« Desert Island Discs

Pat McGrath, makeup artist

2019-05-19 | 🔗
Pat McGrath is a renowned make-up artist. She works with the world’s top designers, photographers, editors and models, creating images for the pages of the world’s most glamorous magazines. She and her team also work at the most high-profile catwalk shows in Milan, London, New York and Paris. She born and brought up in Northampton by her mother, who had a passion for fashion and make-up, which she passed onto Pat. In the mid-1980s, as an art student, Pat was captivated by the London club scene – the Blitz club, Boy George, and Spandau Ballet. By day she took on a number of casual jobs, but her interest in make-up continued and her break came when she was asked to do the make-up for Caron Wheeler, a member of the band, Soul II Soul, on a tour of Japan. Her career took off and within just a few years she was working with John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabana, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Prada, Lanvin, Calvin Klein and Balenciaga. In addition to her work at the fashion shows and photographic shoots, in 2004 she became the global creative-design director for Procter and Gamble, where she was in charge of Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the fashion and beauty industry in 2013 and in 2015 she launched her own cosmetics brand – Pat McGrath Labs. In 2017 she became beauty editor at large at British Vogue and won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the Fashion Awards. BOOK CHOICE: Andy Warhol: Polaroids - Richard B. Woodward LUXURY: Makeup CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: “La Vie en Rose" - Grace Jones Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Pvc sounds music, radio broadcasts unlearned event, and this is the desert island discs. Podcast. Every week I ask my guest to choose the eight tracks book and luxury they want to take with them if they were cast away to a desert island ff. rights reasons the music is shorter than the original broadcast. I hope you enjoy listening mike passed away this week is Pat mcgrath, often described as the most influential makeup a in the world, her creative vision set the bar beauty. Trends across the fashioned spectrum from high ought the high street, she is ass. Famous for korea,
king avant garde, looks as she is for her mastery of that devilishly difficult beauty, canvas perfectly radiant skin self taught self made beauty, multi millionaire her influence on the industry. She works and has been evident throughout her thirty year career. She cut her teeth. Working for free, ST style, magazines and touring with music collective soul to Seoul. Before going on to collaborate with design is including John galiano, alexander mcqueen, dull chain, gabon. You have all she on products and on hundreds of editorial shoots and magazine covers she's a why lee acknowledged: is the most prolific runway, make a policy of all time known by the affectionate, nickname mother. She is famous for her indefatigable creative curiosity and make it happen attitude, both of which must come in handy since her schedule includes opted,
eighty major fashion shows a year and helping her business and upon him. Ass makeup range recently valued at a billion dollars. She says beauty has nothing to do with gender, race or age, and it has everything to do with confidence, individuality and character. Pat Mcgrath welcome to desert island discs alone. Happy to be here now, if I may oceans, one of the things that you're famous for as your ability to create stunningly artistic looks everything from impossibly intricate jeweled face, masks that we saw Giovanni she to huge bird like further dialogue she's, an eyebrows mcqueen. Where do you see when you are creating a look for fashion show or an editorial shoot you meet with the design as you look at the club, then you know I'm really issue back clothing attics, so I'm really scratching to get into the door to see all the new creations and you talk about
who is that woman of the seas and all that man of the season and you're so given abstract words? for the beauty, vinyl love adorned princess from out of space or something oh, oh, let that looks as if it's made out of the stars. It mean it's insane the brief that you'll give so you have such a challenge. To come up with actual face. Is that man it's for listeners who don't know so much about the fashion industry. Can you give us some idea of the logistical requirements of working on a major fashion? Show I mean from your point of view, what does it involve? I mean we're talking eighty seven suitcases Sometimes a hundred team members, five to six motorcycles, eight cars for vans. The team collectively travel, thirty thousand miles policies and I think that's how much we travel, but I was the criticism as an army and its military
precision the show us to go on its end. I am maybe we'll start. did it for. I am and I'm a little bit like a general marching around the tables eyebrows on skin done, lips on the adrenaline is magical. Its you're gonna hear first piece of music tell me about this tracking, why you chose it. Diana was the boss right for me, the little girl passing around the living room, she's the icon, the eyes, the lashes, the glass the face, the voice, it was too much to the visual everything about her and also reminds me of my early days of waiting for the aid lady, if she said, was coming at four thirty. I was there for
looking out of the window waiting for that beauty, boss, the Avon lady and she would come into the house and my mother, my mother, would have to fight me offer because enter the samples and the minutes it was embarrassing and I'd get thrown out some times for insubordination and playing in the background would be my dyno song she's, the boss. You know so now, I'm a boss, so there's suddenly the law
done. It was the boss taking you back to waiting for the Avon lady pump me how important are relationships in your work. I mean, for example, when you've got a model in the chair or a client in the chair. There's something very intimate. Isn't there about touching someone's face and changing the way that they look? Yes, it is really intimate, you're, very close with whoever making up and you have so much fun and they always open up to me,
will. It leads to some very interesting conversation. I would imagine that intimacy gases cry, I love it You know I love to give advice, so you're not offend sit at your comes ray. I haven't seen johnny pack your bags or the car let me more with that aim and what about when you get the chance to make up one of your heroes? What's that moment like me, Well, I've always very nervous, but I was, your drive on where we get all the timing perfectly so that we know where we did not. Forty five minutes or an hour whatever is needed, so I would have prepped that for days before and I'm kind of shaking inside and then I get my act together somebody arrives by, I always get paid nervous of an excited via see. bring in your own nerves to the set, but you must have to deal with other people. How do you deal with that? With you know? go and and insecurities and things landau insecurity. As I understand it because, like for instance, me coming on today? You know I'm
I know I shouldn't be, but I am I put myself in their position and I know it can be nerve racking. You gotta go on stage you out there you're in front of the public, so it's about soothing and also just letting everybody knows everything is gonna, be all right. In the end, just to turn into a light fun day. That's that's how I deal with that. and tell me about your own signature. Look because you know, like many people who work in fashion, you love blank. My signature look is really about making my skin beautiful and I always love this guy, put that on layers of that and middle the dividing line chiming highlights on the cheek buzz. I, like very simple beauty. My obsession is putting make upon the people there, my canvas and
that's my joy at regret. We're onto your second disk today term that this one, why did he cheated so David, very life on mars and draw geneva bleached eyebrows, the color? The clothes the fearless use jen he's really in a way. Every make up. Artists dream they
David Bowie and life on mars, pat mc when you picking up the isabella blow award for fashion, creative, the british fashion council. You said that your work was all about obsession, inspiration and fantasy. Where did that begin really from my mother? She was obsessed with make up and clothing I'm basically, I always say I was hotter housed into the industry, because the process that she took me on is a process that I do every day. So she take me into the store where you by the patents to make the clothes, and then she take me to the fabric stolen after watching fabrics amendments, then the journey was into the makeup store to choose the make up. Our was of choosing the makeup and of course back. Then there was the colors that were right
dark skin. So there be one color a week. That was right that we found it now we can go food shopping, so I'm really grateful to have wins, firing me, I'm making me who I am but back then I used to beg her not to take me. I was quite and I was the youngest and I have to go to get you out amazing that it became my obsession. And how would you describe genes? Look your mother genes lip well, she well lots of different colors on our eyes and she'd. Where you know tons of makeup, then she bathe to give it that. Do we finish from the south, it isn't, should stand in front of the tv and you shouldn't move until I told her what was different can imagine, then she do different hairdos, all the time be black one day and read the neck, so she was just, insane with about beauty and looks and just very natural down to earth. So as to ferry known to me,
fashion to amend how much of that was accessible to growing up in it. She said she single parent in Northampton. Yes, basically she'd like make us, also go to vintage stores. and then you should be in their getting all these amazing dresses from the fort is biased. Cut dress is tuxedos, and I remember my sister and I all of a sudden, watching a documentary on blitz, kids and realizing that we had all of this stuff in her bedroom. We had it all everything she'd been collecting it when we were young. Thank goodness, I'm way did she went nowhere. as he courting. I think they call it. She had it all our home and you try it on, but also she talk me through every outfit and the decades and what this pleading meant and oh look at this dress. It's now in fashion, evil, citizen
your childhood, is very difficult and very hard, and in what ways was that the case? And we basically we had no money and I think it was very different, and hard for her. But for me she didn't. Let me know that it was difficult and hard. Meat was a little bit of one the land because she was escaping off into view. They make up world and she allowed me to go there with her on these How can I say at least imaginary journeys of glamour it's time to go to the basic? This? Is your third desk wavy chosen it bc earlier? I can't stand the rain. The fact that she takes a track that was done by an people's tina turner spins on its head highest hype, william to do the music, video and she's in a huge inflatable, look and also the fact that she is different from everyone else and she celebrates her differences. Her full lips with extra gloss, her eye
how's jeweled, I just love the range from nasa messy and the beauty of her radiant. When I click it, we think a thing so tight that your house, we would like you to tell me like sources? wanna play with Michael you smoke as is
Miss Eliot and the rain tat mcgrath you'll make up addiction took root. Then, when you are growing up in northampton back in the seventies, what with products that you had access to its time like I had a lotus concur, which was one of the skin cashed it. Let me touch, but I did you use it, and then I have one stick also out of her hundreds of lipsticks, and I would use that lipstick as an eye shadow fairy futuristic, and that was my look and this invention approach might have stemmed from your mom's attitude to make her because she had some very inventive ways of working round. The scarcity of make that was available for buckskin yes eve and use cocoa powder. She came in from the kitchen with cocoa, pat all of her face and she's like this is the white own of powder and she
dusted on her face, and she looked amazing. So that's why I ended up doing as well as making products I needed backstage. That's them to my mother. If you can't find it, you can't buy make you- and you remember the first thing that you made when you were a kid. Oh yeah, a moisturizer. I made my own moisturizer for my dolls and myself and I mixed oil and water together, whipped it put it in the fridge and it looked like cream. So I celebrated a month with my own queen that I'd made, and I pack that all of my I was shining like a belief, bacon, affirm mountains and I mean growing up in northampton. In the seventies, it's a different place, a different time to look back. Oh now I mean what were there any negative experiences? You know. To what extent did you experience racism? I mean you grow up in the community, If and when you are tired and then so you're going to church it away, solid base around you. I was very lucky.
The mother that I had was I'd. Look at that personal, racist, poor things. Anyway, let's go shopping. I think that really You are also close enough to go to london and go clubbing there by the time he became an ant student. Where were you going out soho sneaking into night clubs with my friends I go to the whack club? Obviously my mother, didn't of that, and so we lied and we tell her that we were going to art galleries and then I've come home. My clothes were filled with sweat and smoke, and she spoke so much in those galleries and I'd just a twig. Yes terrible man, and what was your look like when you were a clever when only early days, maybe it would have been a may one. Burma jacket with the orange marina leggings travel fox trainers high tops be cool gold, earrings, look so good swell! Then you know
little skinny leggings, it was around this time that I think BBC E g janis long spotted your skills. Yes, you do. Where were you what happened? I go to london to stalk celebrity servers obsessed with bullets, kids that the whole of the blitz kids. They will get a bit radio one. It was here- and I was way king, outside, with all the fans and generous long came out when, oh, my god, look at your make up. It's amazing I've got my lips to call my eyes. My cheeks were worthy burgundy and she said I love if you could do that in may, and it is our job in the ets is a job. So I found my calling write them in their paragraph. It's time for your next disk. This is your forth and I think it's gonna. Take us to the blitz club. Tell me that this next one well, I was obsessed with a magazine called new, sounds new styles, not collect them all, and
completely shocked by the looks the head and make up the clothes in the total used without coercion in a boys in major beads and girls, giving strength with their looks and they make up I would skip class to follow everyone from this magazine, but such an moment in beauty for me, and this is the soundtrack it is fair to gray by visa.
aid to gray by this super mc grath at taking you back to a time when you are obsessed with the blitz kids following the end of the people came out of that club, senior their daily endeavours. But how are you supporting yourself? While you do now? We make an eleven, but my goodness I mean about them. I was working on kings road in a shoe store and then
so ended up working to public transport, manny normal jobs. Funding that night lie. I think it is. In london during that time- that you meant influential fashion directive came bowen, blitz magazine. How did it happen that again was at the where club I met kimbolton, she loved my hair. At the time I had tied thousands of flags onto little brightly lit. Look. I had this kind of fabric, hats, home and, of course, the book which, of course, the sleek is, of course, the hoop earrings. As she came up and said, wow, I love you look ass. She was with Stephen jones. The milliner, and they both love. My look and see what you want to be, and I was like a maker parties and thence. It ok come with me: I'm shooting this weekend and I love you to come and watch and I would go Watch has sheet for idea the face splits magazine and she just let me come and watch and soak it all up and
that was the best schooling ever. Is it true that you and your friend who pretend to be fashioned. Editors to get into fashion shows only hiv or with a fake ideas, so we'd have fake volk com it may mean Edward edwin evolved from british vocal moving, and we pretend to beef additive to make invoke and we'd dress up and to all the major fastened shows a back. Then it was easier to get in we'd sneaking rip the sight of a ten, and in two thousand. I say that under unless lap and then in the end, all the pr firms need. Was never like. This is ridiculous. You, in italian votes it and you need to get up and we'd be like now defiant. We felt we deserve to be event, will come to edward and in full later tell me first, how did you end up on a plane to japan with a band so too? So it was with Karen wheeler.
The moment in my life I have been trying and trying to I have my own work, my own clients and- and I said to myself it's time to give up time to find a regular job. And I'm not lying the phone, where am we can release management. Asking me: could you do a or to japan, and that was it? now in Japan. I was scared and I was shaking, but it was a move Atkins moment in my life and an incredible trip and that's how about began it's time to go to the music tommy your fifth disc. Why have you chosen this one forced to do? Oh, Malcolm Mclaren, madam butterfly malcolm cameras, always been such a huge inspiration in two thousand seven at John galiano spring summit outcome to show this play, madame butterfly, and it was the most magical moment.
And I remember shalom harlow supermodel. She the dress, that was fifty foot long we'd, have makeup team. On little ladders to reach the modest phrases. Remember one point have you bowl of foundation, you be wanting to the front of the queue and may be a black horse. Funeral racing behind you to the state, huge butterflies, lane from the skies during the shows? breathing with surreal. It was all about mash up worlds colliding. That's how I love to work, so this some means a lot, the goose bumps that I get, because it brings memories back for me. My team and magical she got through joshua SAM, Mr Taylor, will take it away,
two mm. From and the twelve entry links of, madame butterfly, pat mcgrath, one the people who had a profound impact on your career is your long time friend and collaborator edward and in full. Now he's the editor of british folk now, but what you but about him when you first met because he was only eighteen back? He was a baby and I've been working in the industry for quite some time and I remember you know, and between all of my job sums has all this in new young lad at idee magazine his aims. Edgewood list
pop even see him because back in the day, you never needed appointments for anything you just basically barge in so wish. We were in covent garden went the idea. Offices walked up and there was a shy choir. Young boy never spoke and I walked in those I with my loud south. He always blames me that I'm the one that made him loud now we're both booming voices screen, yet when another all day- and I was like Hell avenues that you ask him it's true, I think, he says about you- that you always had the confidence to create trends rather than follow them and he remembers you demanding a yellow eyebrows in. I leave during their kind of very bad faced. Grunge, yes as I remember that I demand Did the yellow eyebrow? Then to my mind, and I called him up, and I said, Edward you gotta. We,
You know why I'm having second thoughts and who had to light it's got the press. I was like begging for both that you gonna get rid of it panic, but it's about freedom of expression. Make up you can do anything That's what I believe and you wash it off in the end- is not permanent, so it's always best to push yourself and have fun with it. Tell me that- working with Stephen mysel in nineteen nineteen fool. You were book to work on a genes commercial with him, one of the most highly regarded fashion photographers in the world. Now I know that you ve gone on to collaborate on hundreds of sheep and since then what was your first collaboration like didn't? I read that you ordered cocktail. For everyone on, so you knew about back so coming. For me, england by understood that we'd be, is an alcohol
I didn't realize at what can we do myself? It was clinical. It was excellent to the heightened degree. The room is the perfect temperature, the music paying the girls are dancing. I turn around this editor and I said to her. I can england its beer time. You never knew I said: do you think I should get cocktails and drinks? You said I really do think you should she set me up, so I went and bore tequila shots and I bought bs I didn't even drink and I was running around the studio offering glasses to everybody, including myself, and he was like no thank you and I thought how funny everyone's declined Basically, I should have been fired now that I know the rules of being sad. I mean how of older was that,
go home. Don't no wonder, I know armed ended up with a lifelong career with MR myself. The genius champion next track telescope sixth today, thirty by burner herman? Basically this that I played when my lips, it was launched, match and I met, an incredible digital artist on instagram, and we, collaborated on a movie, and it was all about Malta knuckles and this beautiful music from hitchcock spur to go playing the background,
at home and soundtrack to the Alfred hitchcock film vertical pat mcgrath. I think you are said fashion, is an industry where the real inside, as are all outsiders, tell me more about that. I think everyone from within the industry are obsessive people. There are obsessed with the perfect plead or the power fact, hairdo coming up with new ideas, and I always think that people the inside of industry a very geeky, and it's not what you would expect the way that people actually look in the industry. Try me when, in a man like dat fate of all in black in out with probably not much make upon, and I always think that the inside and outside the ones, it probably will not the coolest school, I think your mother died in ninety ninety two, so she did see the beginning of your life. Is a maker purchased? What do you think she would have made of your korea today should have been so proud,
it should have been with me most of the shows, probably directing. I think she would have been there, pointing out certain mistakes or how we could make things better, and I do believe that she's with me anyway, every day she would have been there one hundred percent and I would have loved her to have been there, that he yourself The disk today would have chosen view. All is full of love, I remember, being a young make up artist and work omby or when she was in the sugar cubes it so hard to choose. You know domain attract from new york, but this is the one when I think about the Chris Cunningham video when the robot, you tea in the whole skin fetish to see for me, and You know, I don't know inhuman perfection married with human passion and she's extraordinary What is our dream as well? Our real make ancestry.
And always full of love, tat mcgrath. It could be said that, there's still a bit of a skinny and white bias in the beauty and fashion industries. Do you think that's changing and twenty nineteen I mean really and truly that was the standard of the fashion industry. We know when I was growing up, and I am so happy to see the changes them seeing now. You know we have model
some all different social backgrounds, different way. Body types. Different religious backgrounds shows that over fifty percent, women of color and it just wasn't there for such a long time, and now it's just so fantastic to see beautiful been mental throughout your life, beginning, of course, with your mom. How important is its tee to pay that forward in and to mental or others? It's the most important thing, because I know if it wasn't for certain people looking out for me, I would never have happened. So I always love working with young. Make up. Artists will meet on it, two clam they'll. Send me their work and I'll say you in town, get to the tents and will try you out. So it's great europe. A desert island soon, I imagine that You have more experience of islands and tropical climbs than many castaways you'll have shot so many times in those kinds of environments. Yes, I have would sometimes at the the makeup caught on the edge of a clear financial degree as you watch it
sticks mounting, so you need to ice buckets, you need you flannels to cool you down, it's insane all of electrical fan everything, but of course you ll have none of that no phone. In my full phone I mean you can't even have wonderful. How will you go to think of income to value, did a better is ass. Well, it's time for your final disk today. Tell us about this. One in life, in it. I'm a massive found of grace does and she's groundbreaking legend. It urged the woman make him heritage. Just like me, when I think about the strength and beauty of grace jones, I think of my announce the street with pride, the make up of questions the hair of gravestones How is that she uses recently had a valentino show, Pierre pallor played levy on laws, and it was just a moment of joy and instead
one of my pilots and grace jones levy on rose greystone, and levy whose now pat mcgrath em about Cast you await your very own desert island. I will send you there with the bible and the complete works. If shakespeare to read. You can also choose a book of your to take, what will that be? Well me
being a very visual person. I would take Andy warhol polaroids, because Andy was the first instant glamour in fame instant gratification every make up that I've ever done. I've taken polaroids of them thousands and thousands and thousands of paranoid, but when I think about that. It's, like the Andy warhol polaroid book, is kind of like the genesis of what we're living in now. You know so thats my book grace jones in the book Debbie Harry was in the book, so yeah I've gone with visuals vera, I'll come to my cards glow. It's all yours, if you can so have a luxury items to soften the blow, your isolation debates? What would make life on the island more bearable, fully difficult choice? There I said I'd bring maker with me or my eye, pilots and six, because I don't get time. You know to do my own make up the way that I'd love to do my makeup, and so I would
use the time on the island to finally worry about me in all that overheat finally, if you could only keep one of these discs, which would be a good idea, be gravestones levy on mars, ip beyond the island in full beat with lots of colors on my cheek bones. dancing. Television was over and over again that's it am I grant you thank you, so much for sharing your does annette discs with us? Thank you, sir. a joy. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with pat. She brought a number of thirteen with it for the recording that not unlike a whirlwind on the shores of our little island,
really understand why she's known throughout the industry as mother, another luminary, the fashion industry, is the designer vivian westward together with malcolm mcclaren. She was at the forefront of the punk movement in the seventies in
t ninety two vivian was cast away by. Similarly, the hallmarks of fur punk vivian waste with which you and Malcolm Mclaren, invented together in nearly seventy was, was anarchy and destruction. How did you arrive at that invention? What was the thinking behind it? On crop was essentially an exercise about rock and roll and Malcolm once said that rock embodies the jungle beat that threatens white civilization, and it is essentially the idea that youth, what wishes to us attack authority. Of course, youth will always wished to attack authority, but I think that punk rock was of a neck, a really fantastic and heroic attempt to understand whether there was such a thing as an establishment that lack kind of door that you could almost lot of cake and have some sort of effect on
so you began if you like to two to dress these ideas: the old clothes on these kinds of ideas in and you ended up wealthy you describe it, I mean if, if someone had never seen punk what would you say with the hallmarks of it? In fashion terms, it was built up from all the motives that we'd been sort of exploring in terms of what this rebellion this youth rebellion would be, and the first thing was the teddy boys of them. Then we got bored with the teddy boys because they seem to be more interested in carbon loads of records, let him over the right ones and having all these some label records and everything, and we got more interested in rockers with deaths there slogans
and we re named our shop too fast to live too young to die. Who is a rock a slogan and we started to get all these tee shirts with chains on and all these black things term leather? That was where the leather came from said the rockets year. It was right, that's right, and then the next thing that we did, because we were satisfied enough with that- is that we are not a rested for doing this t shirt, which was supposed to be point, a graphic of two naked cowboys and somebody was wearing it in piccadilly. At the same,
time as the programme about johnny go home and it was all about rent boys in piccadilly and the police wherein there and they saw a man wearing this t shirt and they arrested him, and we got done for that, because the cowboys penises were hanging out at the time. Yet it did. I tell you, I can remember the verdict of the judge in saying why was point a graphic. It was that they were too close together in that in the respect that you just mention that lead penises were too close together and that also they were over large. So he said, and also one of them was tying the others necktie anyway. That was clear and then on from there came the whole fashion of bondage and so we were so we decided to just go all out for that linen with cold shop, sex and started to sell more pornographic t shirts
Those are two to put all this robber wherein there and then- also the other influence on on the punk was the fact that we had the shot walls had been at one time in office. Shopping covered with all these little pitches from fifties, pin up magazines with girls in all these torn clothing and them. So we started to rip close in that way as well and and so more or less, we had all the things that we need a new way, and we made this sum cult of our own. This punk rock, very westward talking to sue lowly in nineteen. Ninety two, you can hear many more editions of the desert island discs back catalogue on BBC sands next week. My guy It will be the illusionist meant list. Darwin bran join us, then
this is poland at the third challenge, you'll get britain at some point. Planet puffin is a new put cost coming to you from a tiny island of the east coast of scotland across the summer. We're going to be following the breeding season, no matter what it take that as an encouraging pisa were the other through at the entrances. Some nice white koane Becky uncanny. Let you take the first game of husbandry that some twenty nineteen hottest path in part wealth only puffin put fifty visa.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-09.