Final Piece: Zandra Rhodes

These showcase designs from Zandra Rhodes at Paris Fashion ...
Zandra-Rhodes-Punk-White-Wedding-dress-By-Clive-Arrowsmith ...
Nerd with Heels

Rhodes is a British fashion designer well known for her influence on punk and rock fashion, and more currently, her bright colourful designs. Rhodes was one of the first designers to use safety pins and chains in her work, and she has gained the nickname ‘Princess of Punk’, though she doesn’t agree with the title as she was only really focusing on the imagery of holes and beaded safety pins. This collection is from 1977 and is called ‘conceptual chic’. I wanted to focus on her earlier collections as the holes in the garments and clothes held together by safety pins was seen as chaotic and outrageous at the time, and I think it holds now, as safety pins in clothing are still seen as a symbol of punk today. I like how each piece is joined together by the safety pins and that each model looks like they got caught in a thorn bush, but then Rhodes said “make it fashion”.


  • cutting plastic for the boning- I was careful when cutting the plastic as the edges can be sharp and plastic is quite difficult to cut.
  • Using the sewing machine- I made sure my hands where not in the way, and made sure I had threaded everything properly before starting.
  • Seam Ripper- As the seam ripper is quite sharp I ripped the fabric away from me to prevent me accidentally catching or cutting my hand.
  • Cheese grater- I was careful not to catch my fingers on the grater when using it.

I wanted to make a chaotic sample inspired by Zandra Rhodes punk dresses by ripping and distressing the fabric I was using. Before tearing the fabric I wanted to add structure and interest, so I added boning using zip ties as the insert. It was my first time trying boning and on my first attempt, I made the pocket for the zip tie too wide, so it didn’t fit snugly. To fix this I unpicked it and measured how wide the zip tie was, then sewed a pocket that was a tiny bit bigger than the tie. I ripped the first layer of the fabric using a seam ripper and added more tears and texture to the fabric using a cheese grater, which worked well to pull and pluck at the fabric. I painted the rips to add colour and make the sample more chaotic. Inspired by Rhodes I also put safety pins through some of the rips. I want the rips in my final piece to represent the relationships that the ancient Greek gods/goddesses had with each other and mortals. The gods had a very tumultuous relationship with humans, and many of the gods fought among themselves over love interests and power, causing chaos for themselves and any other gods and mortals that got in the way. In my final piece, I am hoping to focus on the chaos between the Underworld and Mt Olympus, Zeus and Hades.

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