Charity jumble sale draws star crowd

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The Independent Online

Sunday is a holy day for bargain hunters, who flock to car parks and playing fields around the country to rummage through stalls of second-hand clothes, toys and bric-a-brac in the hope of finding a hidden gem. But while boot sale-goers wouldn’t spend hours queuing for the privilege, a fashion-conscious crowd arrived at the car park of London's Selfridges early yesterday morning in the hope of bagging a bargain and spotting some celebrities at a charity jumble sale.

Famous names including Gwyneth Paltrow, Lily Allen and Davina McCall donated items, with many choosing to man their own stalls. Former All Saints singer Melanie Blatt was excited about haggling with shoppers over her designer accessories.

"I've always wanted to do this - I feel like I'm on EastEnders or something," she said.

Dee Mahar, 40, was one of the first in line for the Really Really Great Garage Sale, which opened at 12, despite only getting a few hours' sleep.

"I got here for ten past eight. Nobody knew anything about it that early, there was no-one else here and the security guards didn't even know what was going on." she said.

After two hours of shopping, Ms Mahar had purchased several bags' worth of celebrity cast-offs, including a Michael Kors handbag bought from Yasmin Le Bon for £250, a pair of Louise Redknapp's Stella McCartney shoes (£80), and a Chloe dress from Trinny Woodall's stall (£50).

Model Lisa B, also known as Lisa Barbuscia, founded of Mothers4Children, the organisation benefiting from yesterday's garage sale.

"It's a group of affluent, high profile women who have come together under one umbrella to do something for charity," she said.

Ms Barbuscia's stall offered a range of clothes and accessories, from a snakeskin Anya Hindmarch handbag worth £800, to a box of accessories marked 'Everything for £2'.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure," she said, before admitting: "I don't really want to give the Anya Hindmarch bag away, but it is for a fantastic cause."

Singer and television presenter Louise Redknapp, a patron of Mothers4Children, had one of the busiest stands.

"I'm panicking - I came in here with 12 black bin liners and I'm running out of stuff," she said. "I'm going to sell it all, but I am right next to Yasmin's stall so I have been tempted to buy a few things myself."

Student Theoni Dodd, 18, and her sister Keisha, 21, bought a shirt from Yasmin Le Bon for their mother, and an £80 custom-made coat from Melanie Blatt.

"It's like heaven here," Theoni said. "We wanted to buy some interesting clothes, and the fact that they're from celebrities is a bonus."

"We just wanted something unusual and unique," Keisha added.

Other stall-holders at the event included model Jodie Kidd, socialite and Tamara Beckwith and fashion journalist and designer Trinny Woodall.