New online archive of Kent designer Zandra Rhodes

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Famous designs worn by global icons like Princess Diana, Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor will be catalogued to create a digital archive of work by world-renowned Kent fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

The University for the Creative Arts has collaborated with Zandra Rhodes Studio to produce an online educational tool featuring more than 500 of the designer’s creations.

The project has also been funded by a £110,000 grant from the digital education charity - Jisc.

Zandra said: “I am tremendously proud to announce that the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection is now available to the world.

“I am absolutely thrilled to unveil this high quality digital archive of 500 of my most famous designs, as well as drawings and behind-the-scenes footage in my studio, for access by today’s fashion and textile students, designers, and researchers, and I hope that it will be an inspiration worldwide.

“I would like to thank the University for the Creative Arts, Jisc (for funding), the team at my studio and VADS for believing in the project and making this happen – it’s not easy to locate, prep, photograph, research, and catalogue 50 years of fashion collections but they have done a fantastic job.”

Famous for her bright pink hair and cutting-edge designs, Zandra Rhodes has remained one of the most recognisable names in fashion during the past 50 years and remains relevant with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton wearing her dresses today.

She was appointed UCA’s first Chancellor in 2010 and studied at Medway College of Art - one of the Kent and Surrey colleges that formed UCA.

Students at UCA worked with Zandra to produce learning materials which explore her creative processes and production techniques through video interviews, tutorials and original drawings.

Director of Research at UCA Professor Kerstin Mey said: “Zandra gave our researchers and students unprecedented access to her studio which has enabled them to catalogue 500 famous items from her personal archive that we will make available to a global audience.

“I am certain that this accessible, open education resource featuring one of the most influential British fashion designers over the past 50 years will stimulate and inform future generations.”

The Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection will be available from 7pm on 26 March at: www.zandrarhodes.ucreative.ac.uk

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