This fall, the world will see a spotlight cast on a leading lady of fashion for some fifty years. English designer Zandra Rhodes has been revolutionizing textile design since 1969, and this September brings a museum exhibition, a book, and, to top it all off, a birthday celebration.
To call Rhodes legendary would be to sell her drastically short. Named a Commander of the British Empire in 1997 for her contributions to fashion, Rhodes, sporting a trademark bright pink bob and equally extravagant jewelry and clothing, cuts as impressive a figure in person as do her clothes, whose boldly colored fabrics and densely patterned designs are unmistakable.
Soon after opening her first shop, at the age of twenty-seven, she appeared in Vogue courtesy of Diana Vreeland, and was in short order selling her fashions at Neiman Marcus and Saks. She was dubbed the Princess of Punk in the 1970s for her designs with torn clothing and an abundance of safety pins, but has also clothed distinguished women like Princess Diana and Jackie Onassis. Sarah Jessica Parker wore her on “Sex and the City,” and you may have seen her clothes on Ashley Olsen or Kate Moss.
And she hasn’t stopped there. Her sets and costumes for the opera have graced stages from Houston to Montreal to Seattle and New York, and her makeup sells at MAC.
Celebrating it all, the exhibition “Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous” opens in September at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum (which she co-founded, no less!). The show will travel to Stockholm, Shanghai, and New York, and is accompanied by a major publication. All of this builds upon the momentum of a 2018 documentary, The Faces of Zandra Rhodes, that is rich with archival footage showing Dame Zandra hard at work over the decades; and, earlier this year, London Fashion Week organized a major showing to celebrate her jubilee year.
To top it all off, September will see the launch of a special collaboration between Absolut Art and Dame Zandra. We couldn’t be more proud, and we hope you’ll visit her exhibition, read her book, or take home one of the gorgeous limited-edition prints she’s made with Absolut Art.