Explore Your Archive: Fashion and Textiles

This Explore Your Archive posting looks at Fashion and Textiles at Medway College of Design, through a alumni case study, in the 1950s and 1960.

Follow the whole story here at UCA Storify Explore Your Archive

The Fashion/Textiles course at Medway College of Design hosted one the famous designers, Zandra Rhodes

Images relating to Zandra Rhodes and dress making displays at the Medway Fashion course can be found in our vast collection of press cuttings dating from 1958, collected by library staff at the institution. Prospectuses also provide details of the courses relating to fashion and textiles during Rhodes’ period at Medway College of Design.

Please note, for newspaper clippings that these records are displayed for learning and education purposes, and we operate a take-down policy

Zandra Rhodes at Fashion Show

1961 Fashion Exhibition

1961 Fashion Exhibition

One of the college’s most famous students, Zandra Rhodes joined the second year of the intermediate foundation course in 1957, bypassing the first year through her advanced artistic ability. Her mother, Beatrice Rhodes, taught dressmaking at the college, which Zandra tried to keep a secret from her peers. After her foundation course, she studied for a further two years for the National Diploma in Design. She originally intended to be an illustrator, but also experimented with printing processes on paper such as lino-cutting and lithography in addition to studying printed textiles. Her interest in printed textile design stemmed from the influence of one of the tutors at the college, Barbara Brown, who taught two days a week at the college, as well as being an innovative textile designer for Heal’s throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Rhodes refocused her studies on printed textiles and went on to win a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, becoming one of the most pioneering and influential textile designers of the late 1960s and 1970s who took her remarkable pop art inspired fabrics and revolutionised the fashion world.

Annual dressmaking display 1961 – incl Zandra Rhodes’ sister. The News

The Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection can be accessed here This is a digital collection of Zandra Rhodes garments. This was done by the Centre for Digital Scholarship at UCA, Farnham Campus


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