Katharine Hamnett

Rebel stylist: Caroline Baker – the woman who invented street fashion

Rebel Stylist - Caroline Baker for Vogue - photography Harri Peccinotti

If you’re struggling for killer fashion gift ideas, allow me to make a recommendation.

I’ve just received my copy of Rebel Stylist*, a fantastic delve into the story of fashion styling straight from the lips (and visual archive) of the lady who invented it all, Caroline Baker. Caroline is a legend in the industry. She has worked for everyone, from Nova magazine to The Face, Vogue and i-D, as well as with iconic designers and brands including Benetton (the Toscani ads), Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood. Not to mention photographers – Helmut Newton, Hari Peccinotti, Sarah Moon, Guy Bourdin, Saul Leiter. Every mainstream trend you can think of – layering, military surplus, power dressing, underwear-as-outerwear – she was there first, trailblazing well before most of us were in nappies.

I was extremely lucky to get to work as Caroline’s assistant in the 90s. She gave me my first job, which couldn’t have been a better introduction to the world of fashion shoots, photography and magazines. Every creative meeting with Caroline was like a magical mystery tour inside her brain. Full of enthusiasm and surprises in the best possible way.

Iain R. Webb has done an outstanding job putting together the Caroline Baker story in an incredibly rich, historically fascinating, 272-page package. The images alone would make this book worthwhile, but Caroline’s contextual commentary is what gives it real power.

You can buy Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker – The Woman Who Invented Street Fashion in most bookshops or online*.

Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker - The Woman Who Invented Street Fashion

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Harri Peccinotti/Vogue; Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker – The Woman Who Invented Street Fashion
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Quote of the day: Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett
“I thought, what are the punchiest graphics? I was passing a newsstand, saw a billboard for The Sun, and thought: that’s it! There was no Snappy Snaps or anything where you could get T-shirts done. So I did the lettering, got it exposed on to linen graphics paper, and stitched it onto a silk T-shirt.”

Fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, Vogue, talking about her famous political moment, when she wore her emblematic ‘58% don’t want Pershing’ T-shirt to Number 10 in 1984. (more…)


Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…


Way ahead of the see-now-buy-now curve, Moschino has a knack of knowing which elements of its buzzworthy collections to release first. Landing today, its #Itslit AW16 capsule collection of cigarette-themed pieces hits the shop floor just four days after first being seen on the runway. I can’t lie, I think this ciggie-box shaped shoulder bag is utterly fabulous… (Buy it at Luisaviaroma and Selfridges or click the images above to shop.) (more…)