Sitting in the grandeur of London’s St Pancras hotel awaiting the arrival of one of the most famous faces in fashion is exciting. We’re talking about a girl who has graced the catwalks of everyone from Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Marc Jacobs, not to mention a campaign with Rimmel London and acting roles in St Trinian’s, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and There Be Dragons. Lily is set apart by her fierce intelligence (she was awarded a Double First in History of Art at Cambridge University) and is a tireless campaigner when it comes to environmental awareness and charitable work. It’s fair to say we have an enormous urge to sit down and grill her on, well … everything.
Lily is wearing a cream crepe MarnI dress and is smothered underneath a tangerine Stella McCartney coat. A Chanel double ‘C’ emblazoned baseball cap balances on her knee and she’s make-up free. She’s smiley and every bit as regal as you’d expect; perfectly poised and very graceful. From behind her messy mass of red hair peer tiny features – a perfect nose and small, bright eyes. “I love flowers,” she enthuses “especially wild ones. And daisy chains – I love the process of making them, pressing a nail through and linking them and wearing that as an accessory,” she says softly before drifting off into a daydream.
She’s here as part of Kildare Village’s latest project, in association with the Botanical Conservation society, to adorn the retail shopping mecca in beautiful flowers. I quiz her, for all her environmental concerns, what drew her to the campaign? “I love flowers and besides the great cause of the Botanical Conservation, this really feels like a celebration. I’ve spent my Monday discussing beautiful flowers. How wonderful is that?” When I pry further, there’s a little more to it. “I have a real love and nostalgia for sales. When I was young, I remember going with my family and being so excited to be able to purchase something really beautiful that you couldn’t normally afford … So this project feels as though I’m going back to that. The ethos of selling clothes that would otherwise go to waste is a brilliant idea.” So who does she love to bargain shop? “Oh, all my favourites – Stella McCartney, Marni, Celine … “
With an international life, what’s her travel essential? “Passport. Is that a bit cheeky? But it’s true!” And in flight, what does she do to keep occupied? “I love to jot and write things down. I have my phone and that’s handy ok but I love to write and scribble.” Is she a shoe or a bag girl? “Neither really – shoes at a push. Right now, I’m all about the clash – clashing prints, florals and graphics … Clash, clash, clash! I’m not afraid of being bold.”
Her favourite thing to receive when a friend calls? “Flowers, definitely. They linger long after someone has come and gone – their scent, their colour … I suppose I would say Water Lilies are some of my favourites …. ”
We get the feeling this day is all about fun – flowers, fashion and shopping with a place that offers beautifully crafted things at an affordable price. And with that she’s gone, a wisp of red and orange, Chanel cap firmly in place, a smile and a wave.