Welcome to the third, highly exciting installment of Who What Wear UK’s Best Wardrobes in Britain. It’s where we do exactly what that title says on the tin: delve into the most fantastical, awe-inspiring and downright influential wardrobes in this fair country of ours. We’re zeroing in on the girls who cause the street style photographers to press their shutters as much as the women you don’t yet know—the ones who fly under the radar with secretly incredible clothing collections. Today is all about Betty Bachz, the Chinese-Norwegian former model who co-founded one of the coolest new eyewear brands on planet fashion. She also just so happens to have one of the most adventurous, ’70s-inspired wardrobes you’ll see on the London social circuit—this girl gets invited to more parties than we’ve had hot dinners.
Want to see more and know more? Then keep reading to jump inside Betty’s wardrobe and glean some excellent outfit tips along the way…
WHO WHAT WEAR UK: Was there a particular moment where you knew you wanted to get into fashion?
BETTY BACHZ: I’ve been fascinated by fashion from a super-early age. I grew up in Norway, but I’m Chinese, so I’m really used to being dressed in vibrant colours and prints—like a really Eastern-inspired look—so it kind of made me get used to being different and sticking out from really early on. Scandi style is minimalistic; it’s very practical. It’s literally the opposite to Chinese style. It wasn’t until I was 15 and I started modelling that I realised this could actually be a career.
WWW UK: How and why did you co-found your eyewear brand, Møy?
BB: I started on Møy two years ago, with my partner Torunn [Lovise Gullaksen]. We kind of really connected on this aesthetic, had similar references and both of us had gained enough experience in the industry that we felt we had something to say for ourselves, not working for other people. It felt right to share that vision, aesthetic with the whole world! But between modelling and setting up the business, I studied finance—I have actually done two masters degrees in management and finance! So it was a big jump for me, to say bye to the old life and really go for it.
WWW UK: So what would you say a normal working day is like for you?
BB: I start my day quite early. I usually start at 7 a.m. by having a quick check with the team, then I get most of the day’s admin, emails done before noon. But after noon, I’m quite social—I go out for meetings, and then later on, it’s always some event to go to. That’s basically Monday to Friday for me.
WWW UK: As your working day goes from business to party, how do you get dressed every morning?
BB: I wish I was more effortless. I wish it was super-easy for me to just put on a T-shirt and jeans, but I mean, definitely my style is something I nurture, and I work very closely with my stylist Olga [Timofejeva] all the time. We push each other to try new looks, but if there’s one thing I always do is that I dress according to my hair! It’s like a top-down approach: My hair dictates the mood I might go for during the day. I wear a lot of trousers suits (think Bianca Jagger or David Bowie style) because it’s the easy transition from work meetings to events.
WWW UK: What’s your preferred shopping method?
BB: I think I like shopping alone. Over the years I feel like I’ve wanted to be more and more expressive with my style, so I hunt for really unique pieces. And it’s definitely also spontaneously because you never know when you’re going to discover something great. Shopping, for me, is a bit like a treasure hunt. I’m from Norway, so I like all kinds of hunts—I love foraging [for fashion]. It’s nice to sometimes shop with someone, but when it comes down to it, I like to follow my own path.
WWW UK: We’re kind of jealous you have a personal stylist. When did you start working with Olga?
BB: We started working together a year ago. It was more that we found each other because she really liked my style! It wasn’t something where I thought Oh, this is what I need, but we just started to work together, and it kind of clicked—and that’s like a lot of things in life. I have to go to a lot of events, and that requires a lot of work. She’s literally like my rock. She does all the logistics because I have a company to worry about, so it’s really nice to get that extra help.
WWW UK: What was the last thing you bought?
BB: The thing is I’ve just bought a flat! So most of my money is tied up with that. I’ve kind of become obsessed with decorating it, in a 1920s art deco style. So I just got two amazing cabinets in pale green and gold, and the next thing I want to buy is a wardrobe to match. But I’ll start with a silk robe and a pair of velvet slippers so I can be comfortable in my new space!
WWW UK: Use three words to explain your personal style.
BB: Larger. Than. Life.
WWW UK: If your wardrobe was burning down (god forbid!), which one piece would you try to save?
BB: I would definitely save my leopard-print coat. Firstly it keeps me warm, so I’d look super-cool watching my house burn down! I’m obsessed with it. I have, of course, favourites, but I think a leopard-print coat is the coolest item, and it goes with everything.
WWW UK: Do you ever step out of the house and regret what you’re wearing?
BB: This is a hard question. The only time I tend to make mistakes is when I know I’m running late already. And it’s funny because I don’t usually take much time to get ready—I can get ready in 10 minutes, maximum 30 minutes for the red carpet—but when you don’t have time to think and you put the first thing that’s available in your closet on, I will end up asking myself What was I thinking? I’ve tried to train myself to be better, to use less and less time and be more intuitive. I don’t wear too much makeup, and that’s normally time consuming, and I like the whole rock ’n’ roll messy-hair thing, so I don’t spend a lot of time there. It’s just about putting together an outfit and walking out of the room—with confidence, of course, you’ve got to own it!
WWW UK: Is there anything you buy on repeat?
BB: It used to be sunglasses, and now that I have my own brand, I’m kind of wearing Møy exclusively! I might have now substituted that with platform shoes. I am really obsessed and keep buying the same pair in different colours. Once I find something comfortable, I think I’m going to be loyal to you and just stick with it.
WWW UK: When it comes to party dressing, do you have any rules? Or dos and don’ts?
BB: The only thing you won’t find me in is a body-con dress and stilettos. I just don’t particularly dress to be ‘attractive,’ and I don’t like the whole projection of what sexy is from a man’s perspective. For me there are no rules, but that’s just one thing you’ll never see me in. Mostly I find those kinds of dresses super uncomfortable! I normally wear a lot of oversized trousers, I love colour, but basically I like to leave something to the imagination, so I won’t go for something that’s too revealing, either. It’s all about the balance, I guess.
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Credits: Photographer: Phill Taylor; Stylist: Olga Timofejeva; Makeup: Michelle Ingram using Tom Ford