The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has been awarded funding from Jisc to digitise the archive of celebrated British designer Zandra Rhodes CBE.
Researchers at UCA will spend the next 15 months working closely with Zandra Rhodes, who trained at one of UCA’s founder colleges, the Medway College of Design. The dedicated team will sort through over 2,500 of her fashion creations spanning five decades to select 500 for photographing and cataloguing.
Zandra Rhodes, who was made UCA’s first Chancellor in 2010, has played a significant role in the development of British fashion, helping establish its reputation on the world stage. Her diverse client base has included Diana, Princess of Wales; Jackie Onassis, Freddie Mercury; Kylie Minogue and Sarah Jessica Parker.
A digital images of Zandra Rhodes’ innovative work produced as part of this project will be stored in a digital database. This will be publically accessible, providing an important new global resource for fashion students, designers and researchers world wide. An Open Education Resource will embed a selection of images of her garments within the wider cultural context and support learning and teaching in the field.
Zandra said, “I am thrilled that this project is happening and students will be able to appreciate my work.”
Professor Kerstin Mey, Director of Research and Enterprise at UCA, said, “We are delighted to be working with Zandra on this exciting project. This digital archive will track a vital dimension of the evolution of British fashion and capture some of its landmark moments.
It will provide inspiration and learning for new and emerging generations of professional fashion designers, but will also complement research on the overarching cultural situation and zeitgeist of the later 20th Century and early 21st Century.”
This project is funded by Jisc as part of its Content programme 2011-2013, Paola Marchionni Jisc’s digitisation manager says, “Jisc is pleased to support collaboration between the higher education sector and private archives such as Zandra Rhodes’ fashion collection. These partnerships are vital to open up access to resources which wouldn’t otherwise be available, not only for the benefit of students and researchers in the UK but for the enjoyment and use of the public at large as Open Educational Resources.”