THE SITTER'S TALE: Zandra Rhodes

New faces at the National Portrait Gallery: how the designer's sculpture emerged from the flames

Andrew Logan had been a friend of mine for many years, though the sculpture only came about because for a few months he happened to be using the top floor of my house for a studio. It was completely bare, but he'd had a fire in his own studio in Shad Thames and had nowhere to work. He did some fantastic work up there. One day he said to me you know I'd love to sculpt you before you change the colour of your hair. At the time it was bright pink.

He was already doing a lot of what you might call two-dimensional sculpture, using pieces of mirror, like a mosaic. For mine I had to sit while he photographed me and took measurements and made a mould out of clay, and then that was sent away to be cast, with my hair made up of pieces of pink glass. It was only later when someone from the NPG went to visit Andrew that he saw the sculpture and asked if the gallery could have it.

I like it, though I wish my eyes didn't look so sad. It reflects a certain amount of today, and I think that's very important. Really I think any portrait says as much about the artist as the sitter, and this is very much Andrew Logan's view of me. I think it's great the way he's done it. I'm not like Madam Churchill - destroying a work of art you don't like. I'd have been delighted to be painted by Picasso even if my face had ended up in little slices.

I've got my own copy, and the plan is to put it in the entrance to the fashion and textile museum I am setting up in Bermondsey. I sold my house in Notting Hill to help set it up, and now I'm a neighbour of Andrew's.

Andrew Logan's sculpture of Zandra Rhodes is on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London WC2 (0171 306 0055)

INTERVIEW BY ANDREW MACPHERSON

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