By Alice Meets Bay Garnett

This month we were lucky enough to speak to stylist and editor Bay Garnett. Known as the queen of thrifting and a champion of buying second hand, she discusses where she finds her inspiration and her upcoming Oxfam pop up at Selfridges...

Name: Bay Garnett

Job Title/Profession: Stylist & Editor 

Why is it so important that we re-love and re-use pieces? 

I think it’s important now, more than ever that we try to use and buy second hand. Almost everything we need already exists. And the hunt is so much fun too! 

What's your favourite pre loved item in your home?

A lot of my furniture and mirrors are old and I love them all. I always like old pieces to look chic and contemporary in their own way. “Retro” and “shabby chic” is not my thing at all! I have a beautiful mirror above my fireplace that my mother gave me, which I love. My favourite piece of clothing though (for its memories) would be the banana print top I found in a charity shop in NY, and I used it on my first shoot for Vogue on Kate Moss. 

Not only are pre loved pieces better for the environment, I also find them incredibly romantic, have you got any pieces that have a lovely story that go along with them?

Lots! My favourite cushion is a needlepoint of a tigers‘ face with tons of foliage framing it. I love it so much. It really is beautiful. I found it in a thrift store on the upper east side in New York. My mum is super generous and has an incredible eye; one of the things I really love, that I mentioned previously, is the beautiful mirror that hangs above my fireplace, everyone comments on it when they come round. Nearly everything I own has a story - I’m sure everyone feels like that about their stuff. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to make a second hand purchase?

Look for something that you actually want, It’s always way better to have a mission and sense of purpose. And it often makes it more fun too. You might find something entirely different, but it is good to have clarity and direction. 

If you do buy new, what is it that you look for that makes a piece have longevity?

It has to be something I really love. And it’s usually expensive, because it is well made and has great quality fabrics/materials. If I buy new - it’s because I really love it and I think it’s beautiful. Or I need!

How would you persuade someone to choose secondhand over new? 

It's way more fun and way better for the environment. No brainer. 

Do you have a favourite era in furniture design, does it match your favourite era in fashion? 

Like everyone, I love mid century! And if I’m being grand I love the interiors of Jaques Granges...and I love the richness of how Saint Laurent did his house in Paris. Really, I’m into mixing. What I’m not into are things looking ‘retro’ I love chic and contemporary - my version of that. 

Who do you look to for inspiration? 

It sounds like a cliche, but everywhere really. Everywhere from old knitting books to 70s style books to street style. I love seeing how people put things together. All the pictures I absorb; from the obvious to perhaps the more obscure. And always always Debbie Harry! 

What’s your favourite by Alice product/ piece you have seen on the website? 

I adore the Handblown Italian Glasses. I love the colours and the texture of the glass. I always want to drink out of them, not my other plain glasses. 

Do you have any trend tips for Summer? Patterns, colours, shapes? 

I’m feeling; flashes of neon/ always Birkenstocks/ Mens shirts with sharp collars/ lashings of mascara. 

What are you currently working on?

My podcast! This Old Thing? About clothes, style & memories. Nearly at the end of season 2 - sponsored by eBay - which is a dream partnership for me. And I’m doing a pop up Oxfam at Selfridges again this year to coincide with the Second Hand September campaign. The pop up shop is something I feel very passionate about.