Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous

To celebrate her fiftieth year in the fashion industry, the Fashion and Textile Museum is throwing open its doors for a retrospective of one of the grand dames of the arts in Britain, Zandra Rodes. Peter Gray reports.

Zandra Rhodes Fifty Years of Fabulous

This retrospective will celebrate fifty years of the Zandra Rhodes’ label, by highlighting 100 key looks from the designers five decades in the industry.

Fifty Years of Fabulous will be hosted by the Fashion and Textile Museum, the institution that Rhodes founded in 2003.

Rhodes studied textile design at the Royal College of Art before opening a clothes shop on Fulham Road in the late 1960s. By the early 1970s, the designer was beginning to make a name for herself, mainly due to her audacious but resolutely feminine designs. However, it was not until 1977 and the birth of Punk rock, that Rhodes became a household name. The designer skilfully capitalised on the dramatic shift that punk represented in presenting her own “establishment” take on the genre.

She called the style Conceptual Chic and the collection was a massive hit. She embellished her garments with screen printing and beaded safety pins and brought the attitude and verve of the new musical form to a wider audience than the proponents of the style could have possibly imagined.

By the 1980s, Rhodes was a well established figure on the fashion scene, with the likes Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury wearing her clothes.

When the Fashion and Textile Museum opened in 2003, it housed over 3000 of Rhode’s original dresses along with a variety of exhibits celebrating the history of British fashion. Rhodes planned to celebrate the recent history of fashion and textiles and to provide spaces for education and learning.

Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous will open on the 27th of September 2019 and continue until the 26th of January 2020 at the Fashion and Textile Museum.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.

If you would like to discover other great exhibitions in London, please click here.


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27th Sept 2019 until 26th Jan 2020

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