IN CONVERSATION W/ RHIANNON ISABEL BARRY: “SOUTH LONDON ATTITUDE”, STYLIN’ & ‘WAVEY GARMS’ GLOBAL

To me in my earliest memories, Rhiannon was a sleek stylish fixture on the dance floors of the most poppin’ parties frequented in the late naughty noughties; prior to any business endeavours of any kind – out here livin’ life like the rest of us. A friend, and now stylist, and co-founder of – Facebook phenomenon, Fashion brand and retailer Wavey Garms. Rhiannon’s earn’t her style stripes working with the likes of RnB new skool sensation Fatima, Stefflon Don, Sita Abellen, Belly Squad; this list goes on plus a whole whost of Grime Legends for a large publication which’ll be landin soon *hush hush*.

Holdin’ down her seat in the style game while on top of managing the Wavey Garms business operations. Multi talented and multi faceted. From Abbey Wood to Hackney. London to New York. I sat down with Rhiannon to talk about her early life, her current moves, her style, her inspirations and more.

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T: Early days in Abbey Wood. So, Thamesmead’s near init… What was life like growing up there? How was school life?

R: Yeah, I mean the first place we lived in was in a block near Abbey Wood train station, which connects to the flyover to Thamesmead. So, that’s why I spent my first 5/6 years.  Then we moved to a house just down the road. It was nice… but, it didn’t start of nice.

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– Baby Rhiannon + Mumzy on da block (Abbey Wood – Circa 91)

T: Isn’t it like your Charlton’s and your Bermondsey’s? Your quintessential South London. Old school “White English South London”?

R: I mean yeah… But, Thamesmead was kind of a made up area. I mean it used to be like no land. When it was built in the 60s it was seen like “the best place to live”, and people sold up there houses around these ways like Peckham, Deptford to move there…

T: That was seen to be the modern places to live on those times. And I guess it had an iconic look, a lot of open space – Clockwork Orange was filmed there for instance…

– Thamesmead Estate (SE2)

R: And then 30 years later it’s like one of the worst places to live! *laughs*… But I fuckin’ love it. There’s so much you could do with it.

T: Yeah, it’s got that lake too…

R: I fell in that lake once *laughs*. At an over 13’s disco… weird memories’ drunk on WKD’s *laughs*… But it’s an interesting place, because it boarders Kent. Just down the road and your in Welling. But what’s so weird about the transition is that Abbey Wood when I grew up was Irish Gypsys, Somalians, Working Class British people and in the mid 90s load of African’s were coming over. It was loads of different cultures shoved into this area, and then you walk down the road 5 minutes and your were in Welling; where the BNP head offices were! It was really fuckin’ racist…

T: So, was your area a bit of a battle ground then?

R: Well… I got sent to school in Welling coz I was naughty. Our school was white, and we’d get on the bus, and two stops later was St Pauls; which was a (predominantly) black school, it was was just mad!

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– Secondary School Days (Circa 2003)

T: Anyway… moving away from the madness and into what you’re known for. We’ve known each other for almost 10 years through the old BNTL days.

R: Yeah, it’s mad…

T: How do you think your style has evolved over the years?

R: Back then I wore Moschino – way more than I do now, Huaraches, Leggings, a little crop-top, an Eastpak and Supreme wholly hat *laughs*. I don’t really think it’s changed I just think it’s got more sophisticated…

T: Yeah, that’s probably the best way to put it, coz you’ve always had your own style – although I remember leggings were a REAL ting for girls back then…*laughs*. But it’s just developed over the years…

R: Like everyone’s has right?

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Life & The Lurkers – 2010/11

T: My style has completely changed!

R: Yeah yeah it has. *laughs* But my style has literally been developing since I was a teenager. I’ve been wearing Moschino since 13 years old with AirMax 97’s, Big Gold earrings and White Wallabees…

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– 13th Birthday Party – CIRCA 2000

T: And now? Like any noticeable changes?

R: A nice pair of boots *laughs*….. Less trainers, I still where trainers though…

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T: So, you’ve always had the same influences. That Jungle/Garage influence has been consistent…

R: Yeah, that’s always been there. But I remember when I left school – college days – I feel like EVERYONE slipped for a bit when Indie was big. Them dead plimsolls! *laughs*

T: *laughs* Aight let’s  forget those horrible times. Who inspires your style today? Any specific people that you could reference…

R: I’m just inspired by different people. Plus I get into new things and get a little bit obsessed like Selena from the 90s.

T: So, the 90s era, but Selena in particular, right now?

R: I got my hair cut to look just like her’s *laughs*

T: On a sidenote; you gunna bring back dat “girls-showing-boxer-shorts” look? *laughs*

R: Naaah. Not yet anyway…

T: So, the Wavey Garms websites looking nice. What are your contributions to the new editorial/blog going forward?

R: With the blog I’ve got a few things in the pipeline. One of ’em’s with Duplate Mex – Grime OG DJ; he’s one of the old don’s – he comes down to Holdrons Arcade everyday and gets his oxtail soup and I really rate him. He’s touring round the world with Giggs at the moment and he’s still the most normal person. He’s got a mad collection of Iceberg and Moch and stuff…

T: Oh seeeen, that’s cold. So, you’re gunna be rollin’ around blogging about people’s wardrobes/collections that you rate, yeah?

R:Yep!

T: Live. Now, what stylists you ratin’ currently?

R: Indiana Roma Voss, Soki Mak and Justin Rose…

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T: Top 3 people you’d love to style?

R: I said to myself I wanna do Kali Uchis , IAMDDB & erm… Rhianna?

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T: Favourite designer?

R: (Franco) Moschino!

T: What’s on repeat on your blower right now?

R: JD – Call Your Bluff with Katy B…

T: And to close, what you got cookin’ or planned for the future?

R: This year I really wanna work hard – which I am – and travel more. We’ve got a pop-up in Santiago, Chille. A friend of the family – skater – has a store like Wavey Garms, so they said if you wanna do a pop up here we can. With Brazil and New York on the cards…

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

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