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Friday, 29 October 2010

Lucy in Disguise : Lily Allen and sister open their new vintage shop

The two sisters: Lily Allen and Sarah Owen

‘Lucy in Disguise’
is the latest idea from Lily Allen, who has set out to prove herself as more than just a singer. Lily has teamed up with half-sister Sarah Owen to launch this Covent Garden boutique. The two sisters admit they have not always been friends, though in the song ‘Back to the Start’ Lily offered her sibling a peace offering and this joint venture shop suggests they are now a lot closer.

Unlike most of the little vintage gems tucked away in Covent Garden LID (Lucy in Disguise) is large and easy to find on Kings Street. It’s luxuriously purple glow makes it stand out even on the rainiest of days. The shop opened a month ago, but its unique selling point is only revealed to the public this week – a fabulous lower floor with all kinds of treats. I was given a sneak preview and was delighted to see retro nail and hair and make-up sections, a mini Grey Goose vodka bar and a very special VIP section with a selection of spectacular one off vintage pieces for renting only. Everything you could need for the perfect retro look.

I was sceptical about the idea of this shop, but being a vintage clothes lover and a fan of Lily Allen, decided to pay it a visit. So last Friday afternoon I took my weary legs off to Covent Garden (giving up my sacred one evening off). I was delighted to discover the comfort and ease of the shop; there is no struggling through dusty rails with disappointment, everything here is superbly selected by experts. The prices vary, and it is clear that the LID team aim to please every budget... some unlabelled items come in at around £30, and then there are stunning designer pieces that range from about £80 up. Many of the more expensive designer pieces also offer the option of renting for a fraction of the price. I bought a delicious green patterned Valentino jacket that has already won me several compliments. I could have easily bought more; I fell in love with a dinky make-up purse, and some of the glamorous costume jewellery is to die for.

I had a lovely conversation with a few of the staff in the shop,who seem to have a real passion for the project on which they are embarking, and perhaps that’s why so far the idea has been a success. Lily Allen is never one to think small and this is certainly true of her newest mission. The shop offers more than any other of its kind, and they will have to work hard to keep such a big ambition alive. Luckily this business isn’t snooty or pretentious as celeb ventures can often be. The thought that has gone into LID is clear from the moment you walk in, even the psychedelic name (that links to the Beatles song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and the drug LSD) has been cleverly chosen.

In the corner is a Playstation Move for all those poor poor boys that are dragged into this girly haven. And if they are still dissatisfied they can pop downstairs for a cheeky drink. I kept my accompanying man in tow to give me what I hoped would be valuable opinions on the outfits I tried on. But then I remembered, men don’t get vintage clothes, so better just to decide for yourself.

Lucy in Disguise can be found at 10 Kings Street, WC2E 8HN. Visit the website here.

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