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Desert Island Discs

Vivienne Westwood

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The British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood turned 80 this week. A pioneer of the punk movement in the mid-1970s, she always had an innate sense of “joie de vivre”, she told Sue Lawley in this 1992 episode of Desert Island Discs.

She and her then boyfriend, Malcolm McLaren, ran a shop called Sex, which specialised in pornographic T-shirts and once got them arrested. We had a design with two naked cowboys on it, Westwood says, and the judge ruled their penises were “over-large”. But then being outrageous was always her raison d’être. She and McLaren once plotted to set fire to the Beatles’ waxwork figures in Madame Tussauds, but the plan fell through. “I think the Beatles’ music, the more you hear it, the more dreadful it seems as time goes by,” she says. Westwood’s music choices are entirely classical.

🎵 Le boeuf sur le toit, Darius Milhaud

🎵 The Shrovetide Fair (from Petrushka), Stravinsky

🎵 Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Debussy

🎵 Panorama (from Sleeping Beauty), Tchaikovsky

🎵 Ondine (from Gaspard de la nuit), Ravel

🎵 Piano Concerto No 21 in C major, Mozart

🎵 Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor, Chopin

🎵 Sarcasms, Sergei Prokofiev

🎁 Multilingual dictionary

📕 A la recherche du temps perdu, Marcel Proust

Listen to the full episode here.