With her trademark neon-pink hair and theatrical sense of style, Zandra Rhodes is one of British fashion’s more memorable characters. Rhodes first gained fame in the ‘60s and ‘70s, with her dramatic and creative designs, which she sold from her boutique on Fulham Road in West London.
Rhodes is perhaps most famous for her pun- inspired clothing featuring tears and jewelled safety pins, but her style has become more sophisticated and evolved over the years. In 2009 she designed a capsule collection for Marks & Spencer, proving that her designs can be mainstream and wearable as well as creative.
Zandra Rhodes has designed for Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Diana, Princess of Wales and a number of other celebrity clients. She has received many accolades over the years for her work, including a CBE, which was awarded to her in 1997.
As you may expect, someone with such a colourful style, also has a colourful background. Here are 10 facts you may not know about the “Princess of Punk”:
1. She is the founder of the London Fashion and Textile Museum. This summer, the museum is celebrating its 10thanniversary with an exhibition about Rhodes herself.
2. Zandra Rhodes is Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts, a university founded in 2005 by the merger of several art and design colleges in Kent and Surrey.
3. Rhodes goes to bed wearing her makeup, claiming, “to put it on every day would take too much time.”
4. The 72-year-old is somewhat of a workaholic. She rises at 6.30am, is working in her studio by 7 and skips lunch. She usually works until around 7.30pm and doesn’t go to bed until 1.30am.
5. Outdoor specialist store, Millets sold a glamorous tepee tent and a range of other camping gear designed by Zandra Rhodes.
6. Rhodes is famous for her pink hair but in the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was bright green.
7. Are you a fashion student looking for accommodation in London? You may end up in Zandra Rhodes’ penthouse apartment, which she shares with fashion students who come to London for work placements.
8. She was a guest judge on Project Catwalk – the UK version of a reality TV show in which unknown fashion designers compete for the chance to launch their own collection.
9. In another television appearance, she starred as herself alongside Lulu and Britt Ekland in an episode of the BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous.
10. In 2009, Rhodes crashed her car into an Ace Hardware store in San Diego, causing minor injuries to a woman inside.