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Ballgown - Renaissance Cloth of Gold Crinoline
  • Renaissance Cloth of Gold Crinoline
    Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940
  • Enlarge image

Renaissance Cloth of Gold Crinoline

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)

  • Date:

    1981 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed quilted satin, printed silk net and knife-pleated polyamide/polyester/lamé mix

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the designer

  • Museum number:

    T.124 to C-1983

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Zandra Rhodes is renowned for her romantic and lavishly embellished evening clothes. In The Observer (9 October 1977) she was described as 'the most original and fearless of British designers, admired for her dedication to doing what she feels'. This innovative creation was part of her Elizabethan Collection shown in Autumn/Winter 1981. The dress can be worn in two ways, with the under-panniers used as a support for the skirt (as in the image) or with the under-panniers removed and the bodice, which has a peplum (an extension), worn outside the skirt. Zandra Rhodes studied 18th-century panniers in the V&A before completing this 'Renaissance crinoline'.

Physical description

Evening dress consisting of a jacket, skirt, petticoat and apron. Black printed quilted satin bodice, gold pleated polyamide polyester and lamé skirt and paniers over black printed silk tulle.

Place of Origin

London (designed)


1981 (designed)


Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed quilted satin, printed silk net and knife-pleated polyamide/polyester/lamé mix

Descriptive line

Quilted satin bodice, polyamide, polyester and lamé skirt and panniers over printed silk tulle, 'Renaissance Cloth of Gold Crinoline' from 'Elizabethan' designed by Zandra Rhodes, London, 1981

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

de la Haye, Amy, ed. The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997. Victoria and Albert Publications, London, 1997, p. 82.

Labels and date

Inspired by the splendours of Elizabethan dress, Zandra Rhodes used a glitzy, modern synthetic fibre to rework the styles of earlier epochs. Swirls resembling large exotic shells sit poised at the shoulders, and extravagant overpanniers balance on the hips of this dramatic evening dress. Zandra Rhodes was at the forefront of the revival for hooped and corsetted fashions with this 1981 design. [1997]
Zandra Rhodes's 1981 Elizabethan collection was inspired by historic garments in the V&A. Her idea was to recreate panniers, lightweight petticoats with boning supports, to be worn under the voluminous dresses. Wearers could then forego layers of petticoats usually required to aschieve the full-skirted look.
This dress, titled 'Renaissance Cloth of Gold', consists of a bustier jacket, double-layer skirt and a belted apron which forms two fluted gold hip panels either side of the skirt. Zandra Rhodes wore a version of this dress to the opening of London's Barbican Centre in 1982. [25/07/2012]

Production Note

Autumn/Winter 1981


Satin; Polyester; Lame; Silk


Fashion; Women's clothes; Textiles; Evening wear

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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