With winter finally settled in, we can’t help but dream of sunnier sojourns and laidback holidays. Fuelling the fire is British cruise line Cunard, which is celebrating 100 years of the introduction of the cruise collection to fashion with an archival, pre-loved capsule with second-hand fashion pioneer Bay Garnett and pre-loved styling service Circle of Style – showcasing the evolution of cruise attire over the decades. Ahead of the collection’s unveiling, we sat down with Bay to find out how the collection was curated and how we can try out Circle of Style’s exclusive cruise styling service.
Bay Garnett On Her Pre-Loved Capsule Collection With Cunard
Hi Bay, how’s life going right now?
Life is good! I am working and doing what I love, so feeling grateful. Gotta keep moving. I like being busy so that is always the aim of the game.
We hear you’ve been working on a very exciting project – can you tell us a bit about your collaboration with Cunard?
As soon as the idea of working with Cunard was presented to me I just loved it. It was so fun going through Cunard’s photographic archive and discovering its key fashion moments over the last 10 decades. There are so many different characters on a cruise ship and it’s fabulous that these moments in time are captured through all of the beautiful, interesting and telling outfits and pieces that are being worn. I loved it. A few of them have really stayed in my head. Like the girl from the 1920s, looking so modern and Coco Chanel-like, and then the one from the 1960 which was so modern and sexy. A new dawn in women just looking so cool!
What drew you to working with Cunard?
The collab came about through an intro from a friend – and the idea formed very quickly – I loved the idea of delving into their archives, and bringing some of the key looks and clothes into today’s world.
Can you talk us through some of the inspirations for the pre-loved cruise collection?
Each decade had its own style inspiration. For the 1910s it was the idea of a classic timeless coat. I always loved the image of the Hollywood movie star, so that was the theme of the 1940s (this era is also one of my favourite style references). For the 1960s I was inspired by French New Wave cinema, and then it was Catherine Deneuve and Bardot and for the 1970s – I had so many movie references in my head for that decade, I love love love the clothes in the movies from the 1970s. When it came to the 1990s I wanted to go into sportswear – this was the decade this style became really popular – it was the ultimate fashion statement.
What was the curation process for the collection like?
I loved it! It’s what I do; being inspired and referencing the past, but also very much wanting to create looks that you would wear today. I almost always like second hand and vintage to look contemporary. Even if it has a vintage tilt, it should look and feel modern. I worked with Cunard’s partner, Circle of Style, who are experts in sourcing high-end pre-loved clothing, to curate and source all the items for the shoot – and also added some of my own timeless vintage finds. It was incredible to see it all come together in the shoot. The looks were exquisite and a true modern representation of each decade’s cruising look.
Circle of Style is also opening up the experience to the public – how will that work?
Circle of Style will give 100 fashion lovers an exclusive chance to create their own one-of-a-kind pre-loved cruise wardrobe ahead of their next voyage. The lucky 100 who get access to the service will be paired with an expert at Circle of Style, who will curate for them their very own capsule cruise wardrobe, inspired by the collection I created, that they can wear on their next cruise. Style coming full circle, literally.
What do you love most about cruise couture?
I think I love seeing the effort and care that goes into the clothes and style adorned by many on board – both in the past and now. It was fascinating looking through Cunard’s photographic archive because there was a great sense of the occasion travelling on these ships across the decades. Being on the ship was such a treat and therefore wearing your best clothes was the right and fun thing to do.
Cruise couture has been around for a long time, but seems to be more popular than ever these days. Why do you think that is?
I think people love the idea of dressing up and making that extra special effort, of marking the occasion and taking it out of the everyday. And what better way to do that than in the way that you dress and present yourself. Cruising with the likes of Cunard is a luxurious experience so why not reflect that in your clothing?
Do you think cruise has changed much over the years?
I think it seems to have become more accessible which is a good thing. I like that it is something most people can do but it still has that old-time feel of opulence.
And where do you see cruise going in the future?
I think people will always love the sense of adventure that a cruise has to offer – being on the water, moving and seeing new destinations, immersing themselves in new cultures, trying new things and having new adventures along the way – it’s about the journey.
When it comes to packing for a holiday, it can be very tempting to shop an entirely new wardrobe. Do you have any tips for sustainable holiday styling (and how to make the most of what you already have)?
Before you start buying new pieces, go back into your wardrobe and really have a look at what you already have. I’m sure you’ll rediscover so many great pieces and it will make you realise that you don’t need to order new stuff. And if you do need new things, try purchasing second-hand – you can find incredible items that are half the price and mean you’re shopping more sustainably.
What’s your dream holiday?
My dream holiday is an adventure holiday with my family, where I’m also seeing and absorbing a new and wonderful place or places. Last year we went to Botswana and that was incredible. I also love being by the sea in the sun! Going for a dip and then lying in the warmth with a great book. Hard to beat.
Any parting words for our readers?
I love being inspired by old pictures. It is such a rich and original way to take elements and ideas from the past and make them yours and that’s exactly what I’ve done with Cunard, mixing the old with the new. For example a 1930s bias cut satin dress – as timeless now as it was then – mixed up with modern pair of flat gorgeous shoes. It’s all about adding and editing in your own ideas, and it should be fun.
Try It Out
You can see the collection Bay created with Cunard online now – and while you’re there, you can apply for a chance to be one of the 100 people to access the exclusive cruise styling service from Circle of Style. cunard.com
Images courtesy of Bay Garnett & Cunard