The Orb

Worlds End shop

orb pendant

I thought that I would write something about the origin of the Westwood orb logo.
Back in 1985/6 a year or so after the separation with Malcolm there was a hiatus when the World’s End shop was closed for a year & Vivienne spent her time in Italy with Fiorucci who supported her & gave her access to his facilities. During this time she was working on a collection with the theme of royalty but with a futuristic touch as the idea of taking tradition into the future was in her mind.
An influence on this was that before she had gone to Italy I had shown & lent my mother some astronomy magazines I had collected, in which she had seen photos of computer enhanced images of galaxies, the event horizon of black holes, articles about ‘Deep Sky’ photography & photos of the planet Saturn with its ring system.
One of the garments that she was planning was a knitted jumper which she imagined Prince Charles might wear in his spare time. So on it were all the insignia that a prince of Britain might have; griffons, coat of arms, the thistle for Scotland, the leek for Wales, the shamrock for Ireland, a chain, the crown & also the orb from the crown jewels. To bring the futuristic feel into this she decided with the orb to add a satellite ring around it like the one around Saturn & also to add to the jumper design the phrase Deep Sky & some radar dishes.
In Italy at this time was her friend Carlo D’Amario (who is now the Westwood business manager). He saw the jumper design & seeing the orb told her that this was perfect for her logo (at the time she was paying someone else to try to come up with a logo for herself) as this emblem in itself perfectly reflected her idea of taking tradition into the future. So the logo was born & it was present on all the collections from this time onwards.
First of all it was on the label, embroidered on some garments & on the buttons, but its use has expanded over the 28 years since its birth from the first orb pendant appearance in the Harris Tweed AW 87-88 show to a myriad of incarnations up until the present day including the neon lights in the Davies St shop, the tops of the clothes rails in all the shops, a massive chandelier in the Conduit St press office, perfume bottle tops, etc.
In the Pagan 1 SS 88 show the Deep Sky blazer was introduced along with the galaxy print & finally in the subsequent Time Machine AW 88-89 show the Deep Sky jumper which had started the whole thing off made its appearance.
There was a brief moment of confusion when it was realised that the logo was very close to the Harris Tweed logo but since Vivienne had been the first designer in ages to use this traditional British fabric & by doing so had revived their fortunes Harris Tweed were not worried at all.
Long live the Orb.

Astronomy Magazine

Astronomy Magazine

Vivienne Westwood

Deep Sky jumper

Deep Sky jumper

Deep Sky jumper

Vivienne Westwood

A myriad of Orbs

Davies St orb lights

Davies St orb lights

Vivienne westwood

Deep Sky Blazer

Vivienne westwood

Galaxy print

Sara Sings

Sara Sings

Galaxy Umbrella

Galaxy Umbrella

Vivienne Westwood

Time Machine AW 88-89

Harris Tweed logo

Harris Tweed logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “The Orb

  1. I wear an orb every day around my neck ( I have 6 different styles) :-) Unless I’m wearing my “terrorist” choker, then I wear an orb pin badge ! :-) I Love the orb. My fave is the silver locket orb at the moment :-)

  2. I Have the very old Giant orb from 1990′s :) !! The same model than the one one on the picture. Amazing collection piece

  3. Thanks for the piece Ben!…I had most of the clothes from that period…loved my Deep Sky blazer and cream Deep Sky jumper!…I used to have bruises on my chest from dancing in clubs wearing the giant orb!…happy days. I think that it would be great to bring out the jumper again…I virtually wore mine until it fell to pieces. Keep-up the blog…it makes a lot of us wrinklies very happy!

    • my orb pendant would bounce up into my face when I ran (say for the bus) I had to hold it down :-)

  4. after wearing my denim jacket to death I got myself an orb tattoo on my chest in 89.

  5. I treasure my Deep Sky blazer such an amazing piece. So funny everyone’s comments about the dangers of wearing an orb I’ve had it hit me in the face and get stuck under tables and nearly choke me ha ha ha!! The things we do for fashion huh!

  6. I love the Orb, and I love my Orb necklace! I too have had a few mishaps with mine…jammed in a car door, caught in my hair etc!!! But it completes my style and I love it. It’s such a well recognised symbol too, and always sparks up conversation between fellow Westwood devotees :) :) its really nice to learn where the initial idea for it came from, such a great article :)

  7. I wear the orb on my head nearly everyday, I have a selection of 90s caps and a beanie, people are always curious as to what the symbol is, I knew it was inspired by the crown jewels and someway to the universe, so it’s cool to have more of an insight into its meaning and design,. The 90s was my favourite Vivienne Westwood era, AA

    • I LOVE LOVE THE ORB!!! I SLEEP WITH MINE EVERY NIGHT!! I AM FRIENDS WITH VIVIENNE SO I GET IT ALL FREE YIPEEEEEEEE!! I HAVE A TATTOO AS WELL XXXXX

  8. I love my Orb and Deep Sky blazer it is part of who I am. I spent many a Friday night at the Mud club with Philip Salon! Good times!!! XXX