A self-confessed cosmetics nerd, Pat McGrath creates the looks for 80 major fashion shows a year. As she launches her first line, she talks about race, Instagram, her best friend Edward Enninful (the new editor of Vogue) and the influence of her makeup-obsessed mother Jean
In 20 years of interviewing actors, musicians, designers and artists, my audience with Pat McGrath has been the most difficult. Not because she’s chilly or aloof (she’s tactile, warm, prone to outbursts of laughter and the lavish use of “darling”), but because not a minute goes by without a passerby interrupting to tell her how much they admire her, and to my frustration, she spends much of our precious allotted time indulging them.
“You look beautiful, darling,” she purrs to one beauty blogger, as worried publicists look on impatiently. “Let me get someone from my team to do your makeup! It’ll be gorgeous on you,” she says to another. She stops again to pose for a photograph with actor Olivia Palermo (who seems under no illusion that she might be the main attraction here), then again to reel off some social media content and to check an assistant has her trainers. By then our “intimate chat”, in a bustling Parisian penthouse, is rather up against it, because McGrath is due to get on a motorbike to the Ritz, where an unnamed celebrity is waiting to be made up for the red carpet.