Dame Zandra Rhodes was born 1940 in Kent, UK. Introduced to fashion by her mother, a fitter in Worth, Paris. Zandra studied at Medway and then the Royal College London, majoring in printed textiles.
Zandra headed the new wave of British designers who put London at the forefront of international fashion in the 1970s. Rhodes’ garments have a timeless quality making them unmistakably Rhodes’ creations; bold, dynamic, colorful and feminine. Her innovative approach to garment construction can be seen in her use of printed fabric dictating garment shapes, reverse exposed seams and stylistic use of jeweled safety pins and tears during the punk era. She has stamped her identity on the international world of fashion with her spectacular pink hair, theatrical makeup and art jewelry.
Zandra designed for Princess Diana, Princess Michael, Freddy Mercury, Diana Ross, Helen Mirren, and Ellen Burstein’s outfit for her Emmy Award. Rhodes has also designed Opera sets and costumes for The Pearl Fishers, Magic Flute and Aida. Her vintage dresses are seen at the Oscars and her print design influence is on the world’s catwalks. Rhodes founded the Fashion and Textile Museum London and her exhibition: “Zandra Rhodes, a Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles” has exhibited all over the world, including Milan, Melbourne, Mexico City, Boston and Kuala Lumpur. The Queen made Rhodes a Dame in 2014 for services to fashion.
Some of Zandra’s work is produced under license: handbags, bed linens, tights and socks. Jackets and kaftan tops for Jacques Vert, Ethical fashion for People Tree, prints for Westminster, and garments for Vogue McCall patterns. Rhodes’ latest collection is for Kraftangan of Kuala Lumpar and includes batiks and “songket” (brocade) teamed with dynamic printed chiffons.