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A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles

The Fashion and Textile Museum has opened its major exhibition of museum founder Zandra Rhodes’s dresses and prints.

Zandra Rhodes

The exhibition includes a wide selection from the full range of Rhodes's designs including examples of her stunning ensembles and unique textiles. Rhodes, who never studied design, and therefore does not follow the conventions of fashion, pulls ideas for her designs from rather mundane objects such as buildings and plants.

Though she released her first collection in 1969, her breakthrough design was the innovative "73/44", a very flattering dress with a deep collar and elegant sleeves. She has since built on and transformed the simple and graceful design of the "73/44" to keep its edge throughout the years. The exhibit succeeds in showing Rhodes's evolution as she has incorporated ideas from ethnic clothing and punk attitude.

Rhodes was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1974, and she has been worn by many celebrities including Kylie Minogue and Bianca Jagger.

• The exhibition will be open at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey Street until 25 June 2005.

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