For many there was nothing before punk—no music, no culture, no future. And for others, before Vivienne Westwood there was no fashion. 430 King’s Road has been the site of some of the world’s most significant couture creations for over 35 years. Westwood’s fashion escapades helped to establish Chelsea’s King’s Road’s reputation as the beating heart of London style, and her ’World’s End’ store—opened in 1979—today remains a testament to her success as a voice of individuality in a world of hackneyed imitations.
The large clock, which tells the time backwards, still sits above the shop’s entrance. Once inside, you’ll find Westwood’s Gold, Red, Man and Anglomania labels, all combining her signature design elements of audacious unconformity with a sense of UK tradition. She continues to parody establishment styles, employing archetypal British fabrics such as Harris tweed and tartan, and reclaiming historic garments like the corset and crinoline. Expect to encounter serious shoppers, inquisitive onlookers, and fashion historians at World’s End—if London had a museum of popular culture, World’s End would be its most notable artifact.