The Mediaeval Collection

16. The Mediaeval Collection

The Mediaeval Collection of 1983, as the name suggests, was inspired by historic costume from the Medieval period, also known as the Middle Ages. Zandra Rhodes talks in the video about taking inspiration from other countries, and for this collection she decided that she wanted to go back to the United Kingdom for reference.

The Mediaeval period covers a wide range of diverse styles across several centuries. There are certain elements that have been referenced in Zandra Rhodes's designs, including:

  • Elaborate headdresses, netted with richly decorated wire, from the 15th century. The Mediaeval Collection was styled for the posters and show with ornate netted snoods.
  • Tippets or hanging sleeves from the 14th century. The garment with style number 82/224 includes elaborate hanging sleeves in jersey.
  • Fitted under tunics worn with a sideless surcoat from the early 14th century and aprons from the 14th century. Zandra Rhodes included ornate aprons in this collection, worn over tight jersey under tunics.
  • An opulent colour palette, with shades of purple including lavender, lilac, and hyacinth, combined with pink, gold and bronze.

As Zandra Rhodes mentions in the video, the choreographer for the fashion show was the film director Derek Jarman who chose music from Zandra Rhodes's childhood.