British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes is one of the most recognisable names in the industry over the last fifty years. Her work includes the design of haute couture dresses and garments for a host of eminent clients such as Elizabeth Taylor, Freddie Mercury and Diana, Princess of Wales, to name just a few.
Born in Chatham, Kent, in 1940 Zandra was introduced to the world of fashion by her mother, a fitter for the Paris fashion House of Worth. She studied at the Medway College of Design (now part of the University for the Creative Arts, UCA) and later at the Royal College of Art in London, then had a brief turn at teaching and collaborated with Sylvia Ayton on the Fulham Road Clothes Shop before making her own way in fashion.
The acclaimed British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE founded her eponymous fashion house in 1969 with a small collection. Her prints were Pop Art-infused commentaries on the world of Sixties Britain; the designer felt that there was inherent structure within the pattern that could work with and enhance the shape and construction of a dress. With this concept as a starting point and with her distinctive approach to cut and form, the house of Zandra Rhodes soon became one of the most recognisable labels in London.
In celebration of fifty years of the Zandra Rhodes’ label, the Fashion and Textile Museum presents Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous. This retrospective will highlight 100 key looks, as well as 50 original textiles. This comprehensive exhibition will explore five decades of the distinguished career of a British design legend.
27 September - 26 January 2019, Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF, UK