Some may think that designers live in ivory towers, walk on rose petals and float on tulle. But the pink-haired dervish that is Zandra Rhodes crafts her habitation out of the grim pages of a Dickensian novel.
In the shadow of Tower Bridge and tucked away from the human tide of traffic that makes London Bridge a documentary maker's vision of a world turned mad, she has feathered her nest.
Long, dimly-lit tunnels, dripping with water and howling desolation lead to lock-ups, warehouses and crumbling storerooms yet here is a vision, technicolour in hue, embarrassingly audacious and courageously ambitious.
Just like Benny Green's utopian dream of turning the old Bird's Custard factory in Digbeth into a creative storehouse of budding talent so Zandra sees her fancy rising from the ashes of an old 1970s cash and carry warehouse into a fashion museum that is testament to great British design.
Just as Brum's Custard Factory was painted lapis blue and is a thriving part of an area ripe for commercial rejuvenation, so the Fashion and Textile Museum will be an …