zandra rhodes

Rare 1978 Zandra Rhodes "Mexican Collections" Gown

Inspired by a trip through Mexico, the pieces from this collection draw on the colors and impact that the Mexican lanscape and people made on Zandra. The "Mexican Collections" has gone on to be one of Zandra's most well documented seasons and examples are held in museums and private collections world wide. We have included a photo of the same dress in a different colorway from the Zandra Rhodes website where the dress is simply denoted by its original style number '76/33' and described as a "silk chiffon evening dress worn with a satin sash; deep v-neckline with pleated and frilled collar and rouleaux lacing with enamelled white flower beads; below elbow length wide sleeves, and a full-length skirt in the Mexican Banana Leaf print."

In her book "The Art of Zandra Rhodes" Zandra speaks about the prints developed from this trip including the banana palm leaf print which is featured prominently on the skirt of this gown: "One morning in Oxaca when I woke up very early, I saw a some banana palms just by the camp site. I made some sketchbook notes on how I imagined large real sized banana leaves would look on the human body" Rhodes also notes that this was the collection where she began to "develop the art of dying beads to match or co-ordinate completely with print and chiffon color statements."

This rare and amazing, entirely hand painted, silk caftan gown is just wonderful. This version is a beautiful combination of a turquoise blue mixed with ocean tone and pink highlights. It is made entirely of hand painted silk chiffon and incredibly, you can feel the paint on top of the fabric. Not only does it have its original wide satin sash, but a second slimmer ties belt and I even have its original Zandra Rhodes hand painted and hand padded hanger! This is a real piece of fashion history.  The bodice is cut loose and full and dips dramatically to plunge to the waist at the front and is embellished with pearlised floral shaped beads that run across little fabric pieces that keep the neckline in place. Small beads are also hand sewn along the ruffle edge of the neck. The waist is a wide gathered elastic band that look as good on its own or with the satin ties over the elastic. The skirt is beautifully full and cascades to the floor. The print is entirely done by hand with that famous banana leaf print plunging down the front center. It is a true work of art, exceedingly rare and very special. Excellent, museum quality condition

Lined with a silk through the bodice ad skirt with the sleeves left unlined. The dress has an elastic waist and slips on to wear so fits a range of sizes. Come with its original boutique hanger and two sashes. The sash(es) tie at the waist. A teeny couple of areas on the sleeve where the fabric has thinned (see photo) but it is still extremely strong and wearable. Hand finished throughout and entirely hand painted.

Sleeves: 18" approx.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: variable
Waist: 12-14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips on inner lining: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 12.5" from neck to waist
Skirt: 45.5" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED

Item# DD2347

Reference photos: The Zandra Rhodes digital study collection, Zandra Rhodes
Further references of this print and gown that can be found in the book: The Art of Zandra Rhodes (Rhodes and Knight 1984) pgs.158-175)

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

Setting up a layaway is super easy and we are happy to provide this service!

Here's how deposits work on a standard layaway:

  • We require three equal payments of the layaway total. You will be invoiced for the first amount upon request
  • payment two of the remaining balance will be billed two weeks from the date of the initial deposit.
  • The final payment is due two weeks after the second payment and shipping will be billed on this invoice as well.
  • items less then $500, or that are on sale, require a 50% deposit with the final payment due in two weeks from the date of deposit 

Read More

We offer flat rate Standard UPS shipping worldwide. All shipping options are displayed at checkout in the pull down menus provided.

Want it faster?

We offer flat rates for expedited and express shipping options - these will also display at check out and can be selected with the drop down menu during the checkout process.

Read More


Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.