PG Live 2019 welcomed two very special celebrities – in fashion icon Dame Zandra Rhodes and culinary guru Prue Leith who certainly added extra colour and flavour to the show.
Prue Leith attended the show on the first day (Tuesday 4 June) and was “delighted” to see the brand new range of Prue cards on the Ling Design stand. “Don’t they look great, I will look forward to sending these,” she exclaimed to PG Buzz. The launch was given a high profile boost in an article that appeared in The Times on the Saturday before the show in which Prue shared her love of business as well as all things culinary. “The thing is, I’m very commercial. I do love business and I can’t resist it,” she said. “So now we’re going to do cards…and calendars and diaries.”
Arriving early on the second day of the show was Dame Zandra Rhodes, who this year is celebrating her 50th year in the fashion world. The bright haired legend attracted a great crowd to the Museums & Galleries stand where a collection of Zandra Rhodes cards, stationery, wrap and travel mugs was debuted.
Revered in the fashion world for years, Dame Zandra did not hold back in saying how much she loved the new paper products range.
“It is lovely to be able to make my mark on the world in this way. I am so thrilled by the marvelous job the Museums & Galleries team has done in interpreting my designs onto the products,” she told PG Buzz of the new collection which went down a storm with retailers.
Of the positive reaction to the collection, Debbie Williams, managing director of Museums & Galleries said: “I am as ‘in the pink’ as Dame Zandra Rhodes’ hair as to the reaction we have had at the show!”
Walks down memory lane…
Prue Leith and Zandra Rhodes both had some unexpected memories that came to the fore at PG Live.
Prue exclaimed as she walked through the doors of the Business Design Centre. “I was the first ever caterer in this building when they re-opened it as an exhibition and business centre. I remember it well – it was incredibly hard work!” She was able to share her recollections with the current two head chefs of the BDC saying “I expect you are having to work extremely hard today to prepare all the lunches!”
Meanwhile a couple of aisles of away from the Museums & Galleries stand at PG Live was Anna Nelson, co-founder of Rosanna Rossi which was celebrating its 10th anniversary at the show. However, Anna reveals that she may never have gone on to start her own card company had it not been for the lessons learned and experience gained from working alongside Dame Zandra Rhodes.
Here Anna flicks back through the pages of her diary…
“Zandra Rhodes was the reason I studied Textile Design at degree level. While studying Textile Design at 6th Form college in 1996, I attended a talk held at Cheltenham Pump Room at which Zandra spoke about her life and work. I found this so inspiring and was determined to learn more, so I asked if I could spend some time working alongside her in the Bermondsey Studio, London that same year.
She was so accommodating and spent most my time during those few months learning what it was like to work in thriving fashion and textile studio surrounded by so much creativity.
After graduating with my degree in Textile Design I found myself back with Zandra for further experience in 2003 when she opened the Fashion and Textile Museum. As part of the opening I was briefed to create a set of hand-sculpted, paper dresses which stood near the entrance of the building. I loved being around her and the team. I remember Zandra as a true grafter who got stuck into every aspect of the busy studio which I found really inspiring. I loved her energy and passion for design and it was a joy meet her once again at PG Live!”
* Liz Ellis, art editor of Abacus and Clare Maddicott also says she owes a lot to Zandra Rhodes as she too did work experience with the ‘princess of punk’.
Top: Dame Zandra Rhodes with some of the new Museums & Galleries collection that is based on reworkings of her iconic designs.