Chloë Sevigny Has Guest Edited The Latest Oxfam Collection at Selfridges

Bay Garnett's pop-up just got even better.

Chloë Sevigny

by Hannah Banks-Walker |

In the gilded halls of Selfridges, behind the whimsical window displays, likes the seemingly impenetrable world of designer fashion. Except this December, the space so synonymous with luxury is set to look a little different once more. For there, nestled among the world’s most expensive brands, will be Oxfam.

Of course, this is no ordinary Oxfam shop. Not with Bay Garnett at the helm. A former Vogue editor, Garnett has built a career around her love of second-hand clothing – a passion she’s had since her formative years. In 2021, it finally seems that the rest of the world is catching up.

For its latest incarnation - Garnett's pop-up first arrived in the department store in September 2020 - the stylist has enlisted four seriously stylish women to cherry pick pieces from Oxfam. First up? Garnett's long-time friend and fellow thrifter, Chloë Sevigny, whose edit includes pieces that you can actually imagine her wearing like wide-leg denim dungarees, blue button-down shirts, tartan skirts, grey blazers, Adidas tracksuit bottoms (her off-duty uniform) and sweater vests. 'As a life-long thrifter, I’m supporting Oxfam with this rail of amazing pieces. The money it raises will be used by Oxfam to help fight the climate emergency and create a fairer future for people, particularly women, who need to know we’re on their side,' she says.

A checked blazer chosen by Chloë Sevigny
©Oxfam x Bay Garnett

As well as Sevigny, Mica Paris, Neneh Cherry and Georgia May Jagger have curated their own rails, with second-hand gems such as a vintage 1987 Bon Jovi T-shirt (chosen, of course, by Jagger), a vintage minidress from Simon Ellis (Paris' pick) and a 2005 varsity jacket by DeLONG (selected by Cherry). So if you're scratching your head over a loved-one's present this Christmas, why not give second-hand gifting a whirl, starting with the pop-up? Not only will you be extending the life cycle of each garment you buy, but you'll be contributing to the work of Oxfam, which raises approximately £29m each year from selling clothing in its shops. (The profit raised is enough to provide clean water for more than two million people during a drought.)

A striped jumper chosen by Chloë Sevigny
©Oxfam x Bay Garnett

Buying second-hand is also a brilliant way to make more mindful wardrobe choices. According to a report published by US-based resale site Thredup, the second- hand market is expected to grow fivefold over the next five years – with a projected value of $64bn by 2024 – while traditional retail is projected to shrink. This has been amplified by the pandemic – Oxfam itself has seen huge growth in its online shop. When it launched its annual summer sale last year in the midst of Covid-19, the charity said it had its best sales day ever. Now, Garnett’s pop-up shop is poised to capitalise on the growing appetite for a more sustainable approach to shopping.

A tartan skirt chosen by Chloë Sevigny
©Oxfam x Bay Garnett

‘I’ve always had a dream in a way,’ she says. ‘About 20 years ago, I worked on this magazine, Cheap Date, where I produced fake campaigns to highlight thrift store clothes [versus designer]. So, Yves Saint Laurent became Salvation Army, Calvin Klein became Cancer Caring and Burberry became Borrowed. I wanted to put second-hand clothes in a glossy environment, so in a way this shop feels like coming full circle.’

These campaigns caught the attention of Vogue’s then editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman, who asked Garnett to join the team as a contributing editor. ‘I’d never even done a proper fashion shoot before,’ she laughs. ‘I ended up working with my old friend Anita Pallenberg and we used thrift store clothes on Kate Moss. I put her in this banana-print top I bought for about five or ten dollars and when Phoebe Philo [then creative director of Chloé] saw the shoot, she rang and asked to borrow the top.’

An editorial from Cheap Date
©Cheap Date

Considering Philo’s reputation as an influential tastemaker, this was high praise indeed. Now, Garnett has harnessed her superpower – her eye for discovering great second-hand pieces – and brought it to her pop-up shop, which does, naturally, look incredibly elevated.

‘I didn’t want it to look like a run-down thrift shop. These clothes could be in any Oxfam shop around the country for the same price. The ideology remains the same, I’m just playing with the surface of things.’

All the stock comes from Oxfam’s stores, its e-commerce site and from Waysaver, the recycling plant in Yorkshire to which the charity sends all unsold merchandise, which is then sorted to find different ways to sell it. 'We’re thrilled to be collaborating with such amazing fashion icons. It really showcases the remarkable finds that can be discovered in your local Oxfam shop,' says Lorna Fallon, Oxfam's retail director.

Garnett still hasn't lost her love of thrifting. ‘I just love that thrill of the chase. Buying second-hand clothes and thrifting was, in many ways, a kind of rebellion for me. I didn’t want to be told what was in fashion. Why would you want to wear a trend that everyone else is wearing? I would go every day on my lunch break, all over New York at the weekend. I even went out with Chloë Sevigny’s brother for a long time because he promised me that, if I went on a date with him, he would show me all of her favourite thrift shops. And he did!’

Bay Garnett's Tips For Being A Nifty Thrifter:

When shopping second-hand, go knowing what you want to find. You may not find that item, but having purpose will help you track down something good.

Avoid anything with stains. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to remove them.

In terms of sizing, vintage can be tricky. While the ’70s can be small, the ’80s and ’90s has many oversized pieces. Find the decade you love and be open to mixing it with others.

Remember, if you really love something you can get it altered to fit perfectly.

It can be hard to find great vintage shoes and boots in bigger sizes. Look at the men’s section as you can often source great trainers and brogues that will fit.

Gallery

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