Pat McGrath (notes from a BBC interview)

In this post, there is a list of the advanced words and phrases from the BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs interview with Pat McGrath. She is a very successful make-up artist.   Aggie and I are currently creating a podcast and it will be launched on 11th October!

You can listen to the interview here:

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00.47 often described as the most influential make-up artist in the world

00.50 her creative vision sets the bar for beauty trends across the fashion spectrum

00.58 avant guard looks

01.13 She cut her teeth working for free

01.20 before going on to collaborate with designers

1.32She’s widely acknowledged as the most prolific run-way artist of all time

1.38 Undefetagable creative curiosity

1.42 make-it happen attitude

What she is famous for

02.11 create stunningly artist looks (famous for)

2.15 Intricate jewelled face masks

02.20   Huge bird-like feathered eyebrows

2.33 I’m really a shoe, bag, clothing ...addict

2.35  I’m really scratching to get into the door to see all the new creations

2.43 Who is that woman of the season

2.48 You’re also given abstract words for the beauty….vinyl, love, adorned, princess from outer space

03.00  It’s insane the briefs that you’re given

Fashion shows

03.11 The logistical requirement for working on a major fashion show

3.29 The team collectively travel 30,000 miles per season

3.38 Military precision

3.46I’m a bit like a General marching around the tables

1st track

4.04  For me as a little girl prancing around the living room

4.31  It reminds me of my early days of waiting for the Avon lady…..

Avon uses both door-to-door salespeople ("Avon ladies", as well as "Avon men") and brochures to advertise its products.

4.30  My mum would have to fight me off her….I’d get thrown out for insubordination

Intimacy of her work

05.47  You’re very close to whoever you’re making up

05.50 they always open up to me (models she’s making up)

06.01 You’re not a fence sitter

06.17 I always do a dry run

06.25I will have prepped that for days before

06.30 I get my act together once someone arrives

06.38 You’re not bringing your own nerves

06.49 I’m a nervous wreck

06.57Nerve wracking

07.03   It’s about soothing nerves

About her

07.16 Tell me about your own signature look

07.25 Mascara layers of that... eye liner... Shimmering highlighter on the cheek bones

07.37 They’re my canvas (putting make-up on other people)

2nd Track

07.48 ...the androgyne, the bleached eyebrows

08.40 When you were picking up the ….award

08.47 Fantasy


08.58 I was hothoused into the industry

09.13 The remnants

09.39 I used to beg her not to take me

09.59 Then she’d bathe to give it that dewy finish

10.10 Hair dos

10.33 Vintage stores

10.38 Bias cut dresses…..tuxedos

11.00 hoarding

11.07 She’d talk me through

11.32 for me it was a bit of a wonderland (her mum didn’t let her know it was hard)

11.46  glamour

11.57 Turns it on it’s head

12.12  her full lips with extra gloss

13.25  futuristic

13.35 The scarcity of make-up for black skin

a situation in which the supply of something is not enough for the people who want it or need it

a scarcity of fuel

13.49 she has dusted on her face and she looked amazing

13.57 That stems from my mother

14.11 Whipped it

When she was younger

14.21   I was shining like a belisha Beacon

(in the UK) an orange ball containing a flashing light, mounted on a striped post on the pavement at each end of a zebra crossing.

15.04 Sneaking into night clubs

15.29 When I was a clubber

15.31 bomber jacket with the orange lining, trainers - high tops, hoop earings

15.55 I’d go to London to stalk celebrities

16.24       I found my calling right then and there (Janice Long asked her if she could do her make-up)

16.53 I would skip class

17.50  ….Following the people that came out of that club scene in their daily endeavours

18.22 I’d tied thousands of rags onto little braids

18.40 Steven Jones the milliner

18.49 I’m shooting this weekend

18.58 She’d let me come and look and soak it all up

19.02That was the best schooling ever

19.07 We’d have fake ID

19.27 We’d sneak in, rip the side of a tent...under a flap

19.48 We felt we deserved to be there

Trip to Japan

20.08 It’s time to give up (find a normal job)

20.29  It was a miraculous moment in my life

5th Disc Malcom McLarren Madame Butterfly

21.09  bowls of foundation (John Galliano 2007)  Shalom Harlow 50 ft long

21.12 A black horse funeral carriage racing behind you to the stage

21.21 Everything was was all about a mash-up, world’s colliding

21.30 the goose bumps that I get….

22.43 a new young lad

22.49 Back in the day you never needed appointments for anything, you just barged in

23.08 We’re both booming voices

23.18 You always had the confidence to create trends

23. 38 I was having second thoughts (yellow eyebrow)

23.44 I was begging for mercy

23.53 You wash it off in the end

24.14 What was your first collaboration like (Steven Misel)

24.34 Excellence to the heightened degree

24.53 She set me up (asked editor)

25.12 I should have been fired

25.17 How out of order was that

25.22  No harm done

6th Disc

It was all about molten metals (collaborated on a movie)

26.40 Fashion is an industry where the real insiders are outsiders

26.51 The perfect pleat or the perfect hair do

27.01 Geeky


27.39 She would have been so proud...She would have been there pointing out certain mistakes

7th Disc - Byork

28.12 The robotic beauty

28.14 Skin fetish fantasy

28.17 Inhuman perfection married with human fashion

Changes in Fashion

29.09   LL - a skinny and white bias


29.44 You’ve been mentored throughout your life. How important is it to pay that forward and mentor others?

29.54 If it wasn’t for certain people looking out for me, I would never have happened.

30.06 Get to the tents and we’ll try you out

Going to the island

30.15 Islands and tropical climes

30.28 Ice buckets… flannels

30.46 I’m very resourceful

Last record - Grace Jones

30.55 She’s a ground breaking legend

31.02 I think of my own ancestry

31.18 It inspired one of my palettes

32.25 Instant glamour...instant gratification (Andy warhol book

32.10 The genesis of living in now (Andy Warhol)

32.48 I’ve gone with visuals…..I can’t scroll

32.59 What will make the island more bearable