The Goat Dancer
Lara Mcgrath (@thegoatdancer) has more faces than a fake Rolex. She opened Dilara Findikoglu’s spectacular Seven Sisters of Inherited Sun show as ‘Virgin’ – head wrapped in white and face scrawled with occult symbology.
words John William
photography kate bones
For Burberry’s Re-issued collection she’s on the dancefloor in baggy Haymarket check and gold hoops. Right now she’s a chip shop blonde with ice pink lipstick (spread liberally across the face.) Tomorrow… who knows? Beauty Papers featured Lara in Issue 3, 2016, when she was wearing 50 pence lipstick and dreaming of cracking the fashion world. We wanted to catch up with our thoroughly modern beauty muse.
What hair and make up have you got on right now?
Well it’s 7am so I’m pretty much flexing the au naturel look at the moment, but I plan to soon have on a banging highlight for this weather and a dusky pink lipstick I’ve been using on both the eyes and lips recently. My hair however is a bit of a myth. I had it cut recently and at its current length it stands up stubbornly to no avail, I just go with it. Lucky I pull off everything really aren’t I hahaha.
When we interviewed you in 2016 you said “I would love to be a successful model.” Well how about now kiddo?
*Gazes into the distance reminiscing* Haha, I guess it depends on how you define success. I’m pretty broke still but that could have something to do with my ever growing (tells self I don’t have a problem) wardrobe. This year nonetheless has been very exciting for me having worked with Burberry and Gucci, I certainly feel I have made progress considering I was doing fashion shows in Kearsley Labour Club a few years ago, the glamourrr. I’m never quite content though, I want to keep growing.
Just last week someone asked me if I was in fancy dress… Well honey after all I am pretty fancy
What have you been up to with Gucci?
It’s a short fashion film shot in collaboration with Frieze Art Fair based in the late 80s New York club scene. It premiered in NY literally a few days ago but I haven’t been able to see it yet. It was shot in 3D so I need to find a rich friend with a 3D TV to view it in its full glory hahaha.
Are you still in Bolton?
I am still residing in sunny Bolton. I keep saying I’m hoping to move down [to London] but I guess when the time is right it will happen. I am very well accustomed to the Megabus for now.
Has Bolton caught up with your style yet?
Oh has it ever! I love the looks I get it Bolton: generally total disbelief. Just last week someone asked me if I was in fancy dress… Well honey after all I am pretty fancy.
What would you say is a classic ‘Bolton’ look?
Hard to pin down, it’s more of a commitment to a look, a Bolton attitude. I remember a lot of the Asian mums at primary school waiting in the play ground in heavily embellished heeled sandals with a floor length cardigan all year round, and then my dad who is Bolton born and bred in his white vest and cargo shorts sporting a lone tribal tattoo.
My Bolton nan wears a Barry M ice cream pink lipstick everyday and a pair of gold hoops. I always have earrings in, always
Does Bolton make its way into your own aesthetic?
Of course B, as they say you can take the girl out of Bolton but can’t take the Bolton out of the girl. I think a lot of my sports wear references come from my working class background but I also like the reference the older generation, like my Bolton nan wears a Barry M ice cream pink lipstick everyday and a pair of gold hoops. I always have earrings in, always.
Where’s the most beautiful place to be in Bolton right now?
I’d say at my house but I’m in London right now so most of the beauty is missing hahaha. Nah I’m kidding, but probably my Nan’s extensively colour coordinated living room or the Barnado’s behind McDonalds where everything is 99p.
What did you last buy from the Bernado’s?
So I got an incredible T shirt with the Benson & Hedges Gold logo on. It has a ‘Fruit of the Loom’ label in which always pleases me because it’s like someone went to the effort to print these and usually on a small scale. I also got a gorgeous silk scarf with Cupids and Moonfaces on: major. I love bringing silk scarves to London because then they can blow behind me dramatically in the wind as I sashay through tube stations.
Are you still rocking 50p lipstick?
I’ve graduated to 99p ones!
What was the last cosmetic product you bought?
The last cosmetic I bought was a pale blue iridescent gloss, it’s super sticky but the effect is amazinggg so I can deal with my eyes being greased open.
Stencils, children's stickers, sugar paper you name it. Imagine I robbed hobby craft with a face full of eyelash glue
What is in your make up bag that probably shouldn’t be there?
Gosh lots of crumbs, wrappers and general crap hahaha. I am a huge fan of gluing random things to my face. I recently did a look with eyebrows I’d made from false nails. Poster paint for my hair, chains, a whole amalgamation of jewels and other magpie pieces. Stencils, children’s stickers, sugar paper you name it. Imagine I robbed hobby craft with a face full of eyelash glue.
What is off-limits for you, beauty wise?
I mean I haven’t found anything yet! I suppose my job narrows my opportunity for body modification but it isn’t something I’m particularly interested in for now. Of course I’m not disillusioned to think I have coined any looks so to speak because in a world of 7 billion and variations of makeup being round for hundreds of years there’s a realest strong likelihood it’s been done before, but I try to avoid recreations.
What do you think has shifter in the last couple of years, in how people perceive or define ‘beauty’?
I think now people are steadily learning that beauty can’t really be defined which is really refreshing. A departure from the traditional is what people are beginning to appreciate, largely down to Instagram culture and people like myself being able to present what beauty means to us as individuals.
People talk about death row meals or desert island disks… what is your last day on earth look?
I’m hoping if it’s my last day on earth I’m somewhere hot so it’s got to be a Cavalli resort wear look in a blend of animal print and florals. Drowning in jewellery and Pinot Grigio with a hot pink lipstick stain on the glass.
Here, Lara is shot for Beauty Papers by Kate Bones with beauty by Lucy Wearing. “We wanted a study of the skin and what is and isn’t considered to be beautiful and imperfect. What is hidden and what is left behind. Influenced by the work of female artists Jenny Saville and Eileen Cooper. Jenny’s approach to physicality and flesh and Eileen Cooper’s use of charcoal and figurative representation of all things female.”