That’s Not My Age Podcast Special Episode: Dame Zandra Rhodes
We are busy recording series two of That’s Not My Age: The Podcast, and as a delicious taster of what’s to come I am delighted to introduce cult fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes. In celebration of an impressive, five-decade career, the Fashion and Textile Museum has just opened Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous. A brilliant retrospective of the designer’s work, highlighting more than 50 key looks, original textiles and never-seen-before garments and accessories. The Fabulous Years began in 1969, when, after studying printed textile design Zandra graduated from the Royal College of Art. Considered too ‘far out’ by fashion buyers, undeterred she launched her own eponymous label and soon her signature aesthetic caught on. Worn by rock stars and royalty, her dresses epitomised the bohemian, softly flowing silhouette of the 1970s – and feel incredibly au courant, today. In 2017, Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino requested a number of Zandra Rhodes hand-drawn prints for spring/summer. ‘I love the fact that he wanted to use me for his first solo collection,’ Zandra said at the time, ‘It’s very feminine, it’s very gorgeous, I feel very honoured.’
We meet in the library of Zandra’s penthouse apartment, piled high with beautiful books, photographs and mementoes. The bubblegum pink bob, bold blue eyeshadow, patterned kimono top and super-sized jewellery, are unmistakable. Her singular style matches the colourful location above the fuchsia and terracotta Fashion and Textile Museum AND looks even better in real life. I was concerned that having literally just stepped off an overnight flight from New York, the 79-year-old might be exhausted. Turns out she has more energy than I do. With no plans to retire, and a strong determination to keep on creating, we discuss Zandra Rhodes latest projects: curating the exhibition, appearing on Celebrity Masterchef and collaborating with IKEA, for starters. Oh, and her fondness for throwing dinner parties and making bread and butter pudding. Stay tuned, Zandra’s best advice comes right at the very end…
Thank you for listening. It’s great to be back, sort of (more podcasts coming towards the end of October).
Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous is on at the Fashion & Textiles Museum until 26 January 2020 BOOK TICKETS HERE. Zandra enjoys reading Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks in the evening, and always wears her own designs. An edit of her latest collection is available at Matchesfashion.com.
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Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-Tebaldi
Host: Alyson Walsh
Guest: Zandra Rhodes
Music: David Schweitzer
Artwork: Ayumi Takahashi
Digital technician: Tom Hole at Stirtingale
Coordinator: Helen Johnson