Zandra Rhodes: Studio 54, punk and the power of fuchsia with the British style icon

Mar 30, 2020, 06:00 AM

The textile designer and fashion powerhouse reflects on life, loss and relevancy in this intimate episode, recorded at her apartment in London

Zandra Rhodes OBE has spent 50 years at the forefront of British fashion, having dressed everyone from Freddie Mercury to Princess Diana in her signature printed chiffons. Her work was adopted by the Studio 54 crowd in the 1970s, her gold lamé dresses modelled by the likes of Donna Summer and Pat Cleveland. Then she lacerated her chiffons with safety pins and was dubbed the Princess of Punk, a name that matched her trademark fuchsia bobbed hair. To this day she remains independent, having never sold out her brand to a big fashion house. At 79, she is as DIY as ever.

The Last Bohemians caught Zandra at an interesting – and stressful – time as she was celebrating her career's five-decade run at the same time as getting to grips with the death of her long-term partner. Themes of life, loss, grief and relevancy weave throughout this episode, as do ruminations on creativity, routine and restlessness and stories about Studio 54, her eccentric friendship circle, her take on the royal family and more. Her work ethic is infamous – but has the death of a loved one shifted her priorities?

We meet the style icon in her multi-hued apartment on two separate occasions to find out how she manages to do it all...