“I saw her as an English archetype,” he continued. “Like a parody of a 1950s suburban housewife crossed with a dominatrix, the mirror image of Margaret Thatcher.”
Ms. Mooney, he said, was a figurehead for a generation of disaffected teenagers during the grim Thatcher years. She was heroic in a way, a superhuman and quite fantastic creation of her own making, an Amazon to kick to the curb the wan and waifish Twiggy types who had preceded her. Ms. Mooney said she saw herself as a walking art project and was liberated, like her punk sisters, by the idea that women could be threatening. Punk, anarchic but unisex, was a great equalizer.
Ms. Mooney also worked as a manager and stylist for the glam-punk band Adam and the Ants. She often performed with them, too, howling a song called “Lou,” a critique of Lou Reed she had written after being disappointed by one of his shows.
She was a muse to the filmmaker Derek Jarman, memorably appearing in his campy punk allegory “Jubilee” (1978), dancing on pointe in a fluffy “Swan Lake” tutu on a gritty backlot, in front of a bonfire in which the Union Jack sizzles.
Mr. Jarman filmed her wedding in 1981 to Kevin Mooney, who was for a short time the bassist in the Ants. She was 26 and Mr. Mooney was 18, and when Ms. Westwood heard the news, she fired her. (The shop, which had been renamed Seditionaries in 1976, was at that point known as World’s End.) Marriage, Ms. Westwood felt, was a burdensome bourgeois construct, and for Ms. Mooney to enter into to it was an unforgivable transgression of the store’s philosophy and Ms. Westwood’s own beliefs.
The marriage was not a happy one, marked by the couple’s heroin habits — Mr. Mooney sold her clothes at one point, and once hurled her kitten against a wall — and Ms. Mooney escaped after two years. She detoxed on her own, at her parents’ house in Seaford, telling them she had the flu. She remained in her hometown and reinvented herself as a breeder of Burmese cats, and a veterinary nurse.