FROM THE VAULT (SUMMER 2011)
NAME: Zandra Rhodes.
CURRENT EMPLOYER: self-employed.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
“I started by teaching two days a week, and on the side created a collection. This collection I first showed to English Vogue and then to US Vogue, with a personal letter of introduction from Diana Vreeland.”
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE TOP OF THE TREE?
“Never give up.”
“Fashion is always changing.”
DO YOU EVER WEAR YOUR OWN DESIGNS?
“I always wear my own designs!”
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
“My sketches inspire me, especially nature when I am on holiday. My fabulous friends are another source of inspiration.”
“Fashion is not a philosophy, it’s a lifestyle…”
HOW IMPORTANT ARE HEMLINES?
“Hemlines are very important in order to ensure the right proportions in a garment – and they are always changing.”
CAN YOU MULTITASK?
“Yes, I’m a woman and there is no choice!”
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE AS YOUR EPITAPH?
“‘Her work revealed the important link between textiles and garment shapes, showing how they are inseparable. She changed dress textiles from being the Cinderellas of the fashion industry to being the princesses of the fashion industry.’”
ARE YOU ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST COLLECTION?
“No. You are only as good as who takes notice of what you do.”
ARE YOU/WERE YOU A JUVENILE DELINQUENT?
“No, I was a horrendous hard worker right from school days.”
ARE YOU A SMOKY SOMETHIN’?
DO YOU GET JEALOUS OF OTHER DESIGNERS?
“No. It’s too destructive.”
DO YOU GET RECOGNISED ON THE STREET? DO YOU HAVE/HAVE YOU EVER HAD A STALKER?
“Yes. And no, not that I know of.”
HAVE YOU EVER THROWN A DIVA STROP?
“Not in front of people. But I thought Joan Crawford was an okay mother and agreed with destroying the rose garden!”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WAY MOST PEOPLE DRESS?
“Not very interesting and definitely could be more colourful.”
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR POINT WHEN YOU STARTED TO GET AMBITIOUS?
“I’ve always been an achiever with pointed elbows.”
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN ALL ABOUT FASHION?
“I hope my life is about creativity in many fields – not just in fashion. All my close friends are artists.”
ARE YOU A LEGEND? LEGENDARY?
“Only to my friends.”
DALLAS OR DYNASTY? SUE ELLEN OR ALEXIS?
“Dallas. But that’s because Larry Hagman is a great friend and I made Victoria Principal’s wedding dress.”
HAVE YOU EVER LIED IN AN INTERVIEW?
“No, but I avoid the truth if I need to.”
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR? A MUSE? WHO/WHAT ARE THEY
“Adel Rootstein was my mentor many years ago. Other mentors are my close friends.”
ARE YOU A BELIEVER IN HEALTHY COMPETITION?
“We don’t have a choice, healthy or not.”
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT?
“Greek egg lemon soup. Tilapia with mango salsa and salad. Then, bread and butter pudding.”
HOW MANY LICKS DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE CENTRE OF IT?
“I don’t lick, I chew! The centre of what??”
CAN YOU WRAP YOUR LEGS AROUND YOUR NECK LIKE JANICE DICKINSON?
IF YOU COULD BE A SUPERHERO, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
“I would be Wonder Woman.”
WHAT IS GOOD DESIGN?
“Good design, for me, is originality.”
DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST DRESS? SHOW?
“I remember my first show, it was midnight at the Roundhouse, 1972. My models were Warhol’s stars. Anjelica Huston was my poster.”
HAVE YOU EVER BANNED ANYONE FROM YOUR SHOW BECAUSE OF A BAD REVIEW? WOULD YOU?
“Not that I know of.”
HOW PRETENTIOUS ARE YOU ON A SCALE OF 1-10?
“I hope I’m not too pretentious!”
by Natalie Dembinska
Photograph by David Hughes