Inicked this top off my cousin, Naima, when I was 18. She bought it at a flea market in New York, but it’s originally from Victoria’s Secret. I love the straps that cross at the back; it’s simple, but very chic.
I first wore it on Popworld [the Channel 4 music show Oliver co-presented from 2001 to 2006] with a very short skirt. We didn’t have any dressing guidelines – it was the early 00s, it was absolute chaos! We did have a stylist, but I didn’t enjoy working with them because I wanted to wear secondhand clothes.
When we were young, my mum [the chef Andi Oliver] and my Auntie Neneh Cherry, who is Naima’s mum, didn’t have a lot of money. Shopping for clothes in charity shops or from Portobello market is how we were brought up. It’s the way my Scottish and Caribbean grandmas used to shop, too. It runs deep in our family. I never thought of my clothes as being “vintage”.
Ten years ago, when I was 28, I got a job co-hosting Channel 4’s coverage of V festival with Nick Grimshaw. It was a bit of a comeback for me. I wore the top again, as the colour looks great on telly, this time with Levi’s shorts I had cut myself and a pair of hideous Nike Dunks. Those trainers were the last time I tried to dress in a “current” way. Today, the shorts fit me differently because, during lockdown, I started doing a lot of skipping.
I’m hugely sentimental about clothes. They are our own personal history. I love to rewear things I’ve had a brilliant time in – putting them back on evokes those feelings in a really visceral way all over again. It’s like time travel.
I like to think about the person who first wore this top in New York. How did it make them feel? It came to me with stories and, over the years, I’ve added my own. It’s survived about 10 house moves and reminds me of a time when I was so enamoured of the way Naima shopped and the clothes she would find. Subconsciously, it’s probably made me look after it really, really well.
Source : TheGuardian