Next up in our Pearly Queen interviews with women that inspire us, we spoke with the incredible TV and radio star, Miquita Oliver.
Here Miquita wears pieces from our core collection and chats to us about her love of secondhand, her approach to fashion, and her secrets for finding that charity shop gem.
“Q: You’re the queen of events. What are your top tips for looking and feeling good for event dressing? What’s your go to style for a special occasion?”
I find events quite stressful, actually, and have throughout my whole career. But in the last few years, I’ve just decided to really have fun with the way I dress. I find wearing secondhand clothes in a somewhat unexpected place quite fun, so I like to go to an event in an outfit that costs a tenner or a fiver. I think that looks cool as f*ck.
As for tips, I would say always wear a shoe you're comfortable in because you know how a stiletto can ruin a night out, especially when you're working and you're out all night. I love kitten heels anyway, but that's why I always wear them! I feel really comfortable… I can run around!
And for a special occasion I like to dress to a brief. So I really look at the specifics, for example…it's a wedding. It's my cousin. The location is here. The weather's looking like this. I look at everything and dress to the brief that I've created in my own head.
“Q: How would you describe your approach to fashion generally?"
I see clothes as an adventure. Every time I think about getting dressed, I think about the opportunity to feel something. Sometimes I like to feel like a teenager. Sometimes I like to feel like I've got my sh*t together. Sometimes I feel like I wanna be the girl with the best legs in London! I think, how do I wanna feel that day? And I love that there's this portal called a wardrobe that can take you to all these different places emotionally.
“Q: You frequently champion the wearing of secondhand shopping - and making it look cool! What is it about secondhand that you love?”
I think with secondhand you can use clothes to build the look you want. I love fashion; I love so many designers, I read a lot of fashion magazines, I follow what’s happening in fashion and I go to fashion shows. But when it comes to clothes, I like to feel like I can build what I want. And when you go high street shopping the experience is much more about being told – and I don't like being told what to do! I always feel restricted by it. For example, this is in and this is out. Or this is for boys, this is for girls. That's not how I approach clothes.
In secondhand shops, you have to be open to something finding you, rather than knowing what you’re looking for. I love the fact that I can have that experience every time. I really never know what I'm gonna get but these items become my treasured pieces.
I also really like separates. I've realised that being in the Caribbean. I like trousers and tops and skirts and jackets and that's a very Caribbean way of dressing. And I feel like I find those things in a very plain, simple way in secondhand shops and I build them into all these different looks.
“Q: Let us in on your secrets – what have been some of your best secondhand finds and where are your favourite places for picking up a gem?”
My favourite secondhand find? Honestly, probably my bomber jacket that I wear just absolutely everywhere, every day. It’s just perfect.
I also love my men's waistcoats, and pieces like my pink jeans. These things are great because they’re secondhand; I really love coloured trousers and I think that they just don't look the same on the high street. But if you find an old pair of pink jeans, they're just always really chic.
As for picking up gems, I love jumble sales, secondhand shops and charity shops, although there are particular ones that have better stock these days. A lot of them have too much fast fashion and that doesn't excite me. I like to find weird brands that I have never heard of. I like things that bring stories to me and that takes a particular kind of stock. I always find pieces like that in jumble sales. There's so much good stuff there.
There's also one jumble sale-esque charity shop just off Stoke Newington High Street next to the health food shop, which is incredible. I found my Paul Smith jeans there and lots of white and cream things that look like they're Celine and Chanel. So that would be my secret place...
“Q: You’re really close to your Mum, chef and broadcaster Andi Oliver. What pearls of wisdom have you learnt from her?”
Don't give up. Be good to people. Do right by yourself and dream big. And we do all of the above every single day with everything that we both do. I'm very proud of us at the moment; of what we've achieved together as a team, as a mother and daughter, and as friends.
“Q: For our shoot you modelled some pieces from our Core collection, which have been designed to be elevated everyday staples that make up your forever wardrobe. What are the staple pieces that you always come back to in your wardrobe?”
Levi 501s, currently being held hostage by my assistant! A straight leather jacket. No embellishments. Very clean. Very 90s Calvin Klein. A great sharp a-line mini skirt in a good colour. A pair of black loafers - I don’t know what I'd actually do without them! A pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, just one pair. They will take you anywhere. And I would say striped t-shirt, I love a striped t-shirt. That’s basically my wardrobe!
“Q: What are your favourite pieces from the MOP collection?”
I love the Parker white shirt. I love how big it is and the beautiful embellishment on the cufflink. That’s gorgeous. I feel like that would definitely be a “got my sh*t together” look. I also love the Gemma black dress; I feel like that dress takes me to that place of who I might be when I'm sophisticated and older. And I love the black Brodie trousers with the slit up the side (a new take on the Grace trouser coming soon!). I wore them to interview my mum at the South Bank.
“Q: You hosted the Q&A for our Fashion Reimagined premiere (thank you again!). What did you think of the film? Any takeaways?”
I absolutely loved it. I thought it really highlighted how recently it was that sustainability was not taken seriously. It was almost mocked and a bit laughed at. To see Amy go through that process and to do what she did when the environment towards sustainability was so hostile… I thought it was just so beautiful that her and Chloe Marks had worked so hard not knowing how far they could get. And look what they did! To make those moves in that world at that time was really impressive.