zandra rhodes

Rare Spring 1983 Zandra Rhodes 'Mount Olympus' Hand Painted Suede Collar & Cuffs Dress

Zandra Rhodes is one of my favourite designers and I love the pieces that she did in the 1980s. This dress is from her Spring 1983 'Mount Olympus' collection that was based on Greek design. Versions of the collection appear in both of the books on Zandra Rhodes that are referenced below and a version is held in the digital study collection of her work. We have also included a reference photo of the original sketch for this collection and you can see this dress with a hip sash on that sketch numbered 83/115. It is an extraordinary find for the collector and a rare piece of her work from this time period. 

This is a stunning dress that is done in a dramatic deep burgundy red wool crepe. The dress is cut loose and easy through the body. It is really like a generous cut smock dress which will allow it to fit a large range of sizes. You can see in the reference photos how it falls over the body in the most comfortable of ways. You could also take a cue from the original sketch and add a hip sash or belt it for more shape. The sleeves are cut wide and loose above the cuffs. The collar is the star of the dress. It is made from a soft chamois suede in a natural colour. It wraps around the neck and down the front and across the shoulders. This was then screen printed by hand which makes each one that was made unique. It is completely covered with one of Zandra's signature designs in a red that matches the colour of the crepe and a blue grey colour for contrast. There is a small collar that has punch work all the way around it and more punch work is done around the edges and into the bibbed part. The bottom edge of the collar is hand beaded and there are little medallions of suede fringe set all around. It is one of the more elaborate versions of these that she made and it is wonderful. Even the suede on the cuffs has punch work. It is a very special piece. It has been worn and loved so has a beautiful vintage patina to it. Great overall condition.

Unlined and closes at the back with buttons and loops. I see two repairs on the body of the dress. The suede shows some variation in colour from aging and gentle use. Part of the suede has softened so the edges curl a bit. There is a small mark here and there on the crepe. Please see the photos after the label shot. Still completely wearable and all of the flaws are patina and aging from being loved and gently worn. The generous cut and sloped shoulder should allow it to work on a range of sizes. 

Sleeves: approx 25"
Shoulders: no true defined seam
Bust: to 24" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist-hips: open
Length: 43" from top of shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-XL

Item# DD3699

Reference Photos: (1) S/S 1983 'Mount Olympus' collection. Close-up of suede bodice with pinked edges, punched and printed with 'Indian Circle' design, style 83/59.  From the book "Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years in Fashion."  /  (2) Models wearing raw silk dresses with suede bodices from the 'Mount Olympus' Collection, backstage at the S/S 1983 fashion show. Hats: Stephen Jones. Photo: Robyn Beeche. From the book "Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years in Fashion."  /  (3) Models in the S/S 1983 'Mount Olympus' collection. Hats: Stephen Jones. Jewellery: Andrew Logan. Photographs: Robyn Beeche. From the book "Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair With Textiles."  /  (4-5) S/S 1983 Zandra Rhodes Mount Olympus dress & original sketches from vads 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.