Supermodel turned activist and actress Lily Cole is one of the most thoughtful celebs around. Grazia Daily took the opportunity of the launch of her latest social enterprise – a sustainable rubber jewellery line for Stylistpick – to quiz her about everything from filmmaking to hanging out with the Westwoods at the Met Ball...
Grazia Daily: Can you tell us a bit of the background to the collection – how did you get involved with the rainforest cause and with WWF and Sky?
Lily Cole: So I was asked to do something with WWF three years ago. The world loggers trade in Brazil - it taps into three of my favourite interests. Film-making, economic incentives and the environment.
Grazia Daily: Oh wow, so did you make a film as well?
Lily Cole: Yes, I went out to Brazil and I shot loads of footage on a super8 camera, then we cut it together.
Grazia Daily: Do you like being behind the camera?
Lily Cole: Oh yeah I really do. I’ve learnt so much about photography from doing photo shoots, now I’m discovering film-making and it’s so cool. I love all the editing side to it too. The best bit is being able to tell different people’s stories from their point of view.
Grazia Daily: Were you involved in the making of the jewellery and designing it too?
Lily Cole: Yes I designed it. I thought about what would go well with rubber and I decided that I wanted to have something similar to skin tone, because rubber is. The idea behind the project is that the Brazil rubber trade is a force against deforestation. If you create demand for rubber, it could keep the forests alive, by producing a product that means you need to keep the trees alive, rather than cutting them down. I was inspired by some African jewellery I was wearing at the time which symbolises hope and a prayer.
Grazia Daily: What would you wear with the ethical rubber jewellery?
Lily Cole: Well, I’d like to preface that by saying that I’m NOT a fashionista, and then go on to say; something quite simple – low cut dress with the pendant or anything simple to show it off. It’s quite delicate too, so maybe its not for every day anyway.
Grazia Daily: Do you consider yourself to be as much of an activist as a model or actress now?
Lily Cole: Yes, I guess so, although it’s happened by accident – I like doing things I believe in.
Grazia Daily: Tell us about Vivienne Westwood, your rubber dress and the Met Ball. We want to know EVERYTHING . . .
Lily Cole: So I met with Vivienne Westwood – she made the dress – the top half all made from rubber – the sustainable type we are trying to encourage people to wear. She’s such a brilliant activist and really passionate about saving the rainforest, so for me, she’s such an inspiration. We’ve bonded over chatting about different issues. It’s really rare to meet someone like that in the fashion industry and who’s so philosophical. Plus she’s a redhed!
Grazia Daily: What is the atmosphere like when you go to the Met Ball? Like, Gwyneth Paltrow recently went on record saying she didn’t enjoy the Met Ball, it was un-fun, and she was jostled by the crowd. What do you think of showbiz events like that?
Lily Cole: I was aware that it could not be fun – it’s a high velocity event, and I do see the potential for it being not so great. However I really enjoyed my night. If I felt like I might not enjoy it, I made a real effort to think about being a child, and thinking about Cinderella and what my childhood self would think if she could see me there. That kind of puts it into perspective for me! Also, you run into people you know, that you haven’t seen for ages and that’s fun. Plus I was with Vivienne and Andreas, and of course, it is great fun going to an event with those two.
Grazia Daily: How is your acting career going?
Lily Cole: I’ve just shot two independent films but I don’t know when they’re coming out and I've got my social network internet platform thing coming out as well . . . and you can see me in the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs song – Sacrilege.