New Article: Tracey Ullman, In Her Own Fashion

March 01, 2008


Photograph by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times
Tracey Ullman loves Mameg on South Santa Monica.
The British comedian has a new show — and an inimitable sense of style.

By Steffie Nelson
Tracey Ullman fans might find it hard to believe, but in her two-plus decades on TV, the master impersonator has rarely ventured into the world of celebrities. That changes March 30, when “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union” premieres on Showtime. On the new weekly series, the 48-year-old British-born comedian is fearless with her portrayals of the famous, moving breezily from Laurie David to David Beckham.

To help perfect her Arianna Huffington impression, Ullman listens to “Left, Right & Center” on KCRW. And Renée Zellweger? “I just decided to put on enormous eyelashes,” she says, “and base it on Shari Lewis’ Lamb Chop.”

We knew Ullman was funny, but who knew she was something of a style maven? “I was in ‘Prêt-à-Porter’ years ago,” she points out. “I was in loads of famous people’s movies, but I’m always in the worst one they’ve ever done.”

We caught up with her on a rainy Thursday at Mameg, the boutique tucked behind Maison Martin Margiela on South Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Ullman has been a Mameg fan since the early ’90s, when she used to shop at its former Brentwood location not too far from her home in the Palisades.

She looks smart in a gray-and-black geometric jacket worn over a black T-shirt and jodhpurs from India, the outfit set off by silver pumps from the Japanese line Cosmic Wonder. Her latest find in the shop? “A Balenciaga collarless peacoat. A classic I can wear when I’m 90.” She goes through the racks of Hussein Chalayan, Jil Sander and Bernhard Wilhelm, and a slinky Cosmic Wonder cardigan catches her eye. “I love this color—tomato,” she says, slipping into it.

Chatting over a glass of Persian tea offered by Mameg’s owner, Sonia Eram, the seven-time Emmy winner says she has never hired a stylist, nor does she plan to. “I look ridiculous sometimes,” she says, “but at least they’re my mistakes.” Case in point: a Thierry Mugler wedding gown she wore to the 1988 Golden Globes, with red-and-white polka-dot shoes she painted herself. “I looked fantastic, kind of like Snow White on crack!”

A woman with a mass of curly gray hair and funky spectacles strolls by, trying out a pair of handmade shoes by Muñoz Vrandecic. “They’re fantastic, I like the blue,” Ullman calls after her. The woman stares at Ullman, then says to no one in particular, “Has she been in lots of . . . ?”

“I do the weather,” Ullman says. “Channel 9?”

Source: LA Times

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