iHeart Studios throw winter party with Zandra Rhodes
Kent-born fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and iHeart Studios celebrated their annual winter party yesterday evening at The Biscuit Factory, in South London. The event showcased her new line and illustrated her talent for textiles and extraordinary use of colour.
Famous for her bright-pink hair, Rhodes seems to have been destined for fashion, having been surrounded by art and design as a child. Her mother was both a fitter for a French fashion house and a lecturer at the Medway College of Art, where Rhodes later attended before studying at the Royal College of Art.
Rhodes’ talents, even early on in her career, have always been lauded as unique and avant-garde, with some of her first designs considered too advanced for her time. Her inimitable style amazed the elite of the fashion industry when it featured in a 1969 issue of American Vogue.
She opened her first store, the Fulham Road Clothes Shop, in London with Sylvia Ayton, followed by a second outlet off Bond street in 1975. She has also gained considerable recognition, having been Designer of the Year in 1972 and awarded Royal Designer for Industry in 1974.
iHeart Studios hosted a large white canvas that was magically transformed into what we can only describe as the ideal first date. Upon entrance, a selection of drinks was offered, including Shikari and Carlsberg beers. The scent of perfectly made popcorn filled the smoke-infused room, where a carnival-style popcorn machine was laid, beers were handed out and shots were on a drip-tap. Before entering the main room, there was a seating area with décor reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with forest backgrounds, tall oil lamps and artificial snow.
The main entertainment hall contained another stall where vodka and mixers were continuously served and a candy floss machine produced sweets that made smartly dressed guests look like happy little kids again. A petit space filled with huge ice blocks made up the ice rink and provided some entertainment. Here, you could watch in amusement as guest after guest fell or slid ungraciously whilst others danced in time to music provided by Ian Watkins (of Lostprophets) and Jamie Croz, amongst others. On the walls, next to samples of iHeart Studios’ high-fashion work, stood a Say Fromage photo booth with props that added to the fun and light atmosphere.
Rhodes showcased her collection of colourful dresses with models freely walking around the room enjoying the party, fittingly showing the wearability and fluidity of her designs. For both iHeart Studios and Rhodes this event can undoubtedly be considered a great success.
Photos: Martin Evans