20. Wearing your own creations
"If you don't wear your own clothes, who else is going to wear them? You've got to feel convinced in what you’re doing" - Zandra Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes is known for wearing her vibrant fashion designs, which she styles with bold statement jewellery, bright pink hair, and vivid make-up.
The designer has used herself as a canvas to experiment from the very start of her career. Before she struck out independently in fashion, she went into partnership with Sylvia Ayton on their Fulham Road Clothes Shop in the mid-1960s. She recounts in her autobiographical book, The Art of Zandra Rhodes, that Sylvia considered her look was too extreme and that she frightened the buyers. At that time she shaved back her hairline and wore two sets of false eye lashes on the top and bottom lashes, lots of jewellery, and sometimes a turban. She later dyed her hair green and experimented with gluing feathers to the ends (see this photograph of Zandra Rhodes in circa 1970 on Corbis).
The development of her fashion collections and personal style can be traced throughout the decades through the many captivating photographs of the designer. For example, from a silk chiffon kaftan, to a punk-inspired outfit, to one of her gold-pleated creations.
To this day Zandra Rhodes continues to wear her latest collections, and from time to time, she also raids her own archives for a glamorous outfit from the past. For example, the designer was photographed wearing her 1988 bleached denim dress at the Matthew Williamson show at London Fashion Week in September 2012.
This video gives a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Zandra Rhodes 'dressed down' in her work clothes in her private studio space. In this inner sanctum, she pursues her design work equipped with workman's tool belt and stylish bright pink overalls. She can also be seen in the video wearing a 'Z' shaped brooch by artist and friend Andrew Logan.