The Life of Westwood


The young need discipline and a full bookcase.
Vivienne Westwood 


If there's one book you should've read before you hit the grave, this one is certainly it. Vivienne Westwood (the official biography) isn't just the story of a woman named Vivienne Westwood who conquers the world with her designs. It's the story of life. Or better: it's a story about life and the way you can act upon it. Learn from the mistakes, celebrate the victories, believe in yourself, act upon what you think is right and most important, look and listen to the people and things around you:

The establishment is like a car, and it's going a hundred miles an hour. And you want to slow it down. So what does Vivienne do, she throws some rocks at it to try to make it go less fast. But do you know what happens instead? It goes faster: it uses your energy. Don't let it. Don't waste your energy like that when you, Vivienne can go two hundred miles an hour instead.
Carlo D'Amario to Vivienne Westwood (page 261, if you're interested)

I mean, just change Vivienne into your own name and that's valid advice for anyone.
Whenever wherever.


The book certainly doesn't turn Vivienne into Mrs Holy of Holiness. The story is raw, maybe even mean at times, but at the end there's light. By being yourself and pushing all the limits and naturally being 100% passionate about what you do/want, the world becomes your playground. Yes you will stub your toe from time to time, but if you're willing to make some sacrifices, you can achieve more then you ever wished for. Be patient, be smart and work hard (more oneliners coming your way!), without loosing sight on the humour. Without the element of fun there's nothing to work as hard for. Not on a creative-, personal- or business level.

What comes around goes around. Be true to yourself and everyone around you.

Also SEX. Sex and culture.


Ian Kelly and Vivienne Westwood have done a magnificently good job writing this book. The anecdotes from Vivienne in combination with the facts and background stories by Ian (together with his superb observation skills) knits it all nice together. Ian paints you a picture of the times, the cultures, the places, the people and the manners. You get a vivid and accurate image that supports everything. It makes you understand about the ways and wills that sometimes contradict eachother.

When reading this book I didn't want to finish it. I felt that there were some secrets in there I wanted to safe for future me. However I'm glad that I've f-i-n-a-l-l-y finished it anyway (I started reading this bad boy back in January.... I've been busy OK! Also, just to give myself a pat on the shoulder, I'd already written this post in, like, August or something (and then forgot about it. Oops). So, ya know, just saying....).


It's safe to say that this is a coffee table book. Just put it on your coffee table and sigh everytime you take a sip of your coffee. Or tea. Or maybe even lemonade... There are certainly a few sections I've highlighted and look back on. Naturally while sipping my imaginative coffee/tea/lemonade. Also it isn't sitting nice and neatly on display on a coffee table, BUT it's laying on top of my pile of books (who needs a coffee table anyway??!).*

Love,
Dominique


*Fun fact: I lied. It isn't even laying on top of my pile of books, it's actually being used as a counterbalance so the adapter of my laptop can connect to previously mentioned laptop because the stupid thing's broken and I've tried to fix it but the people who were supposed to fix it made it worse (they've hacked into my computer, changed my password and broke my internet. Not a company I'd recommend using) and so I'm in need of something heavy (hence the usage of this book) and this sort of USB-thingy that can actually make my laptop find the internet (because on its own it's rubbish) and.... yeah... You could say this book is multi-purposed: you can read it, use it as a table (as I did when it was still laying on top of the pile, now it's Lagerfeld that gets to hold the tea and biscuits) or you can use it to try to connect your adapter to your laptop so it won't die. Good job Vivienne!

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