‘I took that picture of Chloë [Sevigny] in 10 minutes,’ recalls Bay Garnett. ‘She was in New York for literally half an hour – God, love her – so we did it in 10 minutes. And that’s what I like doing. Bam, bam – what you see is what you get.’ The picture in question is the cover of Fanpages, Garnett’s hard-back compilation of one-page fanzines contributed by fashion designers, artists and models. ‘And you can see on the cover,’ she continues, gesturing towards a copy, published by Idea earlier this year. ‘She’s literally just got out of bed. When I went to the apartment, she was in her dressing gown. So I do really like that “homegrown” feel. Who’s in the next issue? I can’t remember now, but I’ve got some good ones.’
Garnett has no trouble when it comes to enlisting ‘good ones’; the London-based stylist counts Stella Tennant, Charlotte Tilbury and Sophie Dahl among her close friends. After co-founding anti-fashion magazine Cheap Date in the 1990s, Garnett officially broke into the fashion industry in 2003 with her first shoot for British Vogue – Kate Moss, shot by Juergen Teller, in vintage clothes sourced by Garnett and Anita Pallenberg. Considered a representation of true British style, Garnett’s sense of individuality marked a seminal shift in the industry, and has been pivotal in shaping her career and unique personal style.
Today she’s an industry stalwart, flitting between styling, consulting, motherhood and now, editing the next edition of Fanpages. It’s a dynamic lifestyle that suits her evolving taste. Easily bored, Garnett jumps from topic to topic, each one more interesting than the last. She’s always in chase of the new. ‘For me it [styling] is only good when it’s done first – before it all comes into fashion. That’s what I’m interested in, that’s what I find challenging. Not challenging exactly, but exciting,’ she muses.
One mainstay, however, is Garnett’s long-term love of leopard print, found in various guises in the north-west London home she shares with her partner, fashion photographer Tom Craig. ‘I just love the print. I did go off it and then I really went off it because it just became everywhere, you know, commonplace, in a way that perhaps it wasn’t before,’ says Garnett. ‘Everyone sort of fell for it. Anita Pallenberg, who I used to spend quite a lot of time with, was really into it. She had these brilliant old Vivienne Westwood cushions from the late 1970s. She had a good thing with leopard that I found quite inspiring; she definitely enhanced my love of leopards. I like it for what it represents when it’s not neutralised, for when it’s this wild cat. You know the way the New York Dolls used to do it – the original Johnny Thunders in leopard. Do you know what I mean? When it was rebellious.’ The Style Report learns more.