The Faces of Zandra Rhodes

Northwest Connections | 2018 | 81 minutes

Stranger Says:

Although she was among the 1970s-era wave of British designers who put London on the international fashion map with outrageous creativity (which she channels into art that is then channeled into her designs), it’s hard to tell just how significant Zandra Rhodes is based on this poorly executed film about her, which has a nonlinear way of storytelling that just doesn’t work, a distractingly bad soundtrack, and, most importantly, too few interviews with noteworthy, authoritative talking heads and too many with Rhodes and her longtime assistant designer Chetna Bhatt, so that it feels more like an 87-minute-long ego stroke than a feature-length doc.

SIFF Says:

Travel the world with a fashion icon whose textiles and styling are as eccentric as her signature hot pink bob. Revolutionizing the industry with dramatic prints and uninhibited silhouettes, London native Zandra Rhodes’ exuberance has extended to runways, museums, opera houses, and the influence behind the work of countless contemporary designers. Archival footage shows career highlights and innovative looks that unapologetically rebelled against conventional trends. Known for bringing London to the forefront of international fashion and designing ages ahead of her time, Zandra consistently beat luxury brands to styles that became the embodiment of generations. Beyond an exhibition of her pieces and lifetime of artistry, director David Wiesehan offers an inside look to her meticulous creative process, using behind-the-scenes footage of costume design for the Seattle Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute.” This colorful documentary feature also depicts Zandra Rhodes as a devotee to art in all forms, with a bevy of muses including local glassblowing legend Dale Chihuly; the two meet at Chihuly’s private studio and share their vision and techniques, shedding light on the fluidity between inventive forms of expressions.

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Film Credits
David Wiesehan
Zandra Rhodes, Joan Agajanian Quinn, Anjelica Huston, Pat Cleveland, The Seattle Opera, Michael Chow, Dale Chihuly, Kytami
SIFF 2018