By Diana Cavagnaro
Dame Zandra Rhodes gave a virtual tea with her friends direct from London on June 9 to benefit USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute’s (ATRI), which she is a Board Member of. Zandra invited her friends Janet Slee and Carol McNicoll who were there in London with her. She was joined on Zoom with her friends jewelry designer Andrew Logan from Wales, American fashion designer Anna Sui from New York and Joan A Quinn from Los Angeles.
The moderator for the day was Yasmeen Serhan who is a London-based staff writer for The Atlantic. The time was afternoon in San Diego and evening in London. The event provided tea boxes with awesome goodies including Zandra’s original T-shirts and free haircut vouchers to all the guests. There was also an auction with an original water color painting by Zandra, a fine china tea set and more. All this benefits the support of the ATRI. Zandra also created a very special logo for this event.
The event began with Paul Aisen MD describing the San Diego-based Research Institute. Then, Zandra lead a tour showing everyone her Rainbow Penthouse. The tables were set up to replicate an English children’s tea party. The marble table was set with Carol McNicolls’ ceramics. McNicolls is an English studio potter who has been credited with transforming the British ceramics scene in the late 1970s. There were an array of mouth-watering goodies including trifles, a cake tray with cake (pink of course), a platter filled with cookies, jello, plates with butterflies, tea cups that look like flying saucers and, of course, napkins designed by Zandra.
Recently Zandra teamed up with Happysocks to create three versions of her iconic prints: Snake, Button Flower, and Wiggle. This collection launched in April and was immediately sold out. This Queen of Color is now doing a collaboration with Ikea. Her take on the FRAKTA bag will be in the coming Karismatisk Collection which will be launched in the Autumn 2021. Zandra also has collaborated with Savoir for a LILIES bed inspired by her ’Field of Lilies’ motif designed in 1971.
The moderator, Serhan asked everyone about being influenced by the pandemic. Ana Sui said people have been making more crafts and clothing. There is a new look on Instagram with a revival of homemade things. Underground boutiques are popping up and people are valuing these things more now.
Andrew Logan, who is a sculptor, jeweler and portraitist, said that all works are about celebration. The process is as important as the results. He was seated next to a moving statue of Zandra that he had created.
Quinn, who is a long-time friend, said, “I always thought of Zandra as an artist…when I first bought her garments, I hung them on a screen in the bedroom like sculpture”.
Zandra said because of the return to knitting she has created rainbow yarn. Look at Kate Faucet for knitted patterns with the rainbow yarns. Zandra’s left an inspiring message for young artists. She said, “Don’t be put off by what other people say about you. Stay with people who support you. You are forging the future. Where there is a determination there is a way.”
For more information visit www.keck.usc.edu/atri/.
July 23- 24: La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival at the LOT La Jolla. For Tickets visit: bit.ly/34Xv5fL
August 12-14: San Diego Swim Week located at 1040 7th Avenue. For tickets visit: www.sandiegoswimweek.com
— Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in San Diego. Learn more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at www.DianaCavagnaro.com.