My Stylish Life: Tanya Mackay

My Stylish Life: Tanya Mackay

Tanya Mackay confesses to her love of marabou mules, Alexander McQueen ballgowns and Halloween costumes. Photo: Mama Mio

Tanya Mackay is one of three women behind skincare brand Mama Mio, a beauty range and fast-fix work-out that focuses on making women feel that bit more body confident. We caught up with Tanya to dissect her style DNA.

What's that one piece of clothing that every woman needs in her wardrobe? Marabou mules - you know the kind that Marilyn Monroe would have worn? They are absolutely pointless and so utterly pleasing. I have been known to tart about the kitchen cooking in those and a track suit if I need an attitude adjustment (much to my kids' amusement).

What do you wear when nobody's looking? Not a lot.
What was your last fashion faux pas? They occur weekly but that is the danger of dressing how you fancy in the morning! But hell, it is only clothes right?
What inspired you to do what you do? My amazing partners who make everything we do such fun and Just being female - what is it about us girls that we love beauty products so much? My two-year-old god daughter is already obsessed with bubbles and potions, and she is frequently found smoodged in our Wonder-Full balm asking if she looks delicious! My job is a dream and I enjoy it (almost) every day!
What makes you happy? Lots of things – my best is hearing my kids laugh, that is an instant high for me. Also, London Parks on Sunny Days...when you stroll through the park on a sunny day there is a palpable buzz of joy that never fails to infect me with its smile.
What makes you sad? Lots of things – worst is if my kids are upset, I hate that. The sound of an ambulance battling through London traffic is an immensely sad feeling.
What is your most treasured piece of clothing or jewellery? I have an amazing Alexander McQueen Ball Gown that I bought at his sample sale for something like 95% off. I love it because it is so SO beautiful and so SO impractical but filled with Cinderella-like possibilities. I have it hanging like a piece of art in my room and when prince charming invites me to a ball, I will be ready!
Describe your style in five words. Expressive, creative, obsessive, eclectic and indulgent.
What's the most stylish city in the world and why? Copenhagen (in the summer)– it is so filled with gorgeous vikings, the Danish aesthetic is inspiring in all its forms from fashion to furniture, from flowers to food. It is a genuinely cool place to be and enjoy.
What's your secret style address? Which store do you head to when you want to buy something utterly different/unique? Start in Shoreditch rocks, bargain vintage from Rellik on Goldbourne Road and, totally weirdly, the shop at the V&A museum is probably my favourite shop in all of London for a bit of oddity.
Fictional, real, dead or alive, who would you like to swap wardrobes with and why? Josephine Baker because she had the coolest outfits ever!
What's your fashion weakness/what item do you own multiple versions of? The perfect tee/tank... my finalists are Gap deep V-neck tee shirts in super soft cotton and American Apparel tank tops.
What's your earliest fashion memory? Wearing this fantastic polka dot maxi dress my mom whipped up for me on the sewing machine (she made most of my clothes) and feeling like a five-year-old movie star!
What's your best piece of fashion advice? Don't take yourself so seriously – I loved watching my kids wear their Halloween costumes on a Tuesday to school cuz they felt like being a dalmation that day. And sometimes I kind of feel the same - like who or what do I feel like channelling this Tuesday?

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