The Denim dress motifs

19. The denim dress motifs

The embellished denim dress from Zandra Rhodes's The Fantastic Flower Garden Collection of 1988, showcases motifs in a wide range of techniques including: appliqué, hand beading, hand painting, ornamentation, pleating, satin stitch, and screen printed fabrics.

In this video, Zandra Rhodes describes how she did various experiments with denim, which led her to create this dress, which was hand painted with bleach that ate holes in the fabric. The dress was then hand painted in pink dye and embellished with studs, rhinestones, mirrors, and Swarovski diamantes.

What makes the dress really special and unique is the addition of found pieces of previous Zandra Rhodes prints in satin, which have been appliquéd on to different areas of the dress. Hover over the image below and click to view other garments from the Zandra Rhodes archive with these prints:

Frilly Button Flower Lipstick Indian Feather Sunspray

Above: Detail from the denim dress, 1988 © Zandra Rhodes; click on the dress to view other garments with these

The different pieces of Zandra Rhodes prints on the dress include:

  • Indian Feather Sunspray print on pleated satin fabric edging the front bodice panel and epaulettes.
  • Button Flower motifs in two different colourways have been appliqu├ęd to each shoulder: one hand beaded like a corsage; another motif appears on the back near the waist.
  • Frilly motifs appliquéd like a trompe l'oeil necktie, trimming the cuffs, and on one shoulder.
  • Lipstick motif appliquéd to the centre front.

In the video Zandra Rhodes describes this dress as featuring pieces from other collections and "different parts of my life". Zandra Rhodes has worn this dress herself on more than one occasion, including recently to the Matthew Williamson show at London Fashion Week in September 2012.