THINKING PINK: In her 50th anniversary year Dame Zandra Rhodes will become a lifetime patron of the Graduate Fashion Week Foundation, the charity that promotes B.A. level fashion students with an annual week of catwalk shows and events in London.
The next Graduate Fashion Week will take place from June 2 to 5 at The Old Truman Brewery, and the event will culminate on June 5 with the gala awards show.
Rhodes’ new role for the Graduate Fashion Foundation will include being a judge for the week as well as drumming up support for the charity. She will also offer career mentoring. “I think it is a very important cause, supporting upcoming talent across the U.K. and internationally. U.K. colleges are the best in the world and graduates and U.K. talent need this visibility which the charity offers.”
Rhodes is the seventh lifetime patron of the charity, joining Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood and Nick Knight, who were appointed in 2016, when the charity marked its 25 years in business. Diane von Furstenberg and Nadja Swarovski were appointed in 2018.
Martyn Roberts, managing director of Graduate Fashion Week, said Rhodes’ work “has had a huge influence on fashion and British culture over her long-spanning career. Her story is an inspiration to graduates to keep persevering and proof that hard work pays off in the industry. Her influence on the judging panel is hugely welcomed by the charity.”
As reported, 2019 is set to be a busy one for Rhodes, who earlier this year took part in Formex, the Nordic interior design fair in Stockholm, as a guest influencer. She blasted the place with bright shades to replicate her rainbow penthouse in London.
Some of her pieces, including a gold Elizabethan outfit, will go on display at the Met’s Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibition, which is themed around camp, and her 50th anniversary year with culminate in September, which she’s calling the month of “Z.”
She plans to unveil a retrospective book “Zandra Rhodes, 50 Fabulous Years of Fashion” (Yale University Press), with essays by her friends including Iris Apfel, Suzy Menkes and Anna Sui.
A retrospective exhibition will open on Sept. 26 in London, and later travel to other cities. The designer is also planning jubilee presentations during London Fashion Week and will host the premiere of a documentary by one of Rhodes’ former students, the filmmaker Bridie O’Sullivan, called “Zandra With a Zee.”