Grazia Daily has tea with Lily Allen and Sarah Owen

21 June 2011

As you'll have heard by now, Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen have recently launched their first collection for Lucy in Disguise.  Based on a trip around the world the collection includes outfits that will take you from afternoon tea at Fortnums in the heart of London, to falling in lust in Chicago all the way back to the Kenyan valleys of Nairobi! So Grazia Daily sat down to talk to the sisters about working together, Karl Lagerfeld's design advice and, as the interview took place before her wedding, we wanted to hear about the all important white dress...

Grazia Daily: You two work together and obviously get on but tell us, who's the boss, really?!
Lily: Sarah.
Sarah: Lily!

GD: We see, you've rehearsed this! Moving on… where did the name 'Lucy in Disguise' come from?
Sarah: We can't actually take the credit for that, our Mum found it. She knew we were looking for a name and found it on an old novel in some random bookshop. It just worked on so many levels, the idea of creating a character and playing dress up, the musical reference and of course the play on words. We love a good pun in our family!

GD: Do you fight over things or have very separate roles?
Lily: It can be quiet difficult working together and we do fight, but it's in the same way as we fight over the remote control at home! We have to be aware that there are other people around when we're working and that we need to be a bit professional about it.
Sarah: The beauty of it is that we know that even if we have an argument, it's probably something we've come through before. There's a kind of comfort in that, maybe, regular business partners don't have.

GD: It seems that having a vintage section in Lucy In Disguise offers you the best of both worlds… Did you chose vintage so that you could wear all the clothes first and sell them after?!
Lily: *Screaming laughter* No comment!
Sarah: *More laughing* We treat the clothes with respect and we have a good relationship with the dry cleaner. That's all I can say!

GD: Is there anything you bought for the store with the intention of selling but couldn't never part with?
Lily: Too much to mention… It happens all the time with pieces we buy at auction. When I really love something I just want to make sure that it goes to a good home, then I'm happy.
Sarah: I tend to really scope out people when they're buying! I want the fabulous pieces to go to people who deserve them. If I'm not in the store and something great goes I'll ring and what a pretty comprehensive run down of the person who bought it. I sometimes even get angry parting with things that I feel the person is unworthy of!

GD: What's your favourite piece from the new collection?
Sarah: The Roxy and the Speakeasy
Lily: The Honkytonk and the Regatta!

GD: Loving the nostalgic names, who's idea was it to name the dresses like pets?!
Sarah: Oh God, it seemed like a great idea at the time, like we were giving a personality to each piece. For 18 dresses that's OK but we're currently doing S/S '12 and have over 70 pieces in the collection so it's a bit more of a challenge but we think it's worth it.

GD: Lily, you're obviously pretty tight with Karl Lagerfeld, did he give you any design advice?
Lily: He actually had a really big hand in designing the collection! We say it's made in China but it's actually made Paris! No, honestly, it's not something we ever discussed.

GD: We adore his work (obviously) but is he as scary as he seems?
Lily: Not at all. Once you get through the human barrier he's really friendly and lovely. He's so in demand that he has an entourage and they're more intimidating than him… We recently had a great conversation about Dolly Parton, the usual stuff! He's a very cool guy.

GD: You said that the LID girl is "young at heart, spirited and has a great sense of humour". Do you think people sometimes take fashion a bit too seriously?!
Lily: People always ask me in interviews "who's your style icon", but honestly I don't think about it that much. I wear what I want on any given day. I love the 50's Hollywood pin up but sometimes I love Grace Jones! You can play a different character every day if you want.
Sarah: I adore Jane Birkin, her style, her look, her rockstar man! But like Lily says, you can be 20's one day, 90's hiphop the next. It's all an expression of yourself so we're encouraging people to have fun with it.

GD: Would you consider doing footwear to compliment the collection?
Sarah: At the moment it's not something that's scheduled because it's so specialist.
Lily: Hang on, I really want to do grown up LA Gear trainers with lights! That would be ace.

GD: What else? Perfume, jewellery?
Lily: Yeah. Perfume, jewellery, accessories, swimwear, airlines, hotels, pharmaceuticals, festivals, banking-the options are endless!

GD: Speaking of airlines, we heard you had a bad experience with Ryanair this morning? Do you think Michael O'Leary is a twat or a genius business man.
Lily: Well, having paid way too much money to him this morning, I don't really feel like a valued customer!
Sarah: I don't think the two (twat and good business man) are mutually exclusive!

GD: We have to ask you about your impending nuptials and more importantly, the dress. Did you design it or was Karl on speed dial?
Lily: It's 'Lucy in Disguise', made in China! No really I haven't designed my own dress but I'm hoping to keep it a secret until the day. I actually have two dresses so there'll be a big of a change. One is really girlie and beautiful, the other is just great!  

GD: Any bridezilla moments?
Lily: I had an agreement with a designer to make the dress, and 2 weeks ago I still had nothing so I was a bit worried. I only got the sketch a week and a half ago! Thankfully, it's now done, I've tried it on and I love it. It's going to be amazing. I'm really looking forward to being Mrs Cooper. Mrs Lily Cooper!

- Angela Scanlon


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