Wonder walls: Stylist peers into the art collections of top UK fashion designers

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Georgie Lane-Godfrey
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Ever wondered what a fashion designer’s walls wear? Stylist gets a rare glimpse of the art owned by some of the industry’s leading lights

Photography: Eva K Salvi

Dame Zandra Rhodes, Fashion Designer (above)

I would describe myself as more of a hoarder than a collector – I love being surrounded by beautiful, colourful things while I work. Most of them are made by close friends so the value doesn’t matter, although I do have some Kate Malone vases worth around £5,000. If I have a dinner party, the people who have created my art are the people who I invite. We eat off a bespoke dinner service I commissioned from potter Carol McNicoll back in 1964; she worked for me during the summer holidays when she was at the Royal College of Art. I love to use my art or lend pieces to exhibitions; they do tend to get chipped but I don’t mind. To me that means that they’ve been through big adventures.

Hard edges

This was the first piece I bought, back in the Sixties. It’s by Duggie Fields, who fashion stylist Chelita Secunda introduced me to. She took me to his studio and I fell in love with this. I didn’t have the money to pay, so I just gave a deposit. Duggie came round to try to get it back, but when he saw how well it worked, we negotiated and he became a very close friend.

Mirror image

This is by Andrew Logan. Like Duggie Fields, he hasn’t been fully recognised. This mirror portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the shape of India is amazing because it has so many intricate details yet still looks like him. Andrew made it using Indian paraphernalia he’d collected, from paper collages of Bollywood heart-throbs to Asian Barbies. I first saw it developing in Andrew’s studio ten years ago and just fell in love with it.

Pink lady

This is another piece by Duggie Fields – he has such a distinct style that I adore. It’s got a hard line edge that’s influenced by the Patrick Caulfield school [of work], although a lot of his earlier work had a cut-out style that’s reminiscent of Matisse. I’d love to own a Matisse one day, but they don’t come on the market very often.


Andrew Logan made this bust for my 50th birthday in 1990. The original is in the National Portrait Gallery. I wear a lot of Andrew’s work, too, like my brooch and bangle. We go on sketching holidays together; he’s my favourite travelling companion.

Hannah Weiland, founder, Shrimps

At 26, I feel like I’m only just starting my art collection. Art has always been a massive part of my life – my parents are really into it and have an amazing collection. It’s influenced my work at my fashion label hugely, for example one of my mum’s Paula Rego Nursery Rhyme prints inspired my 2017 resort collection, which features playful abstract drawings. My pieces are all quite modern and not particularly expensive, ranging from £500 to £3,000.

Most of the artists [whose work I buy], I find on Instagram – it’s an amazing platform for discovering unknown, up-and-coming artists as it’s like your own personal gallery. So far through Instagram, I’ve found artists such as @eugenia_loli, who makes amazing digital collages, @rachellevit, an incredible Brooklyn-based illustrator, and self-taught painter, @unskilledworker.

Sometimes artists ask to be paid in Shrimps coats instead of money, which I love. There’s something satisfying about trading your talent.

Horsing around

My three loves are art, fashion and animals, so a lot of my pieces feature four-legged friends. I love this piece (pictured above) by Julian Wolfenstein because it’s playful and has a sense of humour. It always gets a really good reaction from friends – I can’t look at it and not smile.

Furry friend

My boyfriend gave me this for my birthday last year. It’s by Peter Jones, a Hackney-based artist who specialises in painting old toys. My boyfriend commissioned him to paint my favourite childhood toy, Dog Dog; it’s my most prized possession. This was the best surprise. I chose a very special old-gold frame for it because the subject deserves it. I’ve had Dog Dog all my life and I sleep with him every night so I love how this painting immortalises him.

Future shaper

This was a present created by Ellen Bell that my parents gave me for my 15th birthday. It became the first piece in my art collection and started my obsession with collage – I love how it’s 3D. The butterflies are made of paper taken from an old British encyclopaedia and if you look closely you can read the text. The fact it’s in the shape of a coat is interesting considering I now work in fashion – it turned out to be a pretty prescient gift.

Goga Ashkenazi, Creative Director, Vionnet

My collection focuses on art from 1991 onwards. I do have older, valuable pieces in the house by artists like Picasso, Lucian Freud and Andy Warhol, but over the last five years I’ve concentrated on newer ones. I was born in Communist Russia, so 1991 was a year of massive change both personally and globally; it was the year the Soviet Union collapsed. My parents and I lived through a lot of turmoil, so seeing that expressed through art always fascinates me. I only display about 2% of my art at home – most is in storage as I’m paranoid about being burgled. My most precious art, though, is by my four and eight-year-old sons – the maturity of their work astounds me.

Mystery man

This Peter Doig painting is my favourite in the house. I bought it at Basel art fair in 2014. I got a call to say it was going on sale but that I’d have to run to a preview to see it (the best pieces are never put on show). I had 15 minutes to decide if I wanted it as two other buyers were waiting, but I knew I did. Doig’s use of reflection is so clever. This is full of unanswered questions. Is it dark because it’s night or because his mind has blackened? Is that a gun he’s holding and is he bent on violence? It’s an incredibly beautiful, powerful composition.

Smoke and mirrors

This piece is by Sarah Lucas, a British artist who represented the UK at the 2015 Venice Biennale. It’s a portrait of Trotsky, based on a sketch by Russian-Mexican painter Vlady and made from Mexican cigarettes. I instantly connected with it. This piece was hung in the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico City alongside pieces featuring Frida Kahlo; Trotsky was reportedly Kahlo’s lover. I love the idea of all those artistic minds hanging out together.

Power play

This is one of two photographs I bought from a little gallery in Berlin. I was there for my birthday years ago with my friend Julius von Bismarck, a German artist, and he was telling me about his friend who was in Kazakhstan photographing the original test site for atomic bombs. The site was (understandably) closed off, so Julius wanted me to help his friend gain access. I thought he was crazy, and forgot all about it. A few years later when I was back in Berlin, I came across these photos in a gallery in the Jewish quarter. The gallery owner told me the artist had made the white splashes on the photo using radioactive material and that I could meet him that night if I wanted. So I did and in walked Julius’s friend! It was the strangest coincidence.

Alice Temperley, Owner, Temperley London

I don’t really ‘collect’ art – I just buy things that strike a chord or have some personal meaning to me. I studied printing at the Royal College of Art, so I’ve always loved lithographs and prints rather than paintings; the process of layering colours and the cleanliness of it really appeals to me. I can’t bear watercolours because they seem too wishy-washy and old fashioned. I also struggle a lot with the contemporary scene. It’s not about ignorance, it’s just that after studying art myself for so long I need to be able to see the technical skill behind a piece to appreciate it, which isn’t always the case with many contemporary pieces.

My personal collection is very eclectic, but it’s mainly British artists. I love mixing old and new, so I have a lot of vintage advertising posters, like my Toulouse-Lautrec ‘Job’ print next to new, lesser-known artists. That translates into my fashion too. We reference old masters in our next collection at Temperley London, focusing on the way they paint textiles – the reflected light, sheen and ruffles. Their ability to capture those details was amazing.

Hidden talent

You wouldn’t be able to tell, but this piece is actually by the sculptor Anish Kapoor... kind of. We met when we were both guests of Jacob Rothschild at his house on Corfu; I have an old photo of the process in motion, which I love. Six years ago we were over there together with my son, Fox, who was two at the time. Fox put a paintbrush in his mouth and Anish lent over to him and moved his head as my son painted. It was Fox’s first painting, but Anish signed it and made me promise to never, ever sell it.

Top spin

I love this colourful piece by Nick and Rob Carter. Nick and Rob are friends of mine – they created all the art in The Groucho Club in London, so we often have dinner there. This is a spectrum circle, which was made by capturing shapes made with light filaments on light-sensitive paper. It’s totally unique and also has hidden depths because if you shine a light on it and spin it, the most amazing white light effect is created. I usually have it next to one of my favourite colourful Mexican blankets – together they are pretty eye-catching.

Sister act

My younger sister Matilda Temperley is a photographer who takes amazing tribal photos. This one was taken in the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia in 2010 and features a woman from the Mursi tribe, who traditionally adorn themselves with lip plates as a sign of their marriageability. The prints are available to buy for £1,800 each. Matilda took a ceramic plate and inserted it into this one to make it more 3D. Her creativity is inspiring and I love travelling with her.

Styling: Kitty McGee, Lucy Reber
Art Direction: Rob Timm
Make-up: Attracta Courtney using Mac Cosmetics
Dame Zandra Rhodes Hair: Tomomi Roppongi using Bumble and Bumble
Goga Ashkenazi Hair: Massimo Gamba


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Georgie Lane-Godfrey

Georgie Lane-Godfrey is a freelance travel and features writer. In the name of journalism she has ridden Mustangs in Nevada, partied in Ibiza with MIC cast members and interviewed women on the frontline of feminism. She likes horses and cheap chocolate.