Design Dynamo

Zandra Rhodes collaborates on new Valentino collection and more

Posted on March 30, 2017

More than a half century after launching her own line, iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes continues to invent and inspire. For Spring 2017, Valentino’s Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli asked Rhodes to collaborate on his first solo collection. Rhodes created prints inspired by “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” a triptych by medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. Piccioli and his team visited Rhodes’ London studio, choosing some of her signature motifs — magical animals, birds, fruit, and palm trees, which she then reinterpreted for Valentino. Rhodes says she had just a few weeks to create the designs, which often meant Skyping Valentino’s team in the wee hours of the morning. The result is a romantic collection that has garnered glowing reviews in the fashion press. “It was a great honor,” said Rhodes by phone from her Solana Beach studio before jetting off to the Fashion & Textile Museum in London, which she founded.

Rhodes, also honored as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is too busy to retire. With Matchesfashion.com, she launched a limited edition capsule collection, reinventing pieces from her archive to make them sexier and easy to wear. (Her recreation of the “Diana dress,” first designed for Princess Diana in 1985, was quick to sell out.) Besides working on a new collection for Valentino Men, Dame Rhodes is designing costumes and sets for the San Diego Opera’s 2018 production of Puccini’s Turandot. And just last month, she headlined Scottsdale Fashion Week. Asked how she’s been able to remain relevant more than 50 years after bursting onto London’s fashion scene in the mid-’60s, Rhodes is characteristically self-deprecating. “I keep my fingers crossed,” she says with a hearty laugh. “There’s no guarantee that things will work. You don’t really know.” 858.792.1892, zandrarhodes.com     Andrea Naversen

Design Dynamo

Zandra Rhodes

 

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