Interview: Anna Lomax – Clarks Originals Pioneer

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Commissioned by Clarks Originals to be one of their ‘Creative Pioneers’, Anna Lomax is an art director, set designer, installation artist and a collector. Born in South East London, she studied BA Illustration at Brighton and took an MA in Fine Art at the Printmaking Royal College of Art, and has previously worked for big names such as Selfridges, Topshop, The V&A, Vice and Wonderland magazine. Her playful work draws on London’s treasure trove of junk shops, pound shops, bargain basements.

 

1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?

I think most kids who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s developed a sense of fashion fairly early on, with MTV and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as key influences. I was no different, but what I wanted and what I got were two very different things!

2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?

Alive would be Rhiannon Isabel Barry. She is a stylist and collector of ‘90s vintage designer clothing. I have a big collection myself but I’d faint if I was given her collection, even for a day!
Dead would be Jane Mansfield, mostly for her pink palace house in Vegas. It’s been bulldozed now but in its time it was unreal – a heart shaped swimming pool, pink towelling floor, walls and ceilinged bathroom with a heart shaped bath and gold swan taps. I have tracked these down and now own the same set for when I have my own place.

3. How would you describe London style?

Brave, exciting and unapologetic.

4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?

Work-wise New York, Lifestyle-wise Caribbean – two of my favourite places in the world. My boyfriend’s family live in Trinidad, so I have been lucky enough to go and stay there a couple of times. We are in the process of planning another trip to the Trini Carnival in 2014, I can’t wait.

5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?

My collection of vintage Moschino and Versace. I pretty much wear something from it every day. The pieces make me feel really happy whenever I wear them.

6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?

I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to lots of products. I rely on moisturiser with SPF, lots of black mascara and truck loads of conditioner for my unruly barnet.

7. When and where did you look your best?

I love getting dressed up for a night out. I went to the private viewing of the dog exhibition in Scotland last weekend and wore a Betty Boop-print Versace dress with an acid-yellow Versace Jacket. It was a pretty bright look but I felt great in it!

8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)?

I love summer. For me my whole year revolves around Notting Hill Carnival. I love it. Summer in London is the best! When it’s really sticky, I love going up to Soho and hanging out in the evenings, soaking up the atmosphere.

9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?

All the women in my close family are very into clothes. My gran is pretty out there, she wears her sunglasses permanently, even indoors in the evening. She makes and adapts all her own clothes from stuff she has found in the charity shop and tops it all off with an impressive collection of head scarfs.

10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?

The Cockettes. It’s a film about a group of performers from the ‘70s who lived in a big commune in San Francisco. It is very psychedelic and glittery. My kind of place!

11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?

I don’t really have any. I don’t really like it when people bite their nails, but apart from that I’m pretty easy going. I like it when people do what they want and what makes them happy and most of all when people don’t feel they have to conform.

12. Cat or dog?

Dog with cat tendencies. I really want to get a Shiba Inu, they have real cat-like traits. I spend an unhealthy amount of time googling them!

13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?

Work hard and be nice, and at the beginning of your career always say yes to a job even if you have no idea how to do it, you never know who you will meet and where that experience will take you.

14. What motivates you in your career?

I’m very driven. I love seeing my work in print and being allowed to push boundaries of what should or shouldn’t be allowed in certain creative disciplines. I still can’t get over the fact that I’m getting to work for certain clients and I hope that feeling doesn’t ever go away.

15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?

My mum, at 62 she looks so amazing and always has. The entire time growing up she always looked 15 years younger than she was and I only hope I have inherited a smidgen of her youthful looks.

16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?

Anyone who knows me knows that would be my jacket collection. It’s out of control. My entire wardrobe is full of patterned, bright jackets.

17. Which is your most treasured sense?

Touch.

18. Name three elements of a perfect holiday

Sun, sand, food.

19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?

My sausage fingers. I love getting my nails done and wish I had perfect hands to show them off with!

20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest

The Ritz and my brother. I love the Ritz. It’s so over the top, especially the dining room with its gilt ceiling full of cherubs. And my twin brother because he loves food and wine as much as I do, so we would enjoy every moment of it.

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