Fashion designers achieve fame from the work they produce and the public figures they clothe. But Dame Zandra Rhodes has another claim to status, and that is the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Established in Bermondsey by her just before the millennium, it has achieved note for its exhibitions as well as contributing to the regeneration of an area left bereft by the dereliction of its docks.
Like everywhere else, it was subject to the restrictions of lockdown. Now, it has reopened – permanently, we hope. What greets us there?
At present there is a continuation of Out of the Blue: Fifty Years of Designers Guild. This exhibition celebrates the work produced by this influential interior design company founded 50 years ago by Tricia Guild OBE as a small section of a shop in the King’s Road, when Chelsea still had a bohemian atmosphere and reputation.
It shows how Guild’s work stemmed from a lack of what she felt were truly contemporary wallpapers and fabrics, and how she has sought to remedy this. We see how, with an instinctive flair, she has created a range of designs combining colours, patterns, and textiles that work together harmoniously, giving an overall cool, relaxing feel. It’s easy to see why her work has expanded into a global enterprise. The exhibition ends on 21 February 2021.
This year, we’ve had little choice but to spend much time at home, and may feel our living spaces are in need of renewal. And, just as Dame Zandra remains a walking style statement, we may want to strut our stuff in the streets with a bit of imagination. Seeing what’s on offer at the F & T can, at least, give us some inspiration for both.
Image: Ewan Munro/ Creative Commons