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Evening dress - Conceptual Chic

Conceptual Chic

  • Object:

    Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (made)

  • Date:

    1977 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rayon jersey, beaded safety pins, ball link chains, diamantes

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Zandra Rhodes

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an evening dress of black rayon jersey with beaded safety pins, ball-link chains and diamante decoration. It was designed by Zandra Rhodes in 1977 and formed part of her 'Conceptual Chic' collection.

Physical description

Long, punk-inspired, sleeveless evening dress of matte black rayon jersey. It is deliberately and decoratively 'ripped' on the bodice and lower skirt. The raw edges of the slashes are emphasised with machine zigzag stitching in blue cotton. It is decorated with beaded safety pins, ball link chains (of the type used to secure domestic plugs) and randomly placed diamates.

Place of Origin

London, England (made)


1977 (designed)


Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Rayon jersey, beaded safety pins, ball link chains, diamantes


Length: 141 cm neck to hem

Descriptive line

Evening dress of rayon jersey, 'Conceptual Chic', designed by Zandra Rhodes, London, 1977

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Mendes, Valerie. Black In Fashion. London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Exhibition History

Black in Fashion (Victoria and Albert Museum 01/01/1999-31/12/1999)
The Little Black Dress (Victoria and Albert Museum 01/01/1983-31/12/1984)

Labels and date

rayon jersey, ball link chains, beaded safety pins and diamant├ęs
English, London, Zandra Rhodes, 1977

Inspired by punk clothes, this clinging sheath came from a collection calle "conceptual chic". It is a radical departure from the flowing silks with painterly patterms which are usually associated with Zandra Rhodes. The heavy elements of punk dress - black bondage trousers, leather jacket with chains and safety pins, etc. are used as starting points for a less oppressive variation for a different market.

To be seen at its full advantage the dress demands that its wearer has a slender form and plenty of confidence

Given by Miss Zandra Rhodes
T.66-1978 [1983-84]


Fashion; Women's clothes; Evening wear

Collection code


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