Tracy Tynan was born in London. She studied social anthropology at Sussex University and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with BA in Liberal Arts. Later, she moved to Los Angeles and studied film at UCLA, where she directed a short documentary on the late ceramicist Beatrice Woods, and co‐directed a documentary on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, called A Great Bunch of Girls.

In 1982 she began designing costumes for films and TV. Her many credits include Choose Me, The Big Easy, Mi Familia, and Tuesdays with Morrie. In 2010 she was awarded the WIFTS foundation International Visionary award for her contribution to Costume Design. She is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Costume Designer’s Branch.

As an artist, she has collaborated with Erika Rothenberg on several projects, including Suicide Notes, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, and Shower Curtain of Death. She created a fractal sculpture for High Desert Test Sites 2013, a large Mengers Sponge, constructed of 3,000 business cards, collected from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, NM.

Her memoir, Wear & Tear: The Threads of My Life, was published by Scribner in July of 2016. (Purchase the book here.) 

Tynan lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Jim McBride.