Mary's Style

The Irish Times - Saturday, May 29, 2010

My style

Mary McCartney . Photographer, daughter of Paul, sister of Stella and Derby day style judge

Where do you shop ?

 I love scouring markets and vintage shops like Alfies off the Edgeware Road and Portobello Market [in London]. I love 1940s dresses, flouncy chiffon dresses and old 1950s black dresses. I love Libertys and Selfridges. I do a lot of shopping, just walking and wandering around. I look at textiles and colour and then shape.

What do you buy ?

 I’m 40 and I like things that are fashionable but simple. I love Stella and I get a good discount there. I like Marni and I like sparkly things and lots of black.

Is there anything you wouldn’t wear ?

I don’t wear clingy tops or synthetic materials. I buy shoes from Stella and wedges from Castaner. A recent buy was a pair of striped ballerinas for £12 from New Look. I like bargains.

Do you collect jewellery ?

I like jewellery, particularly if it has a story. These diamond earrings were given to me by my dad.

The necklace was a present from my boyfriend and the locket was from my kids.

I like collecting things; these earrings belonged to my mum. She used to wear a lot of vintage dresses, but she wasn’t a hoarder.

Your style icon ?

 RenĂ©e Lartigue, wife of the photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue in the 1930s and 1940s. She wore floppy hats, well-cut pieces and always looked great.

Were you always interested in fashion?

 Yes, I haven’t always followed it up, but I do more now. I quite like classic things that don’t date quickly. I tend to invest in a nice tailored jacket, dress or winter coat.

What’s the challenge of portraiture ?

 It’s to do your subjects justice and make an interesting picture and capture them in one frame.
As a young photographer in my 20s, I was terrified of Helen Mirren but she was very kind and giving. Lady Devonshire is very stylish and Vivienne Westwood knows what she wants. I photographed Twiggy dressed as Garbo and Tracey Emin as Frida Kahlo as part of a project – they’re in my book From Where I Stand.

What will you be looking for at the Derby ?

I will be whittling it down to the top six [most stylish women] and the general public will pick the winner. Judging is difficult as it is quite subjective, but personally I don’t like artificial looks – although Lady Gaga is amazing and gets away with it. There could be a girl with bleached hair and fake tan who looks amazing – some people get away with it – but I am also hoping to find diversity and elegant older women who are stylish, cool, calm and collected. I’ll be looking for people not following trends to the letter, who show their own individual style and not the look of the season.

Mary McCartney is a portrait and fashion photographer. She is this year’s judge for the most stylish competition at the Irish Derby on June 27th. An exhibition of her portraits, Collective Works, is currently at Kildare Village

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