Me backstage Paralypics

Me backstage Paralypics

My name is Ben & I am Vivienne’s son by her first marriage to my father Derek.
I have just recently taken on this job to write the World’s End shop blog & I thought that I should take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I have actually worked for my mother before, for about 6months in 1983 just after the Buffalo Girls collection during the Punkature & Witches period, then after the split up with Malcolm I worked in the period 1986-1990 when she first developed herself as an independent designer.
During this time I multi-tasked quite a bit as at the beginning of this period there were only myself, my brother Joe & my mother’s mother Dora working for the company. I could drive so I got the driving & clothes production job, Joe (pretty sharp with money as you may know) dealt with finances & worked in the shop, & my grandmother worked in the shop too.
In 1987 I went to the USA for a couple of months & on my return I worked in the shop myself, then when the Davies St shop opened I was it’s first manager. In 1989 I was back doing production during the Civilizade & Voyage to Cythera period. I finally finished in March 1990.
In the intervening 23 years until now I developed my own project as a fetish photographer. After an adolescence surrounded by punk girls in stockings, suspenders & thigh high boots, Jordan working in SEX in her rubber underwear, Malcolm’s big collection of fetish & pin-up magazines that he & my mum used for their t-shirts, lying around at home; & then during the `Pagan Years` 86-90, Sara & all those supermodels wearing corsets, stockings & suspenders again,……& all those high heel shoes & boots….I knew what I wanted to do….so I did it.
I didn’t have the most lucrative career, I  suppose my photos were too specific a subject to have a regular job as a photographer. However I did have 3 books of my work published (the last one called `F**k Fashion`), did several exhibitions, worked for a variety of magazines from the art/fashion side like `Tank` to lads & porn mags like `Loaded` & `Leg Sex`. I also did the photos for a Lastminute.com advertising campaign & for a month or so I saw massive billboards of my work all around London.
Apart from that, I’ve been involved with some political stunts to do with opposition to obscenity laws. At the beginning of 2009 I marched around Parliament Square with a group of bondage models in opposition to Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which banned “extreme pornography” & then at the end of the same year I sang (terribly) carols outside the home of the Labour Equalities Minister Harriet Harman with a group of latex clad Xmas girls against the sexual encounter licence being proposed for clubs.
At the end of 2011 I was involved with the Occupy demonstration at St Paul’s & did an interview in the Evening Standard about it.
Last year & at the last minute I was asked by my mum to join her, my brother Joe & my father in law Andreas (he’s younger than me) in her stunt at the Paralympics, so I put on my woad war paint ( I chose my design from a film with Robert Redford called Jeremiah Johnson. One of the Crow Indians in it had it), my Guantanamo overalls and the climate revolution t-shirt I was to reveal & joined the procession on a bright green frog car. A strange experience being in front of so many people. I saw myself in the summing up edit at the end of the show at home on TV but there was a head in front of the t-shirt & when it moved they cut to something else. I was going to keep the t-shirt but I had to give it back so that Lady Gaga could have it. I hadn’t washed it.
Anyway, over the last 3-5 years or so I’ve been at a changing point in my life/career. I haven’t taken any pictures of fetish girls but I have taken some photos for the earlier World’s End blog, new items posts (i.e. the Lion bag & Propaganda boot posts). Also I have done some design work myself & have produced a small range, including 2 coats, a jacket, a shirt & a pair of trousers. The coats & jackets have been available in my brother Joe’s shop `Child of the Jago` for some time now but just recently my mother gave me the ok to put them in World’s End shop, which is quite an honor, really. They are there now…
So back to the present day & my new job here. My take on it is that I am a journalist with a magazine to run, so that as well as posts to do with any new items for sale in the shop I will be drawing on my own experience & archive to write something about the history of the shop. Including interviews, profiles & news of Vivienne’s political work I hope to make this an interesting site to visit regularly.


Ben Westwood


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25 thoughts on “Hello

  1. Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself, Ben, and I will look forward to reading your future posts on this blog. I have followed your career over the years, and I greatly admire the work you have done in the name of free speech. Keep up the good work!

    All the best,

  2. I have loved the website since you seem to have taken the helm, very interesting and informative. I hope you will keep us entertained and informed, let’s see your clothing designs available then ;-)

    best, Ryan xx

  3. Cool :) ) … Will be good to see this place getting more lively … There’s so much history … And so much that needs to be talked about in relation to the state of Britain and the World today… Such as … How the hell are we going to drag ourselves out of this CaCa :) )
    I’ll pop in much more often now to see if we can find a way

  4. Hey Ben! Great that you are now blogging. Look forward to following your work and words.

  5. Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to put this piece out. I am familiar with your work in that I have 2 saucy lunch boxes you put out some years back. They are positioned either side of the TV and always raise a few eyebrows. It’s great this sites becoming a bit more inter active. With your mums designs becoming less London centric it’d be good to have a place like minded peeps can come chat/share etc it can get lonely being the only ‘Art Lover’ in this neighbourhood.

  6. Thank you so Much Ben!! for sharing this with us…what a rare treat to begin to learn more about your historic family and the inner workings of the production and teamwork it takes to make some of the legendary clothes of World´s End!

  7. What a great family, and a lovely story.
    I used some of your work (I’m sure) when I did my fashion degree, my area was fetish wear. I can also see this in the ‘Child of Jago’ designs, and love the new Hogarth badges. Keep up the good work, and the fascinating family history. X

  8. What a killer read mate; I was glued to every word in this post. Sounds so interesting to see inside the world of yourself and your mother, to know what inspired and interacted with you on the daily since the beginning. Obscenity, ostentation, provocative, artsy: Your work really seems to be well diversified. Look forward to hearing more on your family.

  9. Thanks for the introduction, Ben.

    Please continue to share with us your personal knowledge and memories of Vivienne’s clothes, designs, and particularly, the World’s End shop!

  10. Thanks for the awesome introduction.
    Great to know some history about Vivienne Westwood and the story behind the first productions.
    Looking forward for more post and can’t wait to see your work.


  11. Hello Ben…. I worked with your Mother many moons ago on a couple of collections and remember you from those early days (late 1980′s) in Vivienne’s studio with Joe, Karen, Murray, Mark & co …. I think you have found your true vocation here…What a great introductory blog! Look forward to hearing your news and views and unique take on the world. All the very best, Linda.

  12. Haha , you’re a BRAVO ! Loving that Sara Stockbridge photo, it oozes sexappeal . The Stones are having concert in July , are you going and by the way when you eeeeeveeeer gonna call me , I will literally flee to California without seeing you – such a shame !

    Ya’ll folks on here , note how he tells you everything in details about the clothes, fabrics and models …….smart as hell !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Thanks for the interesting introduction.
    Looking forward for more post and can’t wait to see your work.

  14. Really excellent!
    Good to have you here Ben, look forward to checking out your designs too!

  15. Wonderful introduction. I know of your mother’s works since 1981 when I was in school. And have a devoted follower. I met Malcolm years later in New York when he was promoting his latest girl group called Junk. The part held at a Catholic girls school. He latched to me and we sort became bit of trouble for my client who was prescriptive make-up. I saw your mother’s shows in Paris too. Ohh…I should have remained in London all those years ago and maybe would have started my fashion career in a proper way and with Vivienne Westwood. Cheers to you! Look forward to your blog.

  16. Ben I would like to post a photo of the drape shirt I made from the pattern and ,I would appreciate some help ,in how to go about it ,thank you ,look forward to your reply Johnny