A novice’s thoughts and feelings on her monthly dose of fashion indulgence... and the other distractions along the way.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

From Riches to Rags… and Back Again

Here is a little post that isn’t entirely Vogue related, but does stay within the theme of fashion. I want to talk about Lily Allen’s TV show Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags, a miniseries that finished last night. The show followed the ball gown wearing singer of the past opening a clothes shop called Lucy in Disguise, a sly Beatles reference that I loved! The store is attempting to make vintage couture pieces accessible to every girl through a rental system, I loved the idea even if Mary Portas didn’t seem so keen!

The three part series followed the Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen as they began gathering the pieces, hunted for a location and struggled with the money side of the real world, as well as covering the personal problems the girls (read Lily) faced over the year.

However, it is not simply the concept behind the new show or shop I want to talk about, but a revelation that came out during the show: Lily’s bulimia. During one of the intimate little chats on the show Lily revealed that during the peak of her skinniness she used to make herself sick after every meal. The reason this bothered me so much isn’t because I was shocked, I am sure this is a lot more common that we think, but because the singer generated such a buzz around her new figure at the time, putting its success entirely down to hypnotherapy. Now, at the time I wasn’t buying the hippy excuse but I would have at least expected her to say something along the lines of “I worked bloody hard in the gym” seeing as everyone loves her for being as outspoken as she is.

Now I don’t want this to be misread as me attacking someone with an eating disorder, this is not an attack on Lily, more an attack on the industry as a whole. Taking into account that the singer was hardly large when she first hit the public eye, it disappoints me that she was pushed to a point as extreme as bulimia. She is not the only celebrity that is treated this way, at the moment the most obvious example of this bizarre treatment of a “normal” figure is Christina Hendricks. The Mad Men star is celebrated for being womanly and the object of many a man’s desire but you can guarantee that pretty much every interview with her begins with a question somewhere along the lines of “so how does it feel to be representing the ‘real women’ of the world?”, which should be read “you’re fatter than most famous ladies, how is that for you?”

I am glad that Christina is showing no signs of changing for any skinny interviewers and good for Lily for being honest about an issue that has hopefully only haunted her past not her present. If you ask me the world of celebrity has a lot to answer for when young starts are turning to eating disorders to achieve the image that the world expects from them. True this isn’t a new or unique point of view but hopefully if enough people share it that horrid need to conform to a size 0 will be gone forever!

And breathe, rant over! I am planning a wee trip to Covent Garden at the weekend to check the store out for myself as, despite the ups and downs, the shop was, predictably, a huge success and even Mary Portas was on the girls’ side by the end!

F x

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