What I wore when… I went on my first date
Pearl Mackie, 30, plays Bill Potts, companion to the 12th Doctor in BBC1’s Doctor Who. She is wearing white Adidas jogging bottoms, a white vest top and white shell-top Adidas trainers.
I used to wear jogging bottoms a lot when I was teenager. I wore them on my first date, when I was 15. He became my first boyfriend. We went to the McDonald’s at the end of my road and I got a strawberry milkshake and he ordered a banana one, and I was like, “Mate, why you getting banana?” We went for a walk, then sat in the park, and it was really sweet.
The high street is full of all this stuff again now, but I can’t imagine wearing jogging bottoms on a date.I’ve got about 25 pairs of trainers under my bed. I wore a pair of yellow trainers to my Doctor Who audition. I felt Bill would wear something bright.
There are things in her wardrobe I wish I could take, like her red Urban Outfitters jumper or her jeans (I’m quite curvy and they were taken in to fit, so they’re better than any other jeans ever). But they save everything to exhibit at the Doctor Who Experience.
I don’t take clothes too seriously. My wardrobe is a collection of mostly insane items. My idea of a classic white shirt is my grandad’s old white shirt from the 1940s that does up with cufflinks. I like vintage a lot. I bought an amazing Moschino jacket on the Depop app. It’s really bright and fun, and covered in Las Vegas-style pinballs and cars. I went through a phase of buying leather jackets, which sounds expensive, but most of them were about 30 quid. I’m a hoarder and often feel like I need to have a big clear-out. My friends and I often do clothes swaps. The trouble is, I come away with even more stuff.
What I wore when… I became a full-time artist
Model Tali Lennox, 24, showed her first solo exhibition, Ashes And Confetti, at New York’s Chelsea hotel in December 2016.
I found this kimono at Chelsea Flea Market in New York. It’s a really junky, filthy, old-school market. The clothes are pretty scuzzy – old, beaten-up jackets you wouldn’t really want to touch – but last year I found this silk robe and I’ve been wearing it ever since. I used to paint in a T-shirt and stained tracksuit bottoms, and wouldn’t change for about three days, which I found quite liberating after doing a lot of modelling. Then I thought, if I’m going to be a reclusive artist, I’d rather wear something that feels more elegant.
I have a super-colourful wardrobe. Guy friends of mine will get lost in there and come out wearing a little sequined crop top. I love dressing up friends in my clothes and I have a little set-up in my apartment where I photograph them.
I’m obsessed with nostalgia and buy only vintage clothes. I don’t enjoy spending a lot of money on fashion, when you can find a whole outfit for less than £50. I don’t often wear high heels, but I have this great pair of rhinestone-studded platform shoes that my mum [singer Annie Lennox] gave me. I also have some of her vintage jackets and I’m a big fan of costume jewellery, which she has a lot of. She loves giving me stuff, so it’s a win-win situation.
Lately, I’ve been drawn to sparkly colours and pink. I wear a lot of Eric Schlösberg, a New York designer, who is kitsch, weird and unafraid of colour. Maybe it’s to do with the loneliness that comes with painting, but it makes me a happier person. If I’m in a bad mood, I wear pink. It makes you feel better.
What I wore when… I started working at Radio 1
DJ Clara Amfo, 33, presents Radio 1’s weekday mid-morning slot.
I love a tour tee. I collect vintage ones: Prince, Tina Turner, Whitney. You need to have bought it from the gig, or at least be a massive fan. My pet hate is when people wear band T-shirts but have no concept of the music. I’m really particular; I will research tour dates and cross reference them with what I see on eBay, because people often sell fake ones.
I bought this OutKast T-shirt when they played Wireless in 2014. When I started my weekday BBC Radio 1 show in May 2015, I was really nervous, so I chose jeans, trainers and this T-shirt, out of comfort. I wanted to wear something that would make me feel good. Even though I’d been at Radio 1Xtra for two years, I didn’t really know what to expect in the way of attention. I thought, let me wear something that feels like me, just in case there is a snapper outside the building.
Part of the appeal of working in radio is that you can roll into work looking like crap. Other days are full hair and makeup situations. When I interviewed Jay-Z for Radio 1’s Live Lounge Month, I wasn’t going to put on a ballgown for him; but Beyoncé is Beyoncé, and I just thought, there’s a chance she might see this on iPlayer.
The night before, my friend Shirley Amartey, who is a stylist, lent me a load of clothes. Her catchphrase is: “For God’s sake, try it on!” I opted for a Weekday bomber jacket, high-waisted jeans from Asos, trainers and a plain white T-shirt. I would never in a million years wear a Beyoncé T-shirt if I was going to meet her. Can you imagine?
What I wore when… I got my dream job
Makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, 27, began her career face-painting at children’s parties and is now creative artist consultant for Tom Ford Beauty.
This belt is so not me, but preparing to meet Tom Ford, I just thought: “Cinch that waist!” I found it at an Alexander McQueen sample sale where I go every year to find nice, smart stuff; the rest of the time, I’m in sportswear. This belt signifies something quite powerful, because it’s not a belt that holds up trousers, it’s a belt that accentuates your feminine qualities.
I was surprised to be considered for this job, given my background is quite wacky. But once we started talking about our personal tastes, there was a lot of crossover. Our sense of humour is the same. At one point, I was showing Tom my work on my phone and he took it off me and I said: “Wait! Don’t scroll left, there are nudes!” I like to think that’s what got me the job.
I really admire women who dress up. I think about buying those clothes, but would never wear them. I’m drawn to functional pieces such as La Sportiva and Undercover, anything a bit hard – you can’t wear Gucci loafers when you’re dragging three makeup kits between New York and London. I go out of my way to buy things that aren’t designer. I’ve not seen anyone else wearing Adidas goalie trousers or Salomon trekking trainers.
My first big red carpet event was the British Fashion Awards last year. I borrowed vintage Fiorucci trousers with high-waisted chaps, and they gave me the worst camel toe. I was also wearing the Vivienne Westwood platforms that Naomi Campbell wore when she fell over on the catwalk in 1993. And I fell over. I thought, things can’t get any worse. It’s only up from here.
What I wore when… I reopened the Whitechapel Gallery
I bought this black MaxMara number for the reopening. It was the result of eight years’ work, and £13.5m in fundraising. The thrill of the evening was bringing three generations of artists together, from Bridget Riley to Paul Noble to Goshka Macuga, against the backdrop of a tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica, arguably the greatest history painting of the 20th century.
This was possibly the most exciting moment in my career, so I had to be comfortable. When you’re head of an organisation, you can’t run around looking sweaty, you’ve got to look cool, which is a challenge. I have at least 10 black dresses. It’s a bit like having a school uniform; however much I try to change, I always buy the same thing. A typical day might start with a studio visit in Hackney (they’re full of paint, so you have to watch where you sit), followed by a meeting with the Arts Council, then I might have to speak at a dinner. I’ll add something sparkly – Swarovski rings come to my rescue.
If I had the budget, I would love to wear Céline. When I was a baby curator in the late 80s, I wore horrendous giant shoulder pads, like something out of a sci-fi movie. It was a master-of-the-universe moment for women wanting to assert themselves, but it didn’t look very good in retrospect. I still treasure stuff I bought in the 70s from the Biba store in west London. It had the rudest, most over-privileged shop assistants in the world, but it was achingly cool.
Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979-2017 is on show at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 21 January 2018.
Makeup for Clara, Pearl and Isamaya: Bobana Parojcic. Hair for Clara: Virginie P Morera. Hair for Pearl and Isamaya: Laurence Close at Carol Hayes Management. Hair and makeup for Iwona Blazwick: Sam Cooper at Carol Hayes Management
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