zandra rhodes

A/W 1981 Zandra Rhodes "Elizabethan Collection" Lame Gown

The Zandra Rhodes Renaissance, or Gold Collection, of 1981 was inspired by "the combination of the royal wedding, historic dress from the Elizabethan period, and panniers from the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection of historic costume..... Vogue sent a memo around to fashion designers saying that there was going to be a royal wedding. Due to press speculation, Zandra Rhodes assumed this would be the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Zandra Rhodes later went on to design silk chiffon dresses for Princess Diana in the mid-1980s, such as this evening dress, describing her as "like a fairytale princess."

Here we see many of the same details used in the center piece of that year's collection (which is pictured below for your reference) - the fabric "cabbages" used to highlight the shoulder and the rosettes that sit at the base of each. Our gown is done in a copper lame combined with net, beads and sequins. The skirt has two knife pleats layers - an inner copper lurex layer topped by a hand painted silk net layer. The effect of the net over the Lurex is remarkable and the pleating technique gives it fullness while allowing it to lay in the exact line she intended when standing still. The waist has a lame rosette detailing and is slightly dropped - suggestive of the pannier that she referenced throughout this collection. The bodice is tremendously beautiful with a highly embellished hand beaded and sequined finish. Under that amazing sweeping shoulder detail lie black silk net puffed sleeves trimmed with beads. A stunning example from one of her most famous collections.

The lurex skirt layer acts as its own lining and the main bodice is backed in a black satin. It closes with a back set zipper and a button at the back of the neck above a small keyhole. There is a slight pull to the front net and there have been repairs to the net along the arm seams but the shoulder detail covers it all so it is mentioned for accuracy only. It was slightly large on our mannequin so will sit better through the torso on the proper sized girl

Sleeves: 19" no defined seam
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 19.5" from neck to waist
Skirt: 39" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD2378

Reference Photo: Zandra Rhodes A/W 1981 Gown from The Zandra Rhodes digital study collection

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

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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.