10 MINUTES WITH MISCHA BARTON
On heading down to Mischa Barton’s new boutique in Spitalfields market, East London we weren’t sure what to expect. Known for her individual sense of style and rebelling against convention, we were intrigued to discover what this Hollywood actress thought about fashion and her own personal style.
Tell us a little bit about the Mischa Barton Boutique?
As well as the clothes and accessories we’ve created a range of covers and cases for the iPhone 5 and Samsung. Initially I was asked to do a campaign, but it made more sense for me to design them. They’re great and they match all our bags too. I really want to create some designs for the iPad, so we’re going to be doing that too.
Where did you find inspiration for the collection?
I love that the whole collection has a vintage feel. It’s got a definite London vibe to it. Some of the pieces were based on a more Biba-esque style that my mother used to wear. The collection reflects my own style and comes from things that I’ve loved. It’s got a wearable feel to it. This is the beginning of the line there might be a certain vibe right now that will evolve over time – we’re finding out style. I’m already in love with the rose fabric skirt, it’s got a vintage feel to it, whereas some of the other pieces have a more fantastical vibe, but it depends on how you style it.
Is the collection based on things that you would buy and wear?
The military jackets, the structured jackets, the high-waisted skirts, the long fur vests are all things that I love to wear. The brand image, the girl character that I managed to draw is the face of the brand. She’s really cute and approachable and has a realistic body shape. She looks like a real girl, she’s not a Barbie doll. She’s got a wide face and big eyes and I really like that. A lot of brands I’ve liked over the years have had that more interesting idea behind them.
How would you describe your style?
Over the years my style has been quite eclectic. I mean, I’ve grown up mostly in the public eye and I’ve been through quite a few phases. But now I feel like I know what works for me in terms of my colour palette and what I like to wear. I’m always going for the blacks, golds, yellows, whites and mustards. I basically buy those key colours now and then I know from there what cuts I want. I just keep it simple.
Do you prefer to work with a stylist or dress yourself?
I’ve worked with stylists before. Rachel Bakewell I’ve worked with, she’s amazing. It depends, but I do dress myself. I’ve never had a stylist for every day, just like I don’t have hair and make-up for every day or anything like that.
Do you enjoy styling your own looks and dressing up?
I do enjoy dressing up. It’s all me and I choose all my clothes and accessories, for the most part, and even when I work with a stylist it’s all me.
Who are your fashion icons?
Well they’ve mostly come from the punk rock scene in New York. The likes of Kim Gordon, Anita Pallenberg and Hepburn to the 1950s. I like a classic look; the pin up girls, the pretty smoky eye. But my inspiration varies from time to time.
Who are your favourite designers?
I love Helmut Lang, I always have. Always Chanel, I’ve always loved Chanel. Prada, Miu Miu. I like everything from J Brand for jeans to Alexander Wang. I do wear smaller brands like Band of Outsiders and Clothespin. In fact I mostly buy smaller brands. Anna Sui was also one of my favourites over the years I would always go to her in New York.
If you could give PUSH IT readers one piece of style advice, what would it be?
Make your style your own. Be individual with it. I think people always look best in the clothes they feel comfortable in, and you know, you can take any dress and wear it 25 different ways. It’s just about how you feel that day and how you want to wear it. Have fun with it!
Finish a look off, polish it off, finish getting dressed; with tights, boots, accessories it’s good to finish off a look. Sometimes you wont have time but if you get good at it, it becomes natural. Accessories really change and outfit, you can suddenly look more put together and more glamorous. I should learn from myself half of the time, because I’m always running out the door half dressed. I prefer when I’ve got my coast and my sunglasses and everything I want with me.
What can’t you leave the house without? Would it be a disaster if you left your sunnies at home?
Nothing is ever a disaster, but I like to have my sunglasses and my iPhone, always my iPhone, my few bits of make-up, my lip balm.
If your house was on fire and you could only rescue one thing what would it be?
If the dogs were outside wagging their tails then I would rescue some of the Chanel.
What’s your favourite season?
Fall is my favourite season because I prefer being able to layer and dress up. Summer is fun, it’s cool, it’s easier but Fall is more entertaining fashion wise. I love tweed suits. The tweed Chanel suits kill me. The new suits that came in recently are just gorgeous. Miu Miu and Prada are also so good this season.
What’s your favourite decade?
I’ve always said the sixties and the seventies but it changes. If I were to just pick one right now it’s definitely the fifties.
What made you set up shop in Spitalfields, East London of all places?
I could’ve been on Oxford Street but you know what, it’s actually quite hard to get into Spitalfields. It’s got a great vibe to it. The Thursday morning markets are great. I think it’s got an almost East meets West vibe about it, which is strange for somewhere right in the middle of East London. It’s got so much character and it’s been here forever and there’s so much history.
I like walking through here, I even go out of my way to walk through Spitalfields. It’s just a part of London I’ve always been fascinated by and when we got the store here I was really happy. The shops are so cute and well-sized. I don’t need something massive and I don’t want be on the highstreet. Honestly, I didn’t want to be on Oxford Street. It was really a question of whether I wanted to be in the middle of the West End or over East.
Mischa Barton Boutique, 53 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA
- Ellen Stewart
- Mischa Barton being licked by PUSH IT’s Ferrell