Membership, only 1€ per month

The Orb: Westwood’s timeless countercultural symbol

The Vivienne Westwood Orb has been one of the great divine relics crystallized in the fashion bible. Let’s talk about its history.

If we put the focus on the symbolism of fashion over time, perhaps Vivienne Westwood’s Orb has been one of the great divine relics crystallized in the fashion bible. Let’s talk about how the punk lady turned it into a timeless countercultural symbol.

The iconic logo created by the British designer altered all the codes associated with pearls and their classic elegance linked to the aristocratic sphere, to sheathe them in a kind of anti-systemic allegory. Westwood’s Bas Relief pearl chokers would be the epitome of subversion since she burst onto the fashion scene in the early 1970s, distilling anarchic influences into wild garments that transcend time with their iconography.

Her necklaces became the gateway products to Vivienne’s world, like badges of pride worn by all generations. Let’s talk about the genesis of this revolutionary and maverick jewelry.


It was the eighties when Westwood closed his iconic World’s End store for good, while living in Italy and working for the Fiorucci brand. A key episode in her career, because it was when she designed her logo, The Orb: a symbol that would change the course of her life, and of fashion.

At that time, the empress of punk and climate activism was designing a sweater in which she had placed a series of appliqués and insignia associated with the British aristocracy such as the griffins, the thistle for Scotland or the shamrock of Ireland, as well as the crown and the famous cruciferous orb that since the coronation of King Charles II in 1661 has been part of the royal aesthetics, identifying the kings and queens of Great Britain as defenders of the faith.

Vivienne did not simply respect all that iconography, but altered it through her disruptive and futuristic vision, adding a ring around the globe, as if it were Saturn. That logo would have a profound effect on Carlo D’Amario, who said it summed up the double soul of Dame Viv’s fashion, fusing past, present and future in an eternal jewel.


Her original three-row pearl choker design from her Portrait collection (1990) would become an icon and emblem for fashion, coveted by all generations, but especially by the Z generation. One that revived her desire in Tiktok, and positioned her again in the showcase of global hype. There has even been talk of the “TikTok necklace”, as a new viral object driven by icons of the scene like Dua Lipa, who attended the Brit Awards 2021 embellished with a total vintage look and a multi-strand pearl necklace. Not to mention Kylie Jenner or Bella Hadid, who have worn the necklace in countless versions.

The obsession with this jewel sculpted with pearls and crystals has also been evoked by Nana, the Japanese manga created by Ai Yazawa, who draws inspiration from the Westwood fashion universe for the wardrobe of her characters. But above all, it is especially popular with young people, who adorn their necks with the Mini Bas Relief choker, and connect with the spirit of rebellion and activism that would crystallize in fashion the great lady of punk, Vivienne Westwood.

Sigue toda la información de HIGHXTAR desde Facebook, Twitter o Instagram

You may also like...

© 2024 HIGHXTAR. Todos los derechos reservados.