“I KNOW straight away when I’ve found a great vintage piece,” Bay Garnett told Vogue of honing her market shopping skills. “It’s an unmistakable feeling. You have to feel that certain excitement in order to buy something. At least I do – it’s taken 20 years!”
West London’s Portobello and Golborne Road markets are vintage trawling spots that Garnett holds dear, and the latter has inspired a capsule collection for Mih Jeans.
“Memories of hanging out with Iris Palmer, Kira Jolliffe and Anita Pallenberg in the early Nineties” influenced the eight-piece edit. “We had so much fun hunting down great cheap stuff together. Iris would wear pink toweling tracksuit bottoms with a red swimsuit and high heels, or a pair of orange cords and a navy polo neck. Anita, who had the most diverse style and open eye of anyone I’d ever met, would wear Levis 501s with a cashmere top, Chanel pumps, the best old belt and huge over-the-top earrings. We’d go from mixed-up eclecticism to pared-down Seventies cool.”
Of the designs, which include a pair of jeans inspired by the failsafe flares she has styled in numerous Vogue shoots and on Chloë Sevigny, the Anita top is her favourite. “It’s based on a brilliantly simple moss-green Cambridge top that Pallenberg once borrowed from Keith Richards, and that I then borrowed from her. It’s quietly very rock ‘n’ roll.” An oriental-inspired black top with a drawstring waist and button neck comes at a close second. “It has a brilliant fusion of Seventies pinched shoulders and a dash of Victoriana. I think Carley Simon and Stevie Nicks would have loved it.”
Apart from “that” feeling, how does Garnett know when a piece, such as the pink butterfly dress found on Golborne Road, styled on Grace Hertzol in Vogue and now reimagined for Mih, has longevity and is worth the money?
“Always go market shopping with an idea of with what you’re looking for,” the stylist explained. “I think it’s good to have focus; a bit of a mission. You might not find it, but it’s good to have a starting point.”
Next, “go around the whole market first before you buy. It gives you time to know if you really love an item, and you might find something you love more.” Time is the final key to Garnett’s shopping success: “You need to really look and feel the clothes, so go when you have nothing else on.”
You’ll find her on Golborne Road on Friday mornings – “there’s such an genuine vibe that still exists there, especially during those early hours” – but if Ladbroke Grove’s not convenient for you, her Mih Jeans collection is just as authentic and full of stories.
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