Lily Allen became of an instant pop sensation when she debuted with Alright Still, some fine singles and plenty of attitude circa 2006. After a blaze of chart glory, including a triumphant second album Allen announced plans to leave music.
This generated plenty of eye rolls but it seems like she wasn't lying. Allen hasn't hinted at returning to music as yet. Instead she's become a prolific tweeter and started a boutique with her sister Sarah Owen in London, Lucy in Disguise, the story of which was profiled for a fly on the wall C4 documentary earlier this year.
Now, Lucy in Disguise has been turned into a clothing line, launched here in Brown Thomas last week. Inspired by the vintage clothes they grew up on and also stocked their latest business venture with, it's a neat spin on the celebrity clothing line angle (particularly given Allen's previous much maligned work with New Look).
The launch last week saw Lily and Sarah fly into meet the assembled press and take some snaps. The lovely Mikey Robinson asked me along and I duly said yes. I thought we were being asked along to some weird press call. When we got there we realized we were in line for a snap with the pair. Gas.
It was clear that Lily wasn't over the moon about having to stand for endless pictures. Not that this is a bad thing. She was friendly, polite and clearly grateful that people were there to see her. But Lily Allen has always strained at the seams of fame, uncomfortable with the attention but understanding how it's changed her life for the better in some ways. She's not a picture perfect celebrity, smiling away while inside they'd rather be on the sofa sipping Fanta, watching Gossip Girl and being fed jellybeans by a harem of topless men (Did I just write down how I'd like to spend my every waking day? MAYBE).
Meeting her too then is an equally interesting experience. You're not starstruck meeting Lily Allen, you feel like you already know her. Her wry lyrics, her candid and humorous way of dealing with the press means that she's put herself out in the open time and time again.
And so my exchanges with Miss Allen were typically hilarious. When she saw my Animal House t-shirt she immediately remarked "oh that's one of my favorite films". And here was the awkward bit. I haven't seen it (I know. I know) Cue awkward mumbling from me. Then the following gem: "So, are you having fun?" I asked dryly, knowing she was bit at ease "Um, not really" she giggled. "That's ok, I like that you were honest. I'd be worried if you were like "Yaahhh, it's amazing"'. Allen laughed, a sort of "well duh" laugh. It was a bit awkward but also hilarious. It completely matched what I felt I knew about her. It was tongue in cheek, likable but also a bit unsure what to make of the circus around her. In essence, it was a true Lily Allen moment.
Well, either that or I just acted like a dickhead and she responded as such. Who knows? Either way the photo that was snapped while this exchange took place was suitably hilarious:
Sadly I didn't get to make a tit out of myself with Sarah. Maybe next time I can elicit an awkward laugh.
Still, it was an interesting experience. Big thanks to Mikey for bringing me along (if you're not following him on Twitter by now, please do so. Quality tweets guaranteed). As soon as I finish this, the four of us are off to hit up the clubs and be famous mates 4 life. Fact.
Also, if you're into that sort of thing (i.e. you are a girl who can actually wear vintage inspired dresses) the dresses themselves seem quite lovely. This recent spread from Elle UK is a good way to get a feel for the pieces.