Zandra Rhodes Dishes on Met Gala, Punk Style & Celeb Dressing!

While Gwyneth Paltrow was quoted in recent weeks as saying that the Met Ball — one of fashion’s most glittering annual events — was a boring, sweaty, crowded meh of an event that she was in no hurry to attend again, Brit designer Zandra Rhodes told Fashion Trends Daily that she had a grand old time. She did, however, have one beef with the event? The after party.

The 72-year-old designer who has earned the unofficial moniker of “Princess of Punk,” was not only attending the   gala (or boring, sweaty party of pretty people, depending on whom you ask), but there to celebrate her own designs, which were featured in the Met’s new summer fashion exhibit: “Punk: Chaos to Couture.”

Zandra Rhodes Paper Doll

Zandra Rhodes Paper Doll wearing the dress she wore to the Met Gala

Zandra Rhodes at the Met Gals 2013

Zandra Rhodes at The Met Gala wearing one of her original punk pieces from 1977

“I think the show itself was beautifully conceived,” said Rhodes.  “It really did look lovely with a new take on punk. The flowers were incredible, the people bothered to dress. Why then end it with a tacky disco in the temple of Dendur?”

(The after party was held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian wing, which houses the Temple of Dendur.)

And Rhodes, who was no stranger to Studio 54 back in the day, certainly knows a good party when she sees it, and has attended many of the Met Gala’s infamous after parties.

Her fans are numerous, including everyone from Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor (not exactly punk princesses themselves) to Freddie Mercury, Bianca Jagger, Paris Hilton, the late Isabella Blow, Sarah Jessica Parker and more. Her vintage pieces are collected by Kelly Osbourne, Kate Moss, Tom Ford, Anna Sui and other bold-faced fashion and design luminaries.

We chatted with Rhodes when she was celebrating Brit Week in L.A. and Orange County, and then caught up with her after the Met Gala to get her take on the party.

Zandra Rhodes Spring 2013

Fashion Trends Daily: How do you feel about the moniker of Princess of Punk?

Zandra Rhodes: I think it doesn’t even matter what [the moniker] is as long as you’ve got it. I mean, it’s worse if people don’t notice you.

FTD: Are you excited about the exhibit? Zandra Rhodes

ZR: I’ve got four punk pieces in The Met, so I’m very pleased. It was wonderful to see [them] there.

FTD: What did you wear to the Met Ball?

ZR: I wore my original 1977 punk dress.

FTD: So, you said you loved everything but the after party. What happened?

ZR: My only criticism is this: You do a lovely dinner and you do the whole thing immaculately and then you do a tacky disco that’s not even credible to Studio 54. I actually walked out with Calvin Klein and Donna Karan.

FTD: Kelly Osbourne is a fan, she’s collected a lot of pieces. Tom Ford and many others. Who would you like to dress?

ZR: I think it’s great to dress anyone who’s got a great figure, and if they’re in the public eye, even better.

FTD: But who needs the Zandra treatment?

ZR: I’ve always thought it would be fun to dress Dolly Parton, to dress someone that they don’t usually expect to be dressed. Who’s that woman who did that fabulous film on Frida Kahlo?

FTD: Salma Hayek.

ZR: I could have made her look great. She didn’t look great in the [dress] she wore to the [2003 Academy Awards] show.

FTD: I think it was Carolina Herrera that year. What would you have put her in?

Salma Hayek in Carolina Herrera at the 2003 Academy Awards

Salma Hayek in Carolina Herrera at the 2003 Academy Awards

ZR: I’d have put her in with something that fit the Mexican image.

FTD: One of your prints?

ZR: Definitely! So it would have looked like something different.

FTD: Well, you might have to talk to Francois about that one these days. So, are you liking where fashion is headed?

ZR: The only thing I would say about it is it’s gotten in to a lot of fitted things and … it takes a bit more care [to put on]. You can’t just sling it together.

Zandra Rhodes’ Punk designs can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit, now through August 14. To check out her current collections go to

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.