Preview: Zandra Rhodes Anniversary Exhibition ‘Unseen’ @ the Fashion and Textile Museum, 12th July – 31st August 2013

This summer, London’s Fashion and Textile Museum will present Zandra Rhodes’ exhibition, ‘Unseen’, in celebration of the museum’s 10th anniversary.  ‘Unseen’, which showcases the collection that earned Rhodes the title ‘Princess of Punk’, offers the public a rare opportunity to take a glimpse at one of the fashion world’s most vibrant personalities.  Through sketches, designs and garments, the exhibition highlights Rhodes’ experimentations with colour, print and fabric, showing the extensive range in Rhodes’ artistic vision and archive.

Presenting the unique use of bold, feminine prints and theatrical sense of colour Rhodes uses in her work, the exhibition demonstrates how the designer has maintained her status as an innovator – both artistically and technically – since putting London at the forefront of the international fashion scene in the 1970s.

Rhodes’ 1977 Conceptual Chic collection – her first collection without a printed design – will take centre stage in the exhibition.  The pink and black jersey pieces with holes and beaded safety pins demonstrate Rhodes’ pioneering move of injecting a punk aesthetic into high end fashion.

Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum, Celia Joicey has said, “Zandra’s extraordinary imagination and sense of colour are instantly recognizable across 50 years of work. This exhibition reveals why she is an inspiration to young designers as well as to her contemporaries.”  Garments showcasing Rhodes’ extravagant vision are her signature embroideries, beads, feathers and sequins, which will all be on display in the exhibition.

On seeing her work in this special exhibition, Rhodes has said: ‘It is wonderful to see my work in a new light as part of the Museum’s 10th anniversary. Many of these garments have only ever been seen on the catwalk before, so it is a joy to me that they haven’t been forgotten.”

Throughout the exhibition, the museum shop will offer a specially curated range of products, including sketchbooks, cards and Zandra Rhodes jewellery.

Zandra Rhodes: ‘Unseen’, Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF, 12th July – 31st August 2013.

Exhibition opening times: Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–6pm; last admission 5.15pm.

Ticket prices: £8 adults / £5.50 students and concessions / free for under 12s. Book online at or call 0844 248 5076

Words: Kitty Lungley