Team LBD interviews Zandra Rhodes
When meeting the original "Princess of Punk", Zandra Rhodes, Team LBD weren't quite sure what to expect. A legend in her own right, this fiercely outrageous designer was breaking the boundaries of fashion before Lady Gaga was even born.
One of the new wave of British designers that defined the 1970's, her designs are renowned for their bold patterns and theatrical use of colour. She has dressed the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss and Ashley Olsen; her vintage pieces are collected by fashion stars Tom Ford and Anna Sui and now you have the opportunity to own a little piece of Zandra with her unique jewellery collection featured on littleblackdress.co.uk
To celebrate this we got together with Zandra to discuss her collection; an interview which promised to be as colourful as her hair!
Q: So Zandra, where did the inspiration for your jewellery range come from? A: We went to all different ionic prints I had done and decided to try and reproduce them as jewellery.
For example you've got my wiggles which you'll find on a print, then, working with Adele we put the different things into operation like with the black and gold bangle and earrings for example. I also did lipsticks with lips made from big pebbles and the minute I saw what we could do, I got my inspiration. Its really been looking at what I've already done and saying, lets go further.
Q: Have you got a favourite piece in the collection? A: I do love the big wiggly ones on the pebbles shaped like birds, particularly the ones with silver wiggles. I think the ones that look like African heads really work well
Q: One of my favourites is what you're wearing the right now, the one with the pink lips. A: Yes, me too. The different ones work. They've done a lovely job.
Q: Can you tell me a little about the one for breast cancer? A: We were approached by them and between Steve and Adele and myself, they stayed in touch until we decided what kind of one we would do. Because it was a new project it had to be decided how many to have done which we could promote. So it was for a good cause and for the design.
Q: What piece of jewellery would you recommend to wear with a little black dress? A: We've got lots of lovely things on chains, like the chains with the pendants in black with gold inlay. We've got the wonderful big egg necklaces. We've got one with square heads inside shapes, that's inlaid with black enamel and that looks very nice. And then there's necklaces with beads with wiggles on. I think there's about eight different necklaces that would look good with a little black dress.
Q: You're very colourful, but are you a fan of the LBD? A: I think there's always room for a little black dress. If you don't know what to wear, your little black dress is the answer. I don't, everything I own I like wearing. I think a little black dress is very useful.
Q: Do you wear black at all? A: Its not often in my spectrum. I feel very often underplayed if I wear black. If I wear a little black dress I wear it with lots of big jewellery, maybe lots of pearls so it becomes a silver and black dress. And I'd wear a pair of amazing shoes, or maybe a new amazing Zandra Rhodes handbag.
An Art Deco fan
Q: Yes, which hopefully we'll also be having on the site. I love the art-deco fan shaped ones and the one that's like a leaf. Beautiful. A: I know the one you mean. Or maybe you could wear a dramatic hat, but in the main I'm not a little black dress person. However its a very good vehicle for showing off jewellery. We've been going through a period when accessories like shoes and handbags are so strong that maybe a lot of people feel happier with a little black dress.
Q: Do you have any LBD icons? Anyone from Audrey Hepburn to Coco Chanel. Or do you remember Liz Hurley with the safety pins? A: That dress was modelled very heavily on my early ones. Anyone with an amazing figure can be an icon in a little black dress.
Q: Who would you like to see in a little black dress? A: I would have loved to see someone like Jerry Hall in her prime in one by Anthony Price. She would have looked amazing, with the hair and then a little black dress that is completely figure-hugging. Amazing.
Q: I've got to ask you about your amazing hair. What do you do to keep it so vibrant and lovely? A: I have it done about every 6 weeks. I get the collectionss bleached every 6 weeks. I use a wonderful girl, Vickie Lavanty, who was trained with Vidal Sassoon and does my hair in San Diego. She comes round in the evening and whilst we have dinner, she bleaches my hair. And that's it.
Day in the life of Zandra Rhodes
Q: So tell me, what's a day in the life of Zandra Rhodes? From breakfast to dinner? A: If we take today, I got woken up on the plane. I came in from New York via California, so the plane landed at seven-thirty. I hadn't eaten breakfast so I just dragged myself into here, I unpacked my luggage in the car park and came into here to change and I've been here ever since. I've been doing interviews, choosing bags, looking at all the collections and seeing how it's going. I will keep going here until about six o'clock, and then I will go back and unpack.
Q: What about on a design day, when you're working? A: On a design day if I'm in California I start at four-thirty in the morning, because I like to be in touch with London before they go to lunch at one. I go on usually until about five-thirty and have dinner, then sometimes work or sometimes do something else. A: Gosh you must be shattered if you've done all that! Thank you very much Zandra. W: No, thank you. Wonderful talking to you.