Paris Fashion Week 2012: Dame Vivienne Westwood takes inspiration from the 17th Century

Blast from the past: Dame Vivienne Westwood takes inspiration from the 17th Century for her latest collection

She has long been hailed as the epitome of British fashion with her rebellious designs first catapulting her into spot light more than 40 years ago.

And despite being 70, Dame Vivienne Westwood proved she still has what it takes to lead trends on the catwalk in Paris yesterday, as she unveiled her new nostalgic and ethereal ready-to-wear line.

Westwood has carved out a niche with her punk-inspired brand of romantic tailoring and stylized corsetry and this latest offering called 'London' didn't deviate too far from her tried and tested formula.

A model walks the runway during the Vivienne Westwood Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2012

A model walks the runway during the Vivienne Westwood Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2012

Historical themes with a punk twist: Ms Westwood created 17th Century Elizabethan inspired corsets teamed with short skirts and big boots at her 'London' fall-winter ready to wear collection unveiled in Paris yesterday

Designer Vivienne Westwood, surrounded by her models, is kissed on the cheek by her husband Andreas Kronthaler after displaying her 2013 fashion collection during Paris Fashion week

Designer Vivienne Westwood, surrounded by her models, is kissed on the cheek by her husband Andreas Kronthaler after displaying her 2013 fashion collection during Paris Fashion week

The fashion icon delved into past times for inspiration for her fall-winter 2013 collection unveiled during Paris Fashion Week but of course added her signature punk twist.

Models donned tight, beautifully embroidered corsets that would have looked fitting in the hit BBC TV show The Tudors, but teamed them with short skirts to give them a modern edge.

Ms Westwood, whose collection showcased four centuries of English dressing, said that fashion 'builds on the styles of the past in order to move forward'.

Vivienne Westwood

A model wears a creation by designer Vivienne Westwood as part of the Fall-Winter, ready-to-wear 2013 fashion collection, during Paris Fashion week

Ethereal: The sharp cuts and bold designs were paired with long draping shawls to add mystery and intrigue

A model presents a creation by British designer Vivienne Westwood as part of her Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week

A model presents a creation by British designer Vivienne Westwood as part of her Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week

Tweedledee: Another big theme to come out of Ms Westwood's 'London' collection for 2013 was tweed

But she admitted her main focus had been on the 17th Century, which saw the death of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, the great plaque and fire of London.

She said. 'A century of great change and drama, it was the age of the amateur and of the rugged individualist and adventurer. In this century, the British forged their national identity.'

And Ms Westwood's show had its usual feeling of fun interwoven throughout with a model sent down the catwalk riding a bike.

Already a classic: Some of the designs wouldn't have looked out of place in a BBC costume drama as Ms Westwood took inspiration from past times for her latest collection

Already a classic: Some of the designs wouldn't have looked out of place in a BBC costume drama as Ms Westwood took inspiration from past times for her latest collection

A model presents a creation by British designer Vivienne Westwood as part of her Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show

A model presents a creation by British designer Vivienne Westwood as part of her Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week

Contrasting looks: Ms Westwood took inspiration from past English dress across the centuries for the show

At the end of the show, Westwood came to take her bows in a silk dress printed with money.

She said: 'Fashion spins money. My motto is buy less, choose well and make it last.'

Ms Westwood first came to the world's attention in 1971 when she began selling her rebellious designs in husband and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McClaren's London store. She has since gone on to become a household name.

A model a rides a bicycle on the runway during the Vivienne Westwood

A model wears a creation by designer Vivienne Westwood as part of the Fall-Winter, ready-to-wear 2013 fashion collection, during Paris Fashion week

All wrapped up: One model even cycled along the catwalk during Ms Westwood's show at Paris Fashion Week