05 Oct Zandra with a “Z’
She has a tiny tattoo of a lily flower on her thigh, occasionally sneaks a Mars candy bar, is thrilled being appointed a Dame (DBE), and wouldn’t be recognized without her pink hair. Zandra Rhodes, considers herself a “printer” but her immeasurable talents and artistic skills bring her quite further than that.
Her colorful textile prints which evolved into floating fantasy clothes erased all the old fashion taboos regarding dress design. Her original creations have been seen at red carpet events, runways, and on celebrities throughout the world.
Zandra Rhodes was born in 1940 in Chatham, Kent, U.K. She attended London’s Royal College of Art and her first major area of study was Printed Textile design. When she discovered how beautiful the printed fabrics draped on the body, her artistic imagination began to really bloom. At first the fashion community considered her eccentric and extreme but in the late 1960’s when “anything goes”, her peers began to pay attention.
Today Ms. Rhodes’s original designs extend to handbags, bed linens, and five separate collections of jewelry. She finds inspiration everywhere she travels; India is a huge influence with it’s bright lively colors. The name Zandra Rhodes is associated with color, though she has designed a line of black, white, and gray garments. Even the design of those creations vibrate with energy!
When talking about her work, she is always saying, “We” instead of “I”. She likes to surround
herself with people who are as enthusiastic as she is. Ms. Rhodes likes working with a team of people and is generous with sharing her creative knowledge with young students.
The woman who walks confidently in high heels and never steps out the door without pink hair and full makeup, shares wise counsel to the novice: “Never give up ever, when people try to crush you.” Along with, “No point in doing anything, unless you do it to the best of your ability.”After five successful decades in the industry, Zandra Rhodes still loves fashion now more than ever!