1) You have sighted Erwin Wurm as an influence on your MA collection. He liked the idea of adopting everyday materials and objects in his art and I can see that you have integrated lollipop sticks into one of your dresses. What other un-expected items have you experimented with and what is your most prized pound-shop purchase?
I love using everyday objects, hence my love for Erwin Wurm’s work. I didn’t really use any apart from the lollipop sticks in my MA collection. However it is something that I worked a lot with in my BA. One of my favourite projects was made entirely from existing knitted pieces of clothing and blankets, and another was made using loads of jumpers.
As for my most prized £1 shop purchase? There have been many but my most memorable visit was back home in Leicester. There is a brilliant bargain shop called Home Bargains that sells the most bizarre assortment of stuff! My boyfriend and I often go in to see what random things we can get our hands on, on one occasion we decided we would set ourselves a challenge to buy each other presents for the modest sum of £2, I think mine was a policewoman doll and a rather rude balloon kit and James’ was a tin of beef in gravy and a Robbie Williams video. Life doesn’t get any better than that!
2) He is also known for saying that humorous work falls prey to not being taken seriously.
a) Were you ever concerned with that in this fickle fashion world?
I was and have always been concerned about this, but then it seems to be what I am good at and there is something to be said for being able to make people smile. I have also always been reassured that my work should be taken seriously. I don’t particularly think the fashion world should take itself to seriously anyway.
b) What is your most favourite stand out hilarious design from history?
I guess I have to say the knitted extravaganza that Bruno wore on the red carpet recently, if only because all my friends insisted that it must be one of my creations (sadly it is not). I don’t know apart from that, everyone takes it far too seriously now so we very rarely get treated to something funny or even whimsical. Bjork’s swan dress which she wore to the Oscars in 2001 is of course an absolute classic.
2) There is a surreal element with the trompe l'oeil detailing; I love the drawn-on fly and zip! If you could invent a modern equivalent to the lobster phone, what would be your dream bizarre house-hold item?
I think that it would definetly have to be something to do with shoes. I love the way that shoes look, the way that they always come in a pair, how odd it is for one to be on its own and how much one shoe can vary from another. Two of my favourite art pieces have shoes in them: Meret Oppenheim’s ‘My Nurse’ (1936) as it is so strange and alien to find shoes in the place of your food, and how right yet wrong they look there and Fischli and Weiss’ shoe sculpture from the series, ‘Equilibres/Quiet Afternoon’ (1984-87). I guess in a very strange and ideal world I would have shoe everything, shoe phone (I know this already exists, but I would love one), shoe lamp, shoe kettle, shoe shower, shoe taps, shoe plug, shoe toaster, table and chairs made from shoes (these would be balanced very much in the style of Fischli and Weiss)
3) You have acknowledged Elsa Schiaperlli in your inspirations. She invented shocking pink and I have read in a review of your work that you used 'bon bon pink' which I thought was a perceptive descriptive hue. If you could have a colour named after you, what colour what would it be and what name would it have?
Pink really is my favourite colour, I never thought it would be but it really is. I never wear it myself and I don’t think I even own anything pink, but I just love it, I would love to have pink hair, one of my favourite images and one which I always have on my wall is the Juergen Teller photograph of Kate Moss with pink hair. I especially like the shade that I used in my collection. It is quite hard to name pink as people already have there own very definite idea about it and it is already very pigeonholed as being girly and pretty. I like a much dirtier grubbier pink than this, like the girly pretty girl has been playing out in the mud in her pink dress and has come back with it looking much improved. So I thought, corrupt pink (a bit too punk), impure pink (no), pigpen pink (not sure anyone would want to wear this) in the end I decided that Odd pink was more descriptive of me and everything that I like, though I am not one hundred percent sold on this, or maybe just Mack Pink. I think you may have encouraged me to muse about this for the rest of my life.
5) Jean Paul Goude had also had an imprint on your style which is something I really connect with. I went to his lecture at the V&A and he said that he would like to get his hands on Janet Jackson. If you could re-invent a celebrity with styling, who would you like to work the Mackness Magic on?
My favourite celebrity at the moment is Katie Price aka Jordan, I find her fascinating. I guess I would love to re-style her but then I kind of like what she wears, it’s very her! I like Love Foxx too, I saw her performing once with eyes painted on her eye lids so that when she closes her eyes they look open, It was at the time I was researching for my collection and had just found an image of exactly this, so we are obviously on the same page!
I also saw Jennifer Saunders once, my childhood hero from Absolutely Fabulous though she was lovely and looked great I was slightly disappointed that she wasn’t actually Eddie! How fantastic would it be to get your hands on that wardrobe, all that Moschino and Lacroix!