To celebrate the seventh collection of Mischa Barton Handbags we caught up with the fancy dresser to talk the art of accessories, her plans for a clothing collection and what really happened with Rachel Zoe…
She’s still only 25 but Mischa Barton has lived a lot since we met her as Marissa Cooper in The O.C. There’s been highs and lows but her this season it’s safe to say she’s on the up and so is her handbag line, which is now in its seventh season no less.
With experimental fashion flare, it’s her individual approach to dressing that keeps us hooked on her look so we grilled the girl on how she sees her style and where she’s taking it to next.
What’s your style at the moment?
Recently it’s changed. People have seen me grow up in the public eye and so my style has grown up too. I went through a heavy bohemian phase but I cleared my whole wardrobe about eight months ago, and got rid of everything that was even kind of hippyish or even slightly floaty and paisley. It’s all in storage; I would never get rid of my clothes, a) It may come back, I may want to wear it again and b) I might want to give it to my kids, or friends. Now I’ve gone back to my New York-ey roots and these days I’m wearing streamlined things in mostly black, white and beige with accessories, and gold accents.
Do you work with a stylist?
No. It was well known for a long time that I worked with Rachel Zoe, but I never really ‘employed’ Rachel. It was more that she was a friend at the time – years ago. That’s the only stylist I ever sort-of worked with, she helped me pull clothes for red carpet events but she never dressed me; I was never dressed by anyone on a daily basis. I’ve always bought my own clothes and done my own thing when it comes to fashion, I do all my own wardrobe and I enjoy it! My thing with fashion is I genuinely love it, I love clothing and I love the way it makes you feel and I love design.
Do you follow any rules?
I’m tall so I don’t wear a lot of heels and I have huge respect for tailoring and getting your clothes altered so they fit right.
Click “more” or visit Cosmopolitan UK for the rest of the interview.
Do you have a favourite red carpet dress that you have worn?
There are ones that stand out that were really special, like the first Chanel dress I wore down the red carpet for the O.C. and a Viktor and Rolf gown that I wore to a charity event once that was very red carpet. It was special to me because I was a big Viktor and Rolf fan. And a Chloe dress that I still have in my closet that I wore to the Cartier event here in London a few years back.
Are there any dresses you look back on and wish you hadn’t worn?
There’s some stuff that I’m like ‘urgh, what was I thinking?’ but not that much. For the most part I don’t mind taking risks, and I actually like what I’ve worn but I went through a lot of phases – and all of them were in the public eye! I went through every phase you could go through: punk, hip-hop, all of it.
Do you feel that there’s a lot of pressure being in the public eye, to look perfect all the time?
Definitely…it’s a strange thing being photographed all the time. I really go out of my way to avoid being in places now where I know I’m going to be photographed. If I know I’m going to be photographed I’ll just try to dress for it; I’ll put on something that I wouldn’t mind being photographed in.
What British shops do you love?
I love shopping in London, I love Liberty’s, vintage like Beyond Retro and I love to go to Westwood here. I love things like ASOS and Topshop because you can buy so much. They’re so inexpensive and you can really play with clothes. I mostly use it for accessories and for accent pieces like for staple stuff, and random things like sunglasses, socks, scarves.
It’s just not the same in America… the high street thing doesn’t really work there. British girls have a really great way of mixing and matching things, and being more daring. They don’t mind wearing red lipstick on a daily basis, and wearing bright-coloured tights. You don’t see that in America as much, people play it safe in general, especially in LA. I do kind of adjust my style for where I am. I love to dress more edgy when I’m in London too.
We like your new handbag collection!
Oh thanks, I’m so proud of it. The whole thing with the line is to keep it inexpensive but have it look expensive, and have girls feel like they can afford something that looks like a Marc Jacobs bag and feels also functional. I love good zips, pockets, and closures. And all the things like that are what matters the most. I’m just really, really proud of it.
Are you completely involved in the design process?
Completely; I love doing it and we are expanding. It’s my passion and that’s why I went for something super manageable too – I do have the time and energy to do it.
Where do you find you get your inspiration from?
All kinds of places. Vintage bags that I like and take photos of. I put together little scrapbooks and look books.
Do you use the bags on a daily basis yourself?
Yeah, totally – it’s the biggest perk of having a handbag line being able to wear them! And my friends love them, and they’re always requesting them. Handbags are really fun! It’s not as daunting as clothes, and while I do think I’ll do a capsule collection, that’s a totally different animal. Accessories are a good place to start to in design.
We’ll watch this space!
Check out the new collection at mischabartonhandbags.com and on Twitter @MischaBartonBag