Stilorama Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Hala Di-Maio and Managing Editor Nadine Peracha joined iconic British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes for breakfast at the launch of her new Autumn/Winter 2011 collection for Simply Be www.simplybe.co.uk, where she unveiled her creations for their new range. The selling point, apart from carrying her name and colourful style, is that Zandra’s designs will come in sizes 14 to 32.
A veteran of collaborations, having in the past teamed up with the likes of TopShop, M&S, M.A.C Cosmetics, & even Royal Doulton, she was approached by Simply Be to design an 8-piece capsule collection for the plus-size fashion brand.
She liked the idea and the result is a collection of clothes from floaty tops to dresses that centre around highlighting curves and emphasising the beauty in bigger silhouettes. Her key element to the designs was to direct the eye away from the body’s faults, and having had plenty of experience designing for the fuller figure since she began working as a costume designer for operas fitting out ample-busted singers, she knows what can fashionably enhance the more curvaceous type of body frame and make it glamorous.
We caught up with the talented Zandra and chatted about her new venture. A striking woman, she’s tiny, slim, warm and friendly. Nicknamed the Princess of Punk for her 1977 collection which incorporated holes and beaded safety pins in garments of pink and black jersey, she burst on to the London fashion scene in the Sixties where she developed her vibrant style, combining prints and colour into the shape of her clothes in an unusual manner. Her work is now included in many museum collections. This particular collection is inspired by designs from her extensive print archive that spans a 40-year history, as well as by the favourite people she has designed for, such as Elizabeth Taylor, and in particular the Dusty Rose Butterfly dress she created for Lauren Bacall in 1975 which lends its lovely flattering neckline to one of the dresses in the Simply Be range.
“You must”, she says, “have plenty going on to direct the eye away from a body’s worst faults. The trick is to emphasise cleavage with a V-neck, heighten the waist, make the sleeves wide, cut holes in the top of a sleeve to show the slenderest parts of the arm and keep a flowing line down the front of the body to stress the print and not the bumpy bits underneath. It’s an optical illusion.”
She believes women of all sizes and shapes should be able to wear what they like and enjoy it. “We should show off our beautiful faces and emphasise our good points instead of trying to hide what we don’t like”
We were very happy to hear that she is teaming up with Simply Be again for a Spring/Summer capsule. With this collection, Zandra Rhodes is allowing the fuller-figured woman to shop more accessible and flattering designs.
Now let’s have more.
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