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10 Fun Facts About Fashion Icon Zandra Rhodes

Above: British fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes. A retrospective of her work opens at the Mingei International Museum this month.

It's never been hard to spot Zandra Rhodes across a crowded room. Her signature pink hair, the dramatic blue lining her eyes, and her bold, wild prints matched with outlandish jewelry add up to a statement - the quintessential Zandra Rhodes statement.

The British fashion icon has been designing textiles and clothes since the sixties. She's dressed royalty, celebrities, and opera divas. Rhodes splits her time between London and San Diego, spending 2/3 of her time here.

Since a new retrospective of her work just opened at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park (see photo gallery above), everyone deserves a little cheat sheet on the designer once called the "Princess of Punk."

Ten Fun Facts About Zandra Rhodes

  1. Zandra Rhodes sleeps in her make-up. She told the New York Times, "to put it on every day would take too much time."
  2. She works from 4am to 5pm, breaks for dinner, then works from home until midnight (she's 70 years old!).
  3. Rhodes told Vogue she would love to dress Lady Gaga.
  4. She's often mistaken for fellow designers Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood.
  5. Rhodes spends money on art, not clothes. She loves the work of British ceramicist Kate Malone.
  6. Her signature pink/fuschia hair was once green.
  7. Rhodes told me she would love to design a line for Target.
  8. Mary Kate Olsen collects Rhodes' "caftan dresses" ( I think she means the "73/44" dress - see photo gallery).
  9. The runway show of her famous 70s Black and Pink Punk Collection (from which there are four dresses on view at the Mingei) was choreographed to Kraftwerk.
  10. Rhodes is first and foremost a textile designer. She once said: “Textile printing is an art form and I don’t think people appreciate it. The rest of the world cuts your work up and you don’t get any credit.”

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair With Textiles is currently on view at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. It will be on view until April 3, 2011.

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