Edie Campbell: The Reinvention Of A London It Girl

It’s not very cool to be a model any more,’ Edie Campbell is musing, looking more like a model than anyone I have ever met, bar Stella Tennant, with whom she shares the same insouciant brand of androgyny. ‘When you’re 17 at school it’s a bit, like, “cringe”. Like, “she thinks she can be a model”.’

‘No, that’s so not true,’ argues Christabel MacGreevy, a beauty in the pre-Raphaelite mould. ‘You were just the most self-conscious teenager.’

‘Oh, come on. It is a bit cringe.’

‘That’s so St Paul’s!’ says Christabel, referring to the prestigious private school that Campbell attended. ‘Cringe — she’s a model’.
========= ADVERTISEMENT =========

========= ADVERTISEMENT =========

Read more

Spending time with these two born-and-bred west London beauties makes me pine for The Flatshare Years (and a facelift). While the 25-year-old model and the 25-year-old fine artist aren’t housemates, they may as well be. ‘Not a day goes by where we don’t have at least three phone calls,’ says Edie, the (slightly) less serious of the two. 

They first met at primary school aged five, but became good friends at 17. Since then, they’ve been inseparable. Vogue covergirl and Chanel favourite Edie has modelled since being discovered by Mario Testino, aged 15, — her grandmother, Joan Hicks, was a model, sister Olympia is a model and her mother, Sophie, is a former fashion editor and stylist for Azzedine Alaia, the couturier. 

ediecampbell2.jpgItchy Scratchy Patchy T-shirt, £65; trousers, £180. Go Outdoors belt laces, £2.69 (gooutdoors.co.uk). (Felix Cooper)

This vocation wasn’t so much chosen as ordained. Combine Edie’s fashion lineage with Christabel’s keen eye (she studied fine art at Central Saint Martins before discovering a love of textiles), and hey presto, you have a… business selling patches? Well, yes. But these aren’t any old patches. These are Itchy Scratchy patches. 

If Itchy Scratchy Patchy is improbably named, it is no less improbable than the venture itself, which came about ‘quite accidentally, to be honest,’ says Christabel. ‘We just thought it would be funny to make some patches.’ They launched their kitsch, humorous and oh-so-British venture last September, secured Dover Street Market as an exclusive stockist (as you do) and garnered a celebrity fan base (Gigi Hadid, Poppy Delevingne, Courtney Love) that most start-ups can only dream of. 

ediecampbell3.jpgEdie wears: Itchy Scratchy Patchy marigold T-shirt, £65. Underwear, Edie’s own. Christabel wears: Itchy Scratchy Patchy mushroom trousers, £250. Sunspel T-shirt, £60 (sunspel.com) (Felix Cooper)

They don’t have any investors. ‘We each put a small chunk of money into it, so if suddenly we decide we can’t be bothered to do it any more, it doesn’t matter — it’s quite free in that sense,’ says Edie. 

Sure, you could do a giant eye-roll and go ‘Yeah, that’s what happens when one of you is a top model and you both have strings of famous friends’. But there is more to this nascent business than good fortune: it’s a good idea, too. It’s also a timely one, launching at a point when many believe fashion has become too po-faced for its own good. 

ediecampbell4.jpgItchy Scratchy Patchy patched jacket, £250. Araks bralet, £63; pants, £42 (araks.com) (Felix Cooper)

‘I was a bit bored by what I was seeing in fashion,’ says Edie. ‘Everything was made to look really good on Instagram, or else it was quite “normcore” and two-dimensional and beige. We had this long conversation about how, when we were 16, we used to buy hideous clothes off eBay and chop them up and make even uglier things — this real process of getting an outfit together, that had been lost. Plus a lot of our friends were becoming quite tasteful and chic, which was horrifying.’

It’s that teenage thing of when you go shopping, you want to find things that either define your identity or are rebellious in some way,’ says Christabel. ‘Then as you get older, you stop caring about having an identity through your clothes. It’s nice to hark back to that. Patches are a way of wanting to be a part of something. They’re also really cheap and easy decoration. It’s immediate — just adding something to what you’re already wearing.’

Edie continues: ‘They’re idealistic in the sense that you’re marking yourself out. It’s that thing of signing up, wanting to say something through the way you dress, and wanting to have clothes that have memories. Fashion had become quite humourless, very international, very LA. Everything had to be understood by everyone. Everything had to be “working-woman’s wardrobe”. Bleurgh! I don’t want to wear a working-woman’s wardrobe.’

ediecampbell5.jpgBase Range bralet, £34.50 (baserange.net). Deichmann belt laces, £2.99, (deichmann.com). Itchy Patchy Scratchy patched jeans, £225.Ambush necklace, £311, at hbx.com. Dr Martens vintage boots, £36, at beyondretro.co.uk. Christabel wears: top; vintage Levi’s jeans; shoes, all Christabel’s own (Felix Cooper)

Christabel adds: ‘Also, what is a working-woman’s wardrobe?’ They dissolve into giggles. They giggle a lot. When I ask them their favourite places to go in London, they giggle again. 

‘I don’t know,’ says Christabel. ‘I don’t want to sign up to any particular loyalties. Do you know what I mean? 

I don’t want to be “I only hang out in Peckham’’.’ 

> Read more

My London: Edie Campbell

‘Yeah. “I only go to Shoreditch House”,’ deadpans Edie. ‘We go all over London. We’ve got loads of friends all over.’

‘My studio’s in Camberwell,’ says Christabel, ‘and I love it down there and try to spend as much time as I can there,’ though they both live in west London. Where would we never find you? More giggles. ‘Boujis!’ Edie says.

‘Is it still open?’ asks Christabel. 

‘Mahiki!’ shouts Edie. The two women are now in fits.

‘Those are places from when we were, like, 17,’ says Christabel. 

‘Where would you never be seen dead now?’ Edie asks her. ‘Fulham or Clapham. What happens in Clapham?’ asks Christabel. 

As for Itchy Scratchy Patchy, while its name might be as funny as its owners, it belies the seriousness with which they work on the business, whose success they describe as ‘a runaway train’. They talk with excitement about their 6am trips to the fabric recycling bank in Canning Town, and sifting through two enormous warehouses stuffed with mountains of donated and surplus clothes due to be shipped all over the world (anyone interested in working with reclaimed fabric can purchase things there). 

‘When everything’s either Céline or the Zara homage to Céline, it’s given us a sense of where clothes come from, rather than being divorced from the process,’ says Edie. ‘This is what we want to impart — this feeling that the thing you’ve made has a story. They’re lived-in things, clothes with memories and history and a story behind them. That’s when you become really attached to clothes. We want to give control back to the consumer — buy a patch, wear anything how you want. We’re not trying to push fashion forward. We’re just customising clothes, not making them.’ Their latest ventures include a collaboration with Sunspel (‘we’ve pulled out all the archive T-shirts from their factory — it’s clothes rather than fashion,’ says Christabel), and another with Levi’s.

ediecampbell6.jpgItchy Scratchy Patchy patched jeans, £225. (Felix Cooper)

‘Everything’s Eighties and Nineties denim; all handmade and different,’ says Edie. ‘You’ll be the only person wearing that pair of jeans — once they’re gone, they’re gone.’

I ask what they wear when they’re not wearing patches. ‘I only want to wear Charles Jeffrey,’ says Edie. ‘Oh, and Hillier Bartley.’ 

‘Oh god! Hillier Bartley,’ swoons Christabel. ‘And Grace Wales Bonner.’

‘I’d wear that if I was thin enough,’ says Edie. ‘A tiny white suit.’ 

‘Those boys who wear it are literally noodles,’ agrees Christabel. ‘Yeah, if I was a man-noodle, I’d wear Grace Wales Bonner.’

‘Those men who are literally like streaks of piss,’ says Christabel.’

‘Not manorexics,’ says Edie. ‘More like a Jacometti.’

Talking of men, I say, I haven’t asked you the dating question. ‘No comment from me,’ says Christabel, then looks faintly alarmed. ‘Oh, what, do you think me and Edie are going out? Hahahahaha!’ 

No, I really don’t, I assure her.

‘We’re in a non-sexual platonic marriage,’ says Christabel. ‘We’re dating each other. A beautiful marriage,’ says Edie. ‘No, she’s got an adorable new boyfriend. And no, I do not have an adorable new boyfriend,’ she adds (she split from model Otis Ferry last summer). 

I ask them what they like about each other, in a platonic way. ‘I find you hilarious,’ says Christabel to Edie. ‘Really observant and en pointe. And also a nice little sting in the tail.’

‘I think we communicate really well,’ says Edie. ‘Which is how we’ve managed to work together every single day for the past year.’

‘We do a lot of therapy chat, and analysis of life,’ says Christabel. ‘We analyse everything. People… we’ll do a full breakdown of you when you leave.’ And we all laugh — some of us more nervously than others. 

Itchy Scratchy Patchy launches at Dover Street Market on 9 July .(doverstreetmarket.com)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @EsMagOfficial

Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/edie-campbell-the-reinvention-of-a-london-it-girl-a3283111.html

Edie Campbell: the reinvention of a London It girl
Model Eliza Cummings teases a hint of cleavage in a peekaboo dress while Lady Mary Charteris goes braless under sheer top at star-studded fashion bash
Katy Perry and Lena Dunham Had A Girls' Night in Los Angeles
Fragrance hat trick
The 21st Century Girl: Edie Campbell
Edie and Olympia Campbell: Sister Act
Edie Campbell: In the Arena
Edie Campbell: First-class British model
This New Year’s Eve, Unleash Your Inner Supermodel
The Next Brit Thing