Zandra Rhodes: Style Patterns

Zandra Rhodes and Rembrandt's portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, 2014
Zandra Rhodes and Rembrandt’s portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, 2014. Image: National Gallery.

Last week, Zandra Rhodes returned to London Fashion Week for her Spring 2016 collection. Famous for her colourful, hand-drawn prints, the bohemian cult favourite is also new to Vogue Patterns for Winter/Holiday 2015: Vogue 1472 is the first new Zandra Rhodes sewing pattern in thirty years.

Update: read a profile in Vogue Patterns magazine:

VPMDecJan15-16-Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes in Vogue Patterns Magazine, December/January 2015-16. Image: Issuu.

For knitters, the current issue of Rowan Knitting & Crochet has a Zandra Rhodes jacket pattern available as a free download.

Zandra Rhodes sketch with yarn charts and sample garment - Rowan 58 (Winter 2015)
Zandra Rhodes sketch with yarn charts and sample garment in Katy Bevan, “Dame Zandra’s Knitting Circle,” Rowan Knitting & Crochet 58 (Winter 2015). Image: Rowan.

Born in Chatham, Kent, Zandra Rhodes (b. 1940) trained as a textile designer at Medway College of Art, where her mother was a lecturer, and London’s Royal College of Art. Rhodes founded her own label in order to build garments around her prints. Her first, 1969 collection, Knitted Circle, was famously worn by Natalie Wood in Vogue magazine; the evening coat is now in the collection of the V&A:

Forecast: the London bit - Natalie Wood in hand-screened prints by Zandra Rhodes - Gianni Penati, ca. 1969
Natalie Wood wears a screen-printed felt evening coat and silk chiffon dress, both by Zandra Rhodes. Vogue, January 1970. Photo: Gianni Penati. Image: Youthquakers.

Rhodes became known as the Princess of Punk following her Spring 1977 torn and safety-pinned Conceptual Chic collection, which was partly inspired by Schiaparelli’s Tears dress.

Wedding dress and dress from Zandra Rhodes' Spring 1977 collection
A wedding dress and dress from Zandra Rhodes’ Spring 1977 collection at the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit, 2014. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By the 1980s Rhodes was designing for Princess Diana. The princess wore this pink chiffon dress, embellished with crystal beads and pearl droplets, during her 1986 state visit to Japan (now in the collection of Historic Royal Palaces):

Zandra Rhodes sketch for Princes Diana. Image: SDNews.

In 1985, Style Patterns released a handful of Zandra Rhodes sewing patterns. Rhodes was among the first designers to be included in the company’s short-lived designer line. (See my earlier posts on Bruce Oldfield and Frederick Fox.)

Update: I found a fourth Style pattern by Zandra Rhodes, Style 4398:

1980s Zandra Rhodes dress pattern Style 4389
Style 4389 by Zandra Rhodes (1985)

Style 4399 is a pattern for a wedding or evening dress in two lengths with characteristic serated frill:

1980s Zandra Rhodes formal dress pattern - Style 4399
Style 4399 by Zandra Rhodes (1985) Image: Etsy.
Style 4399 schematic
Back view for Style 4399 (1985)

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Lined Wedding Dress or Evening Dress in Two Lengths — Dress has shoulder yoke with serrated frill and pointed cape effect on bodice. Skirt has elasticated waistline. Model 1 bead trim is used on yoke and neck tie. Suggested fabrics: Lightweight silk types, crepe de chine, chiffon, shantung, lace, voile, batiste, organza. Lining: Jap silk, crepe de chine. Trim: wide ribbon and pearl beading or narrow ribbon.

Style 4400 is an off-the-shoulder wedding or bridesmaid’s dress with separate petticoat:

1980s Zandra Rhodes formal dress pattern - Style 4400
Style 4400 by Zandra Rhodes (1985)
Style 4400 schematic
Technical drawing for Style 4400 (1985)

The envelope description reads: Misses’ Half-Lined Wedding Dress or Bridesmaid’s Dress and Petticoat — Dress has flounced bodice with elasticated waist. Skirt has layered net frills, with gathered net and ribbon trim. Bride and bridesmaid’s dress has petticoat in fabric and net. Suggested fabrics: Dress, Models 1 and 2: Organza, voile, silk or synthetic sheers, lightweight lace. Lining: silk types, taffeta, satin (nap irrelevant). Net or tulle: silk, nylon. Trim: wide ribbon, sequin trim, narrow ribbon.

The third dress design, Style 4400, has a low back décolletage and multi-tiered skirt:

1980s Zandra Rhodes dress pattern - Style 4495
Style 4495 by Zandra Rhodes (1985)
Style 4495 schematic
Technical drawing for Style 4495 (1985)

You can see the same pattern with updated envelope here.

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Dress in Two Lengths — Dress has fitted bodice with elasticated waistline. Models 1 and 3 have bodice frill to waistline. Model 2 has shorter bodice frill. Models 1 and 2 have four-tiered skirt flounce. Model 3 has three-tiered skirt flounce. Suggested fabrics: Chiffon, georgette, voile, silk or synthetic sheers, organza. Also: lightweight lining fabric. Trim: wide ribbon; pearl trim (views 1 and 2).

The designs seem to be from Rhodes’ Spring 1985 collection, Images of Woman:

Zandra Rhodes SS1985 a
Zandra Rhodes Spring/Summer 1985 collection. Image: UCA Library.
Zandra Rhodes SS1985 b
Zandra Rhodes Spring/Summer 1985 collection. Image: UCA Library.

The trim and fabric specifications are catalogues of girliness: lightweight, floaty fabrics to be trimmed with the ribbon, sequins, and pearls. I love how Style 4495 suggests lining fabric as an alternative—perhaps with a budget-conscious youth market in mind.

For more on Zandra Rhodes, see the V&A’s article.

Free Designer Pattern: John Galliano Jacket

Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket, photographed by Craig McDean
Louise Pederson in John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Image: SHOWstudio.

This week’s second punk-inspired pattern puts the ‘couture’ in Chaos to Couture. (The first punk-inspired pattern was by Junya Watanabe—see my post here.) John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket is the most challenging of SHOWstudio’s Design Downloads, with 63 pattern pieces, all hand-labelled in French. But not to worry: 11 are guide pieces, and most of the French is translated.

Here are side and back views of the jacket:

Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket - side view
Side view of John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Model: Louise Pederson. Image: SHOWstudio.
Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket - back view
Back view of John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Image: SHOWstudio.

The ‘Pirate’ jacket is from John Galliano’s Fall/Winter 2001 collection, entitled Techno Romance. Here it is on the runway:

Angela Lindvall models the John Galliano jacket, 2001
Angela Lindvall in Galliano Fall 2001. Image: vogue.com.

The collection mixed glossy synthetics (techno) with delicate sheers and florals (romance): jaunty double-breasted jackets and long coats worn with sailor trousers, and long skirts and dresses, many with the same romantically skewed, off-the-shoulder, one-sleeved bodices as the SHOWstudio jacket. (See Suzy Menkes, “Techno Romance.”) In her short essay to accompany the Design Download, Jane Audas conjures an imaginary history for the SHOWstudio version of the jacket—a story of rebellion in which it was fashioned from the Union Jack, “the flag torn off a captured ship and hijacked as clothing, held together with sail rivets and ties.”

Here are the collection images from L’Officiel 1000 modèles (click to enlarge):

John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear - Techno-Romance
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear. Image: jalougallery.
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear - Techno Romance
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear. Image: jalougallery.

Fashion Channel has posted runway video of the collection on YouTube in three parts (jacket at 3:50 of part 2):

John Galliano Techno Romance pattern at SHOWstudio
Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the ‘Pirate’ jacket pattern

Fabrics requirements: approx. 3 yards of 60″ fabric and 3 yards of lining; interfacing.

Notions: grosgrain ribbon, D-rings, large metal stud, press studs, 2 buckles, eyelets, snaps, cord, elastic, 53 cm (21″) separating zipper.

See the SHOWstudio submissions gallery here. Carolyn E. Moore made the jacket twice. Weatherpixie has posted process photos of her red, white, and blue version on Flickr.

Free Designer Pattern: Junya Watanabe Dress

Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, photographed by Nick Knight
Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

To celebrate this week’s opening of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute in New York, I’ll be posting about two free patterns for punk-inspired designs. (Kristen McMenamy called last night’s Met gala “a costume party for punk”; see Vogue’s red carpet coverage here.) First up is an example of Junya Watanabe’s “heavy-duty couture”: the dress pattern he shared with SHOWstudio.

Gemma Ward photographed by Nick Knight in Junya Watanabe
Back view, Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

The Watanabe Design Download was part of SHOWstudio’s Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down project, which saw model Liberty Ross being dressed for a live photo shoot by an online audience. The project—whose name refers to the English title of Pedro Almodóvar’s Átame, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)—was inspired by pornographic video chats and had the goal of “exploring the idea of control in fashion image-making.” As well as images and video, the project also had a discussion component, with interviews and short essays on fashion and pornography, including an Andrea Dworkin excerpt. In its appropriation of pornographic conventions, the SHOWstudio project can be linked to punk fashion and art like that of Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti (recently seen in Pop Life: Art in a Material World).

The Watanabe design was chosen by Liberty Ross from stylist Jonathan Kaye’s draft selection for the June 2005 SHOWstudio event. The dress is from Junya Watanabe’s Fall/Winter 2005 women’s collection—the coming season at the time of the project. The original dress was made in red mohair plaid with a PVC bodice:

Junya Watanabe dress in red PVC and mohair plaid
Junya Watanabe Fall 2005. Model: Cristina Carey. Image: vogue.com.

Watanabe also showed a black version of the dress:

Junya Watanabe dress in black wool and PVC, Fall 2005 women's collection
Junya Watanabe Fall 2005. Model: Ira. Image: vogue.com.

These dresses’ play with textural contrasts carried through the Fall/Winter 2005 Junya Watanabe women’s collection, which paired cotton and textured woolens with synthetics like nylon and PVC. The models wore full-skirted dresses, the skirts sometimes bunched up with ripcords, white shirts with exaggerated collars and ruffles, and coats and jackets made with tweed fused with synthetics. Watanabe referred to the clothes as “hard-core couture.” (See Cathy Horyn, “In Paris, Tweed Tangles With Tulle.”) Here’s the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles:

Junya Watanabe FW 2005 women's RTW - L'Officiel 1000 modèles
Junya Watanabe Fall 2005 ready-to-wear. Image: jalougallery.com.
Junya Watanabe pattern piece at SHOWstudio
Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the dress pattern

Fabric requirements: for skirt, approx. 2 yards of 50″ fabric*

Notions: #10 Vislon zipper, 3mm and 5mm sealing tape

* source: Craftster sewalong post

Punk: Chaos to Couture

Sid Vicious, 1977, Photograph © Dennis Morris - all rights reserved; Right: Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), 2011, Vogue, March 2011, Photograph by David Sims
Sid Vicious, 1977. Daria Werbowy in Chanel, Vogue, March 2011. Photos: Dennis Morris, David Sims. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This year’s Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, is devoted to punk and its influence on high fashion. The show relates the punk ethos of DIY (do-it-yourself) to the custom-made garments of haute couture, devoting sections to the distinctive elements of punk’s aesthetic vocabulary: embellishments and techniques such as hardware, graffiti, and distressing. In addition to curator Andrew Bolton, the exhibition team includes Nick Knight as creative consultant and design consultant Sam Gainsbury, who was creative director of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

It seems the punk theme is presenting a challenge for some celebrities attending the Met’s Costume Institute gala on Monday. (See Eric Wilson, “Would Anna Settle for a Safety Pin?“) You can watch a live stream from the red carpet this Monday, May 6th at 7pm EDT.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture runs from May 9th to August 14th, 2013. If you can’t make it to New York this summer, the exhibition catalogue is out next week from Yale University Press.

Book cover - Punk: Chaos to Couture by Andrew Bolton (Yale University Press, 2013)
Punk: Chaos to Couture by Andrew Bolton (Yale University Press, 2013) Image: Yale / Google Books.

This week, in the punk spirit of DIY, I’ll be posting about two punk-inspired patterns in my Free Designer Patterns series.