World’s End is a tiny crooked looking shop on the Kings Road, Chelsea, London. Set amongst the High Street stores, bars and coffee shops it could be quite unassuming if it weren’t for the huge clock on the front, with the hands going backwards – time never stands still in World’s End. Climb the crooked steps, ring the bell – no riff-raff please and enter through the crooked door.
Why all so crooked? Vivienne designed the shop to look like a Pirate ship, the floor is slanted just like the galley of a ship.
Why like a Pirate ship? Early on in Vivienne’s career whilst she was collaborating with Malcolm McLaren they first moved into 430 Kings Road when it was called Paradise Garage in 1970, they just rented the back room in those days selling Rock and Roll records. It was so successful they soon took over the entire shop selling Teddy boy clothing, the shop was fitted out to resemble a suburban Ted’s front room and in 1971 they changed the shop’s name to Let it Rock. Soon the duo bored of the Teddy boy fashion and became interested in Rock, the clothes became all about leather, zippers and studs. With the new fashion came another name for the shop Too Fast Too live Too Young Too Die, after James Dean. In 1974 another new look for the shop and the clothes being sold, SEX brought fetish gear into the main stream. It was in 1977 however when the shop became Seditionaries that brought about the fashion which most people know Westwood and McLaren for… Punk. Yet it was not until 1980 that the shop took the name World’s End. The galleon design came about with the Pirate collection, influenced by pirates of the high seas. This was the last collection Vivienne worked together with Malcolm on and since she liked the design so much the shop remained that way ever since.
Isn’t it just the same as the other Vivienne Westwood shops? Nope, it’s not just the name and look of the shop that is different but the entire philosophy: ‘Timeless Fashion, Recycling and the Best Price’
World’s End issues their classic designs and accessories, therefore they don’t have to add the cost of months of design and development work into the retail price of the garment.
- “Sell direct, which cuts out extra mark-up.
- Use our left-over fabrics; these were originally more expensive.
- Extract a new design out of the Gold Label collection and sell direct through WE.
- Samples, toiles, show jewellery and accessories.
- Political badges and artwork.
- Special WE designs, D.I.Y. items, boxers, towels, and hats.
- Never have a sale: Buy less ÔÇô Choose well ÔÇô Make it last! ”
– Vivienne Westwood
Cowboy hat ┬ú145, badge set ┬ú15 for 6, jewellery pin set ┬ú28 for 6, Liberty heart & key pin ┬ú5, babygrow ┬ú20, Belts ┬ú65 narrow /┬ú86 wide
Well if all that doesn’t make World’s End sound special enough here are a few more reasons you might want to take a trip down there, if only just to visit such a historical shop! Vivienne herself personally chooses her favourite pieces for the shop, one design she particularly likes is the ‘Shirtwaister dress‘. This dress design was originally a piece from the Gold Label collection and would have come with the price tag of around┬ú1,000 but at World’s End you can purchase it for ┬ú295. I know this is still expensive but it is a piece that will last you a lifetime and it’s special cut is the most flattering fit for any body shape, trust me it is worth every penny. There are other classic items which don’t have a big price tag at all such as the brooches and t-shirts, even a pin for ┬ú5, there is something for every budget- how many designers can say the same? Vivienne’s aim is to make it possible for everyone to come to the shop and find something they can take home to treasure. Most of the clothes on the World’s End label are made in England, at the London studio so you are also supporting the British economy and it is hard to find clothes produced over here these days, it really does make it more special.
Classic print World’s End t-shirts ┬ú35 each
As if you even needed another reason to visit but here you go, you get to meet Lisa the store manager who keeps the place buzzing. She is also one of the coolest people I know and always happy to help you should you need a mail order – world wide available, help with stock and sizes or just style inspiration. Lisa is always head to toe in Westwood and is just generally fabulous!
Awesome World’s End looks
World’s End also stocks an edit of Gold Label, Lee Denim and Anglomania to compliment the WE pieces. There are probably many more things I could say about World’s End but this is already a super long post, so anything else can be saved for another day. I have to dedicate this post to my friend Danny for sitting all night tweeting me reminding to finish this post and stop wondering off getting distracted, I know I promised it ages ago.
Vivienne Westwood and Agyness Deyn on the counter at World’s End
Visit the World’s End Blog
Read my friend Jason’s blog post about World’s End he has some fab photo’s
(First image my own, rest courtesy of Vivienne Westwood World’s End)