Vivienne Westwood
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The former primary school teacher and punk queen ("I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system") has been a British fashion darling since 1971. Dame Vivienne Westwood (1941) is fond of tartans, corsets and 18th century clothes cutting principles, and 'simply adores' a big ball gown, as long as it is well draped. "I've got a real sense of three-dimensional geometry," she says. "I can look at a flat piece of fabric and know that if I put a slit in it and make some fabric travel around a square, then when you lift it up it will drape in a certain way, and I can feel how that will happen."