Fashion Update: Zandra raids her archives

IF YOUR old Zandra Rhodes handkerchief-hem skirt is still lurking in the wardrobe, dust off the mothballs - for that is what the designer herself is doing.

Fashion has come full circle for Ms Rhodes. After delving into her archives she found that those old bell sleeves are more up-to-the-minute than anything in her current collection. The logical step: revive the Seventies designs and include them in her autumn collection.

'I've gone to my archival prints and reinterpreted some of them in pastels,' says Rhodes. 'Some have been simplified and revamped. The collection has slightly sexier undertones than in 1970, but with the same romantic feel. And it is more tasteful than first time round.'

The spirit of the Seventies still clings to the Zandra Rhodes name. And her new collection includes kaftans and smocks similar to old Rhodes clothes which can still be found in good second-hand shops.

'People say to me that some of the clothes they are seeing in magazines look like knock-offs of my work,' says Rhodes, who must be credited as a major influence on today's retro fashion. But she claims not to think in terms of decades when designing: 'I design what I hope will be classics, and not clothes that will date.'

(Photograph omitted)

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