When I met Zandra Rhodes

Last week I was honoured to spend a day with the legendary fashion designer Zandra Rhodes at her glamorous home and studio above the Fashion Museum in London. Zandra was an inspiration! Fresh off a plane from Los Angeles the night before, she was busy putting together her latest collection while still finding the time and energy to be a gracious and generous host. With her eccentric pink hair, vibrant rainbow-coloured clothes and infectious enthusiasm, she brought us sunshine on a gloomy London day.

Zandra has had an incredible career spanning more than forty years, which is an enormous achievement in the notoriously ruthless and fickle fashion industry. Ever the trail blazer, her bold and colourful designs have made her a true fashion icon and she has dressed everyone from Bianca Jagger and Debbie Harry to the Princess of Wales and Kylie Minogue. Her home is every bit as vibrant and colourful as she is and reflects her extraordinary artistic and creative talent.

Zandra showed us around her home and studio, which is an impressive space above London’s Fashion Museum, which she founded. Industrious pattern cutters and seamstresses were busy putting the final touches to her latest collection in her studio, while next door in her office original drawings adorn the walls while huge flight cases store her life’s work. Downstairs, Zandra’s vibrant textiles are screen printed by hand while the beautiful, colourful clothes that are the final product are kept on rails upstairs, ready to be shown. Zandra herself was full of energy, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and quite an inspiration. What an amazing lady.

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