Zandra Rhodes: Unseen

Zandra Rhodes has to be one of the most recognisable names in the history of British fashion design. Her designs are bold and imaginative and for the first time ever they will be on display in a unique exhibition entitled Zandra Rhodes ‘Unseen’. The exhibition marks the tenth anniversary of London’s Fashion and Textile Museum and looks set to make the celebrations go with a bang. The exhibition is set to showcase exactly was it was that earned her the title of the ‘Princess of Punk’ and how the designs of one of the most vibrant and unconventional personalities in the world of fashion have evolved and changed over the decades. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see the background to some of her more memorable designs right from the initial sketches, through to the designs and the finished garments. The exhibition is set to highlight the way that she experiments with colours and textures to create her artistic visions.

Photo by Romana Correale
Photo by Romana Correale

Bold Yet Feminine

Zandra Rhodes is famous for using bold prints while managing to maintain the femininity of her designs. Her use of colour could almost be described as theatrical in many ways. Ever since she first arrived on the design scene she has been regarded by almost all of her peers as an innovator, not only in the artistic sense but also in the technical sense. She has consistently been at the forefront of British design since the 1970’s and is still as innovative and imaginative as ever.

Taking centre stage at the exhibition will be her ‘Conceptual Chic Collection’ which debuted in 1977. This was the first of her collections to be missing the distinctive printed designs that she is known for. All of the pieces in the collection are black and pink, complete with designer holes and of course the iconic, if beaded, safety pin. She took punk off the street and injected it as only she could, into the world of high fashion.

Five Decades

For a full five decades Zandra Rhodes has been adding colour to the British fashion scene. Her designs are instantly recognisable as is her distinctive colour palette. Visitors will leave the exhibition understanding why she is such an inspiration to the younger generation of designers, and so admired by her contemporaries.  Her signature embroideries, sequined art and fantastic feather accessories will also be on display as part of the exhibition too. As for the designer herself she seems to enjoy her work being displayed in this new way. Items that have only ever been viewed on the catwalk are now able to be seen by the world.

Of course visitors to the museum shop will be able to buy their own piece of the exhibition to take home, including cards featuring her designs plus a range of Zandra Rhodes jewellery. The exhibition runs from 12th July through to 31st August 2013. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday for visitors wanting to view the exhibition with standard tickets priced at £8 each.

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