My Life in Fashion in 50 Objects


‘A wonderful, fascinating, fun collection of memories and stories.' Shirley Bassey

'Dazzling from start to finish.' Joanna Lumley

Dame Zandra Rhodes has spent her life rallying against what was expected of her, both as a designer and a woman. Often perceived as too bold for the mainstream, she fought for creativity and individuality, and continues to achieve both in everything she does.

In this insightful memoir, Zandra shares her life story for the first time. Told through a variety of mementos collected over the years, it is a vibrant account filled with rockstars and royalty, of life-changing friendships and poignant reflections on her personal triumphs and tragedies, as well as the fears, sacrifices and pressures that come with being an era-defining designer.

From a road trip to Rome with Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, to opening her first London store thanks to a kind loan from Vanessa Redgrave while Joe Cocker sang With a Little Help From My Friends; from judging Andrew Logan's Alternative Miss World with David Hockney and Angie Bowie which was so packed that even David Bowie couldn't get in, to hanging out with Andy Warhol and Halston in New York's Studio 54; from friendships with legends such as Karl Lagerfeld and Diana Vreeland to designing for everyone from Freddie Mercury to Diana Ross, from Princess Diana to Barbra Streisand. Iconic gives the reader a sense of being right alongside Zandra through all the highs and lows of her extraordinary life.

Capturing the rich and unexpected life of a British icon, this memoir explores what it is to defy the norm.

‘Zandra Rhodes has changed the course of fashion history.' Suzy Menkes, fashion journalist


  • A colourful tome that not only tells her own life story but also paints a vivid and compelling picture of the broader fashion landscape between 1960 and the present day. Anecdotes? The book is full of them.
    The Times

About the authors

Zandra Rhodes

Dame Zandra Rhodes has been a leading figure of the fashion industry for over five decades, celebrating her 50th year in fashion in September 2019 with a retrospective exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, which she founded. Her skill as a print designer, perfection of the art-of-print as an intrinsic influence on garment shape and affinity for colour has resulted in a signature aesthetic that is undeniably unique and continues to stand the test of time. She has dressed some of the world’s most stylish men and women from Freddie Mercury, Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Ross to Bianca Jagger, Debbie Harry and Princess Diana. She has also created costumes, winning an Emmy Award in the process. She has appeared in multiple television shows, from the cult series Absolutely Fabulous to Masterchef and The Real Marigold Hotel. In 2015, she was made a Dame in recognition of her contribution to fashion and textiles.
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Ella Alexander

Ella Alexander is a journalist and Harper’s Bazaar Contributing Editor. She has written about style, design and contemporary culture for leading titles including Vogue, the Independent, Glamour and Condé Nast Traveller.
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