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How I get ready: John Waters

Monday to Friday, I wake up every day at exactly 6am. I immediately take a bath – I’m a lady; I love a bath. Showers are too violent. I wash my hair with Silver Expressions shampoo – I wish my hair were silver, but it’s grey. Then I shave with my favourite shaving cream and put on La Mer moisturiser and eye cream. I trim and shape my moustache, then fill it in with Maybelline Velvet Black eyeliner pencil. That’s why they call it a pencil moustache. On my hair I have to put a little dab of Crew Forming Cream, because otherwise it looks like Woody Allen’s.

When I was 19, I had long, filthy hair that looked like bacon, and wore the most alarming outfits I could find in thrift shops for about a nickel – shirts with padded guitars on them, or shrunken heads. Now I get dressed in boxer shorts from Gap and, if it’s just a regular day and I am going into my room to write, a turtleneck from Lands’ End, 501 Levi’s, Paul Smith socks and no shoes.

If I am going to a business meeting or out in the evening to make a stage appearance and I am getting dressed as John Waters, I almost always wear a Comme des Garçons sports jacket, tie and shoes – I also like Issey Miyake and Paul Smith. I really love Walter Van Beirendonck – he is a great Belgian designer and I have sports jackets and suits by him.

I am 68 and I’ll see a picture of myself in a magazine and think, “Oh my God, you are 68.” But I am a realist. I have always said I collect contemporary art but I don’t want to be in it, and when people ask what photographer I would like to have photograph me, I always say, whoever has the biggest retouch budget!

Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America is published in paperback by Corsair, at £8.99.

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