saving the rainforest, which makes her the most effective ambassador we could hope for.” Matthew Owen, Director of Cool Earth

“Whenever I wear one of Vivienne’s dresses I feel sexy – it makes me feel like a woman, which is great when you’re absolutely, categorically, no longer a girl.” Tracey Emin, artist

“Vivienne is one of my heroes. I think she is so special. She has always defied the norms in the most exceptional ways - combining intellect with heart with concern with creativity. She’s always at the front of the cultural vanguard waving a beautiful mad flag!” Lily Cole, model

“I love working for Vivienne Westwood because the way I look in her pictures is the way I look in person. She does not try to alter your image by smothering you in make-up and so on, which truly represents her personality. She is very real and appreciates true beauty.” Ajuma Nasenyana, campaign model

“Vivienne Westwood is a pioneer and a great influence on emerging generations from across disciplines. Her manifesto Active Resistance to Propaganda, read by a multitude of characters, presented a cohesive moment in the Serpentine Gallery’s Manifesto Marathon in 2008. It is rare to find such dedication and optimism. She has a lot to teach us and we are very excited about her future modes of production. ” Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator

“In the early 80s I sneaked into a Westwood show, it was the first fashion show I’d ever seen and it was completely captivating. I’m sure it must have been the trigger to set me off. Vivienne came to my debut show in Paris last season, it was a beautiful surprise, I felt honoured she was there as a friend. A few years ago she came to sit beside me after a lavish end of fashion week dinner at The Ivy. It was the first time in all those years she’d caught my accent. On realising that I was Scottish she proceeded to recite several long Burns poems word for word. We recited To A Mouse together, I think that bonded us. Vivienne’s a beacon, a true individual on a constant trajectory of discovery and enlightenment and she emanates this through her work and her passions.” Pam Hogg, designer

“I love the way Vivienne has created a complete world that is unaffected by fashion, friends or modernity. That’s not to say her clothes aren’t relevant, they just conform to a different set of rules. Vivienne Westwood’s world is a view through the looking glass.” Simon Foxton, stylist

“Vivienne is a woman of stone, style and class who will speak her mind.” Tafari Hinds, muse

“I first met Vivienne when she was sewing in her shop. She was great, really good fun. She used to dress in really 50s things, Malcolm [McLaren] used to buy loads of Teddy Boy suits and stuff like that. She also used to be a judge at Kinky Gerlinky. We even had a Vivienne Westwood cabaret once.” Michael Costiff, designer

“When I was asked to do Vivienne’s advertising campaign it came as a surprise to arrive to virtually no hair and make- up. It was refreshing not to be made into a clone of the company but to ‘come as you are’ with Vivienne drawing on curly pencil moustaches and tribal war paints herself. Every look came straight from her head, which has been bursting with originality for the last few decades. The thing I love most about Vivienne is that, although her beautiful clothes make you stop and stare, her voice makes you stand up and think. Her Active Resistance to Propaganda manifesto and campaign to save the rainforest is to be admired. I like that she uses herself, not as a marketing tool for her brand but as a marketing tool to save humankind.”
Lady Lloyd, DJ

“In the early 90s I started collecting Vivienne Westwood as an antidote to all the minimal, black and bland ‘designer’ fashion that was around. I’d always loved her anarchic designs and the fact that she designed for individuals on the street and not for commercial catwalk success. From punk to pirates to platforms her designs are always original and exciting. In nearly 40 years as a fashion designer Vivienne has always done it HER way and her designs have never conformed!” Steven Philip, co-founder Rellik London

“Vivienne Westwood is a great British icon and it’s brilliant that she came down to St Paul’s and wanted to contribute.” Naomi Colvin, Occupy London spokeswoman

“When I was 16 I somehow managed to get my dad to fork out £60 for a pair of Westwood bondage trousers. I had to call the shop for a name to put on the cheque because my dad refused to write the cheque to ‘Sex’. Luckily, they provided me with another company name and I got my legendary red tartan bondage trousers! Another time I was in Paris wearing a pair of bondage trousers my mum had made me out of Union Jack flags. Vivienne spotted me and said "They ain’t mine, who made them?" When I said my mum she took a closer look and gave mum top marks. I had walked the length and breadth of London sourcing all the right dog clips and zips and they were pretty authentic. Every time I bought something from Westwood in the punk days my mum said, "How much was that? I can make that in five minutes!" She often did but I think it’s safe to say that both mum and myself are big admirers of Vivienne! For me Vivienne Westwood is the most iconic and original designer we have produced in this country. She’s as mad as a box of frogs. She really should have been a rock star!” Boy George, pop star

“Vivienne makes a statement and from that statement she creates an image. She never seems to get anything wrong. You look back and there was ‘Pagan’, there was ‘Savage’, there was ‘Pirate’... all those things meant something. She’s the best designer in the world because she really believes in what she does.” Philip Sallon, club promoter

“One of our most influential designers, Vivienne is the archetypal symbol of British avant garde fashion for men and women alike. She has made an incredible contribution to the British fashion industry throughout her career and if asked many a fashionista would reference a Westwood piece as the most treasured or coveted item in their wardrobe.” Caroline Rush, Ceo British Fashion Council

“Dame Vivienne Westwood is the grand doyenne of British fashion. With the inception of her career in the 1970s she has seen it all and has carved a remarkable niche within the British fashion industry. A career that has spanned five decades is an outstanding achievement. I am sure she has much more to surprise and delight us with!” Harold Tillman CBE, Chairman British Fashion Coucil