Mingei hosts retrospective of Zandra Rhodes’ textiles, designs


Nicknamed the “Princess of Punk” for her 1977 collection, which incorporated holes and beaded safety pins in garments of pink and black jersey, the work of British designer Zandra Rhodes is now included in many museum collections, among them the Victoria & Albert, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.

To glimpse the brilliance behind the beads and bows, the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is collaborating with Rhodes and her studio to present a retrospective of her illustrious career. “Zandra Rhodes, A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles,” opens Oct. 3 and will feature haute couture garments from the 1960s through the 1980s by Rhodes to reveal her process, approach to shape, color, technique and worldwide influences. Textiles and objects from the museum’s collection to emphasize the varied cultural sources of her creations will complement the garments.

Since the 1960s, Rhodes, who lives and works half the year in the San Diego area and the other half in Great Britain, has been creating imaginative, colorful fabrics and clothing. The exhibition, which continues through April 3, has previously been seen in London, Italy, Australia, and Mexico City.

Rhodes has had more than 30 solo exhibitions and is the recipient of 12 honorary doctorates, as well as numerous awards including a 2003 San Diego Living Legacy Award. Rhodes is also the founder of London’s Fashion and Textile Museum.

She was named a Commander of the British Empire by the Queen in 1997 and was recently appointed Chancellor of the University of the Creative Arts in the United Kingdom. Her label has spawned an industry of designer clothing, textiles, eyewear, bed linen, shoes, furniture and Royal Doulton china.

In the last few years, she has designed costumes for San Diego Opera’s “The Magic Flute” and “The Pearl Fishers.” Her sets and costumes for “Aida” will be seen at the San Francisco Opera this season.

A book in the works chronicling her career from 1961-71 has the title, “Zandra Rhodes’ Textile Revolution: Medals, Wiggles and Pop.”

Rhodes has designed for Princess Diana, Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Freddy Mercury of the rock group Queen. She continues to design for HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Debbie Harry, Bianca Jagger, Joan Rivers, and Paris Hilton to name a few of her celebrity clients.


  • What:“Zandra Rhodes, A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles”
  • When:10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, Oct. 3-April 3
  • Where:Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park
  • Admission:$7-$4.
  • Contact:(619) 239-0003,
  • Related events:Members Opening Reception: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 2; Early Evening at Mingei - Road and Rhodes: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 8; The Joy of Jeans: Textile painting with Zandra Rhodes: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 23; Zandra Rhodes Fashion Show: 6-9 p.m. Jan. 21

SOURCE: Press Release