Mingei International Museum collaborated with Zandra Rhodes and her studio to organize this exhibition of haute couture garments from the 1960s through the 1980s. The pieces reveal her process, approach to shape, color, technique and worldwide influences, and are complemented by textiles and objects from the Museum’s collection to emphasize the varied cultural sources of her creations.
Since the 1960s, this internationally renowned British designer, who lives and works half the year in the San Diego area, has been creating imaginative, colorful fabrics and clothing. This retrospective will present her textiles as well as high fashion garments she has created. Rhodes will also select textiles or objects from a number of the cultures represented in Mingei International’s collection to display alongside her work, initiating a lively conversation about influences and inspirations. The exhibition, which continues through April 3, 2011, has previously been seen in London, Italy, Australia, and Mexico City.
Nicknamed the Princess of Punk for her 1977 collection, which incorporated holes and beaded safety pins in garments of pink and black jersey, her work is now included in many museum collections, among them the Victoria & Albert, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution. She has had more than 30 solo exhibitions and is the recipient of 12 honorary doctorates, as well as numerous awards including a 2003 San Diego Living Legacy Award. Rhodes is also the founder of London’s Fashion and Textile Museum.
She was named a Commander of the British Empire by the Queen in 1997 and was recently appointed Chancellor of the University of the Creative Arts in the United Kingdom. Her label has spawned an industry of designer clothing, textiles, eyewear, bed linen, shoes, furniture and Royal Doulton china sold throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. In the last few years, she has designed costumes for San Diego Opera’s The Magic Flute and The Pearl Fishers. Her sets and costumes for Aida will be seen at the San Francisco Opera this season. A new book in the works chronicling her career from 1961-71 has the appropriately droll title, Zandra Rhodes’ Textile Revolution: Medals, Wiggles and Pop.
Zandra Rhodes has designed for Princess Diana, Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Freddy Mercury of the rock group ‘Queen.’ She continues to design for HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Debbie Harry, Bianca Jagger, Joan Rivers and Paris Hilton to name a few of her well-known clients.