If you have a dream, make it so humungous if you say it out loud people will think you’re a little crazy. Particularly if it’s as big, bold and bodacious as buying a warehouse in an up-&-coming part of London, turning it into a museum that focuses on your passion, getting a South American architect to design it and inviting a Princess to be guest of honour at the opening ceremony. That’s exactly what Dame Zandra Rhodes did. In May 2003 HRH Princess Michael of Kent opened the Fashion and Textile Museum (FTM) which had been designed (with heaps of input from Zandra of course) by the late Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. The first (and possibly only) hot pink, burnt orange, yellow and bright blue building in Bermondsey.

Designers and their dresses
The launch exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum was called My Favourite Dress. An inspired idea, where 70 of the world’s leading fashion designers were each invited to choose a single dress, one of their catwalk creations which had a place in their heart and had a unique story behind it.

Everyone has a favourite dress
Once the doors of the FTM were open to the public they were invited gasp at the fabulous dresses and even attend an evening at the museum wearing their very own favourite dress. Everyone was photographed for posterity, then had a chance for a Q&A session with the ‘Queen of Punk’ and the museum’s curator, Gity Monsef. This evening marked the beginning of a colourful collaboration between the Yin-&-Yang of Sister Snog, the FTM and Zandra Rhodes Enterprises, which culminated in The My Favourite Dress Ball at the Hurlingham Club on Midsummer’s Eve on 23rd June 2005.

At home with Zandra Rhodes
From the moment Hela-&-Annie stepped into Zandra Rhodes’ multi-coloured world they felt a sense of belonging. That’s because Zandra makes everyone feel at home. So much so that she opened up her home to Sister Snog on more than one occasion. She hosted a Divine Dinner way back in 2006, an Afternoon Tea in 2008 and a Fizz, Fondue & Fairy Cakes Wonderful-One-Off in 2010. Just goes to show building-&-cultivating relationships that turn into friendships open all manner of doors in the world of business.

Parties in the Penthouse
As well as being the grande dame of British Fashion, Zandra is a party reptile and hostess-with-the-mostess. Zandra adores cooking. Her kitchen, which she brought piece-by-piece from her former home in Notting Hill, is a place where she takes her creativity to create culinary delights. And she designed the perfect dinner table. Circular. Made from Perspex with little Zs hanging from the edges. A magnet for magnificent meals for guests from all corners of the globe and neighbours who live on her doorstep. Anyone who steps out of the lift and steps into her home is enveloped in a rainbow, the most amazing views of London, beautiful objets d’art, curious sculptures and an amazing art collection. Every piece tells a story which is what makes this a sublime setting for an evening of dinning and storytelling. And it’s where members of Sister Snog will be heading once a month to dine and share their stories at Once Upon A Dinnertime.

Who have you met during your business adventures who has opened a door to their world and made yours more colourful?

This blog is dedicated to Jenny Hurren who shares a passion for all the colours of the rainbow with Zandra Rhodes as well a penchant for pink hair. Both have an eye for style of an eclectic flavour. While Zandra has had a lifelong affair with fashion-&-textiles, Jenny is head-over-heels with eclectic interiors and kitsch-loving Co-Founder of Out There Interiors. And just like Zandra, she plays with the unexpected. If you visit you’ll see for yourself.