Photography by Oda Eide
Photographed at Baar and Bass, 336 Kings Road London. Maddie wears Baar and Bass own brand clothes throughout the shoot paired with jewellery by Sophie Lis and high top trainers by Converse.
Maddie Chesterton is the cool kid on the block.
She is tawny, slim, blonde, blue eyed with unwavering confidence and a natural, unforced style.
Maddie is the girl all other girls want to look like with a totally unique eye and perfect, relatable sartorial execution.
However, this style queen is not for hire; she is busy building an empire - Baar and Bass. Already owning two thriving boutiques on London's Kings Road and St Tropez's fashionable Rue Gambetta, Maddie's natural talent for hunting down exclusive, one of a kind treasures and discovering original brands has seen her gain an army of loyal customers who regally frequent her "Aladdin's Cave of Wonder's" to get their latest fix.
Having recently launched Baar and Bass own brand which boasts a ready to wear fashion line together with other totally original and covetable homeware, this siren seems to be unstoppable.
We dropped by her flagship store on the Kings Road to check out the array of Sophie Lis jewellery on sale there, and find out what exactly what makes this girl tick.... and of course do a little bit of shopping ourselves!
1.) Tell us a little bit about the path that lead you to launch your first Baar and Bass boutique.
I started by studying Set Design at St Martins. This lead to a job at the BBC and Channel 4 where I worked for four years. From there, I went on to head up the events team at Purple PR in London where I organised all their in house events for endless high profile clients in fashion, lifestyle and art. This was when I realised I wanted to consolidate design, fashion and art into a boutique where people can come and hang out, express themselves through their creations. We specialise in stocking one off, exclusive brands that are not readily available in London and the UK.
2.) Was there a defining moment when you knew fashion would be a big part of your life?
From a very young age I was always obsessed with collecting little found treasures from all around the world, not wanting anyone else to have them and knowing that one day I would have somewhere to display them all. At Baar and Bass we find fledging brands at the very start of their journey - Rixo, Innika Choo and Kiini to name a few. We give emerging brands a platform in a world where the high street is taking over. We allow ourselves a budget for in season buying which enables us to pull in the newest, must have designers. It has never been a more exciting time for us, keeping our finger on the pulse and being able to be so reactive to current movements around the world. As a generation we are at the forefront of innovation.
3.) Describe Baar and Bass to those who have not yet been lucky enough to visit a boutique.
The style of Baar and Bass is influenced from BIBA back in the 60's/70's. Barbara Hulanicki and her husband Fritz created a cutting edge space where they collaborated with brands designing all new things from fashion to food. The Rolling Stones used to hang out there and it became a place where you would come, have a drink, listen to music and try on many of the cool new pieces BIBA had to offer in a relaxed, non sterile environment.
Our Baar and Bass walls are adorned with murals from artist Tony Common who famously paints the front of the Chelsea Arts Club and who also painted a few of BIBA's walls back in the day. Our rails are filled with the latest designs and our shelves with vintage, collectors items found by myself.
I am incredibly excited to say that we are about to launch an exclusive collection in collaboration with Barbara herself... so keep your eyes peeled!
I want everyone to feel like they can have a slice of Baar and Bass and leave with something, no matter how big or small. It isn't just a shop; we have created a place where people can come and always know they will have a friend. It is an old world shopping experience and one which I am safe in saying is hard to find these days.
4.) Describe your personal style. Do you think the shop is an extension of that style?
I don't buy into trends and don't let trends dictate my style. I adore every piece I buy and I look after them with great care. I have many different styles and dress for how I am feeling that day. Confidence comes from within and lets you own an outfit.
5.) You recently launched Baar and Bass own brand. Tell us about your vision behind it.
We are creating the pieces you can't find anywhere else. For example, we don't just stick a printed sticker on the front of a glass candle and sell it for £40 and call it a creation. We have our glass hand blown in Mexico so every piece is unique. We then ship them back to the UK and have them filled with the highest quality ingredients we have selected with incredible scents which contain absolutely no nasties to ensure maximum usage and burn quality. These are then tested up to ten times before being beautifully packaged in our own design boxes ready for sale. A lot of time and energy goes into every piece of Baar and Bass own brand and we do our utmost to support small businesses like ourselves in the making.
6.) What is your favourite part of the job that comes with owning the shop?
Discovering brands and witnessing them developing all the way from samples to being displayed in store. I can then really sell these pieces with passion as I am invested into their story. When I sell to my customers I am always truthful and really listen to what they are looking for and how they would like to feel. Seeing them walk away from Baar and Bass with an outfit that makes them feel confident, sexy and everything that a woman should feel... that is my favourite part of the job.
7.) We know you have launched a second store in the uber glam St Tropez. How would you describe the local style and how do the collections you carry reflect that?
Our second store in Saint Tropez is different in that we have a lot of customers from all over the world coming in everyday, but similar in that it has gone down well with the locals. We have built up strong relationships with many of our customers out there who are desperate to see what we have for them next. It's not easy opening your own business abroad and especially being the only English store out there but the Tropizians trust us now and they love that we are a boutique selling pieces they cannot buy anywhere else. They have said that it reminds them of the days of Bardot and how great shopping used to be back then. We open our third store in May at Indie Beach on the infamous Pampelonne Beach. Its going to be incredible and I can not wait to share it with you!!
8.) Why do you carry Sophie Lis Jewellery and what is your favourite piece?
Sophie Lis Jewellery are timeless pieces and for us, they are the perfect gift for that someone special no matter what age. One of our customers said that the Fallen Star necklace reminds them of David Bowie, I like that. I think it has got a real edge and for that reason, it is my favourite piece.
9.) What's your vision for Baar and Bass's future? Where will you be in five / ten years?
The future of Baar and Bass is endless. I want to grow the brand into so many different things. How my life will naturally develop with my own family one day, I will bring Baar and Bass with me... just wait and see!
10.) We can tell you are a complete workaholic and it must be difficult to switch off... but, given the chance, where would we find you?
Switching off... I remember those days!! I love being on the beach. I used to love travelling far far away to remote places but over the last couple of years I have just adored travelling in Europe. There is so much of it I haven't explored yet. Switching off for me would be Italy or France in the countryside or on the beach... incredible food and wine and surrounded by my best friends and family.
Love of your life?
Who knows, I haven't found him yet....