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Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair With Textiles

The Mingei International Museum has mounted a retrospective of the fashions and textile designs of Del Mar resident Zandra Rhodes, who made a name for herself in London during the 1960s.

The Mingei exhibit opens with a wall of Rhodes signature pink.  The retrospective includes Rhodes textiles and high fashion designs dating back to the early 60s.

The Mingei exhibit opens with a wall of Rhodes signature pink. The retrospective includes Rhodes textiles and high fashion designs dating back to the early 60s.

Photo by Angela Carone

Rhodes' dresses are exhibited next to textiles and objects from the Mingei's collection to emphasize how other cultures inform her work.

Rhodes' dresses are exhibited next to textiles and objects from the Mingei's collection to emphasize how other cultures inform her work.

Photo by Angela Carone

Rhodes was once nicknamed the Princess of Punk, for a series of dresses she designed starting in 1977.  These four dresses represent that aesthetic.

Rhodes was once nicknamed the Princess of Punk, for a series of dresses she designed starting in 1977. These four dresses represent that aesthetic.

Photo by Angela Carone

This "Punk Dress" from 1977-78 is embellished with a long red satin sash and asymmetric jersey strip with beaded safety pins, chains, and Swarovski rhinestones.

This "Punk Dress" from 1977-78 is embellished with a long red satin sash and asymmetric jersey strip with beaded safety pins, chains, and Swarovski rhinestones.

Photo by Angela Carone

The "Dinosaur Coat" from 1971 is made of heavy natural colored wool felt. I can only assume it is the scalloped edges that reference dinosaur scales.

The "Dinosaur Coat" from 1971 is made of heavy natural colored wool felt. I can only assume it is the scalloped edges that reference dinosaur scales.

Photo by Angela Carone

Appliqued button flower motifs adorn one shoulder of the coat designed by Zandra Rhodes on view at the Mingei.

Appliqued button flower motifs adorn one shoulder of the coat designed by Zandra Rhodes on view at the Mingei.

Photo by Angela Carone

A Zandra Rhodes design from the 1985 Manhattan Collection.  The dress was inspired by the Manhattan landscape and features the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

A Zandra Rhodes design from the 1985 Manhattan Collection. The dress was inspired by the Manhattan landscape and features the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

Photo by Angela Carone

A detail of the Manhattan skyline featured on the dress.  It is a hand-beaded dress, made with sequins and bugle beads.

A detail of the Manhattan skyline featured on the dress. It is a hand-beaded dress, made with sequins and bugle beads.

Photo by Angela Carone

Some of Zandra Rhodes' sketchbooks are also on display at the Mingei. This one features a sketch of a Manhattan skyline.

Some of Zandra Rhodes' sketchbooks are also on display at the Mingei. This one features a sketch of a Manhattan skyline.

Photo by Angela Carone

In 1973, Zandra Rhodes produced what would become her most popular creation, a dress simply know as 73/44, named after its style number.

In 1973, Zandra Rhodes produced what would become her most popular creation, a dress simply know as 73/44, named after its style number.

Photo by Angela Carone

The "73/44" dress has come to personify an era. It is marked by a deep v-neckline and gather at the waist to create a full skirt. The sleeves are often wide and graceful.

The "73/44" dress has come to personify an era. It is marked by a deep v-neckline and gather at the waist to create a full skirt. The sleeves are often wide and graceful.

Photo by Angela Carone

The "73/44" dresses often have a satin sash in a contrasting or complimentary color, another Zandra Rhodes trademark.

The "73/44" dresses often have a satin sash in a contrasting or complimentary color, another Zandra Rhodes trademark.

Photo by Angela Carone

Zandra Rhodes has traveled all over the world with her sketchbook, finding inspiration for her textile designs.

Zandra Rhodes has traveled all over the world with her sketchbook, finding inspiration for her textile designs.

Photo by Angela Carone

The dress in the middle is from Rhodes' Secrets of the Nile Collection from 1987. It's called the Egyptian Mummy Dress.

The dress in the middle is from Rhodes' Secrets of the Nile Collection from 1987. It's called the Egyptian Mummy Dress.

Photo by Angela Carone

The hand-beaded evening dress in black silk georgette has a high neck and exposed shoulders, meant to suggest an Egyptian mummy wrapping.

The hand-beaded evening dress in black silk georgette has a high neck and exposed shoulders, meant to suggest an Egyptian mummy wrapping.

Photo by Angela Carone

The beading and stitching are accented with Swarovski crystals and dyed pearls.

The beading and stitching are accented with Swarovski crystals and dyed pearls.

Photo by Angela Carone

Zandra Rhodes Chinese Pagoda Garment from 1979 is prominently placed at the start of the exhibition.

Zandra Rhodes Chinese Pagoda Garment from 1979 is prominently placed at the start of the exhibition.

Photo by Angela Carone

The blouse is silk organza with pagoda sleeves in jade green with Chinese Squares fabric in Chinese lacquer red white and pink.

The blouse is silk organza with pagoda sleeves in jade green with Chinese Squares fabric in Chinese lacquer red white and pink.

Photo by Angela Carone

The skirt of Rhodes' Chinese Pagoda Garment is also made of silk organza with Chinese Squares fabric in Chinese lacquer red, white and pink.

The skirt of Rhodes' Chinese Pagoda Garment is also made of silk organza with Chinese Squares fabric in Chinese lacquer red, white and pink.

Photo by Angela Carone

The hat on the mannequin wearing the Chinese Pagoda Garment. I've seen pictures of Zandra Rhodes wearing this hat!

The hat on the mannequin wearing the Chinese Pagoda Garment. I've seen pictures of Zandra Rhodes wearing this hat!

Photo by Angela Carone