We have stylist Bay Garnett to thank for making vintage one of the most beloved trends in fashion. More than 20 years ago, the buried treasure she found in the thrift stores of New York’s Upper East Side made its way onto the pages of Vogue, turning shopping for second-hand clothes into an art form.
She also has New York to thank for another great love in her life – Sophie Dahl. The two girls got to know each other in the 90s, after Bay founded Cheap Date – her cult, thrift-inspired magazine – and Sophie was super-modelling. ‘The first time we met, we went shopping together and Sophie bought a Russian Cossack hat downtown,’ Bay remembers. Her first impression of Sophie was someone ‘bursting with life, funny and kind. She was self-deprecating and just so warm.’ They got on like a house on fire, adds Bay. ‘Sophie used to come and stay with me and we’d share a bed. I’d be in a scuzzy T-shirt and she’d obviously be in a perfect long white Victoriana nightie.’
They are now two decades into a friendship that has extended into each other’s families. ‘Sophie knew my father, I know her mother. We have a real understanding and devotion because we know each other very well – there’s a lot of history and a lot of love,’ says Bay. This is one of the reasons they have collaborated professionally with huge success. ‘Sophie was on the cover of Cheap Date and has written for it, and we did a Debbie Harry cover story for Vogue. It’s been a real adventure.’
Bay’s favourite fragrance is Red Roses, ‘which reminds me of sitting under a pergola in June. My father was an amazing gardener – he even had a rose named after him – and I have a sister named Rose, so I’ll always have a soft spot for them.’
Sophie Dahl is a beautiful blend of literary and film star heritage. Novelist, contributing editor at Vogue and a mother of two, she is now the founder of a website called At the Kitchen Table, where she curates, creates and shares recipes, interviews, short stories and fashion features with the help of famous contributors – including her husband, musician Jamie Cullum.
Sophie believes that she and Bay actually met for the first time in London at the Met Bar (‘So 90s,’ she says), where they danced all night. ‘I thought Bay was fantastic – immediately the sort of person you fall in love with.’
They ended up seeking each other out in New York having both moved there. ‘Bay was living on Christopher Street in a ground floor apartment and I used to go and stay with her so we could lie next to each other in our nighties and chat. There was a window in her room, next to a creepy alley, that she used to make me sleep by. If anyone had been snatched in the night, it would have been me.’
Their time in New York saw them both through the wilderness of their 20s. There was plenty of dancing to hip-hop in the clubs of Lower Manhattan, too. ‘Those female friendships you have in your early 20s are so important and everlasting, because you go through so much together,’ Sophie explains. ‘We were English women at the start of our careers. And we were together on 9/11. We’ve got that real history.’
When Jamie and Bay’s partner – photographer Tom Craig – are away, our divine duo still go out on their girl dates, although the night usually ends, says Sophie, with her ‘chasing Bay around the room, trying to get her to go home.’
Sophie loves ‘clean and crisp’ Orange Blossom Cologne and Red Roses Bath Oil. ‘It reminds me of coming to London for work in my 20s. I used to get the Red Roses Bath Oil and I would use it so lavishly that it would only last for one trip.’
Unsurprisingly, Bay’s beloved Red Roses and Sophie’s favourite Orange Blossom combine beautifully to create a sparkly floral fragrance.