1970s-1980s Zandra Rhodes
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Like Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes (b.1942) has often looked for inspiration to historical styles or interesting techniques from the past. Indeed, she too has researched for a number of her designs in the dress and textile collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This short dress in ivory silk printed with red and blue zigzags is made of a farbic design, called "Sparkle", which was inspired by Elizabethan and Jacobean doublets using slashes as decoration. The dress has smocking to the front of the bodice, whilst the hemline is zigzaged or dagged, and there are accompanying blue silk shorts to wear with the outfit, also zigzag-edged.
This ensemble was purchased from the designer in 1970 by the media celebrity, Janet Street-Porter, and is on display in the costume gallery's exhibition of recent fashion. Another Zandra Rhodes outfit in cerise crepe was bought at the same time, pictured below, and this also has rather "retro" or historical influence in the hareem style trousers, smocking and "lettuce" edging to the top. Although it does not immediately appear like a wedding dress, Janet Street-Porter wore this second outfit for her informal marriage in 1976.
“Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind”
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