In 1973 I cut out this photograph of Zandra Rhodes from a copy of my mum’s Woman magazine and it had pride of place on the pin-board on my bedroom wall. The print and quilt satin cocoon jacket featured in the picture is from the designer’s Shell Collection, Autumn/Winter 1973. Zandra was (and still remains) a massive inspiration. In 1976 I made my own embroidered version of this jacket while on a foundation course at Salisbury Art College. Who knew that five years later I would be working with Zandra as Junior Design Assistant. I am still totally inspired by the lady and her amazing back catalogue of trailblazing work and am thrilled to be able to say we remain good friends (especially after me working for her – it was my first proper job!).
In 2007 I talked with Zandra about her own early days in the fashion business.
“It was freer then, less restrictive. It was more possible to do your own thing. Everything was new and people were friendly. Everything, everyone was caught up in a whirlwind of press. It was definitely a time of discovery with everyone going forward.”
Congratulations Dame Zandra Rhodes. Long overdue…