Dame Vivienne Westwood to give Brit award a makeover

Image caption, The new design (r) is a more colourful version of the traditional statuette (l)

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood is to give the Brit award a fresh look as part of a number of changes lined up for the annual music event.

"We are honoured she accepted our offer of designing 2011's trophy," said Brits chairman David Joseph.

Other innovations include the axing of the outstanding contribution prize, traditionally the final award of the glitzy music showcase.

The awards will be held at the O2 arena in south-east London on 15 February.

For the past 11 years, the UK awards ceremony has been held at Earl's Court, on the opposite side of the capital.

A preliminary sketch of Dame Vivienne's design suggests the 2011 trophy will be a more colourful affair than the customary silver statuette.

According to Joseph, the 69-year-old "stands for all the things we want to inspire in tomorrow's generation of artists".

Dame Vivienne, he added, "continues to be unique, innovative and not to mention massively inspired by music and vice versa".

One of the best-known and original designers in the international fashion business, she made her name defining the look of punk rebellion in the 1970s.

Image caption, Dame Vivienne is one of the iconic figures of the British fashion industry

Sir Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac and Oasis are among the acts to be honoured in what had been the event's customary climax.

Instead of the outstanding contribution accolade, organisers are hoping to make the best album prize the centrepiece of the evening.

Next year's event will also see artists themselves taking part in choosing winners, alongside those figures from the industry who already cast votes.

Last year's show saw performances from Lady GaGa, Jay-Z, Dizzee Rascal and Robbie Williams, who closed the gala after receiving the outstanding contribution prize.

Nominees for the 2011 Brit awards will be announced on 13 January.

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