Commemorating its tenth anniversary this year, London’s Fashion and Textile Museum has a major exhibition planned for Summer 2013 – a landmark retrospective of celebrated British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
A graduate of the Medway College of Art and Royal College of Art, Rhodes gained international notoriety in the late 1970s. Her bold, often outrageous designs captured the spirit of the era, earning her the title Princess of Punk.
Making extravagant use of sequins, feathers and beads alongside less typical adornments like safety pins, Rhodes’ garments are characterised by a DIY ethos – reflecting how traditional manufacturers had balked at the prospect of producing her early pieces, leading the designer to make dresses herself.
The exhibition, entitled Zandra Rhodes Unseen, collects sketches, designs, prints and garments from across her entire five-decade career. By way of a highlight, Rhodes’ 1997 collection Conceptual Chic will be showcased in its entirety.
Celia Joicey, head of the Fashion and Textile Museum, said: “Zandra’s extraordinary imagination and sense of colour are instantly recognisable across 50 years of work. This exhibition reveals why she is an inspiration to young designers as well as to her contemporaries.”
Some of the garments on display have had the distinction of making their way into world-famous wardrobes. Among the celebrities known to have feted Rhodes’ designs are Kylie Minogue, Debbie Harry, Freddie Mercury and even Princess Diana.
Others are less recognisable. Rhodes herself said: “Many of these garments have only ever been seen on the catwalk before, so it is a joy to me that they haven’t been forgotten.”
Zandra Rhodes Unseen opens on July 12th and runs until August 31st. The Fashion and Textile Museum is close to many luxury hotels in London, being located on Bermondsey Street – within easy reach of the London Bridge and Borough Underground stations.
Tickets cost £8 for adults and £5.50 for students and concessions. The exhibition opens between 11am and 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday.