LONDON–Let’s say you have haute-vintage taste on a bric-a-brac budget. What’s a girl to do during the busy party season with nothing (new) to wear?
Enter UK popstar Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen. The duo’s London shop, Lucy In Disguise, will rescue you with rare vintage garments and accessories, including mint condition gowns by Ossie Clark, YSL, Chanel and Alaia and Biba. The twist? They’re rentals, starting at just £35. (About $55.) But if you do you fall in love with it on the first date, everything is for sale, too. (Of course, the prices are much higher.)
Now, the Covent Garden shop, which launched in September, has opened a private boudoir called With Diamonds, where you and your besties can get retro nose-to-tail with a hair, makeup and nail salon, not to mention an era-inspired private bar. That means you can gather a few friends for tea a la Marlene Dietrich–or for a champagne and strawberries pre-party–while you get your Stevie Nicks alter-ego into a wide-leg pantsuit. Fashionista chats with Sarah Owen about the idea behind Lucy In Disguise…and With Diamonds.
How did the idea for this come about?
Sarah Owen: We wanted to bring something to the people who really appreciate fashion and vintage but, particularly in the creative fields, don’t get paid enough to buy the really special pieces. It’s really an extension of what Lily’s been doing for our own inner circle for years.
Do you share a similar fashion sense with your sister?
I love the ’70s yet I recognize the demand for the 80s with our younger customers. Lily’s much more old school like ’30s and ’40s.
I imagine you raided your Mom’s closet regularly–what did you find?
She had me when she was 18, so she went through phases…she was a punk rocker tough girl at first, then she wore ’50s sundresses, then really body-con Alaia, Gaultier and Pam Hogg.
And where does your interest lie in fashion retail?
I’d been doing a stall on Portobello Road for some time now, for an extra bit of cash while I was doing comedy promotion…which was bloody good fun!