HIGH STREET FASHION WEEK is edging ever closer, and the HYPE about it is BUZZING. I caught up with Nathalie McDonnell, the founder of the brand, Lilies Of The Alley, to find out what makes her tick when it comes to the fabulous designs behind the label, and to see what Lilies Of The Alley have got planned for HSFW...
Q. What made you start up the brand: Lilies of the Alley?
A. ‘Lillies Of The Alley was created outta my love for all things visual! I’d always studied art and design and after finishing my degree I began making samples and friends seem to love them…. it grew from there really.... I wanted to create unique tees that not everyone was wearing. I also liked the idea of expressing a thought or an idea via a tee. It’s the perfect canvas!’
Q. What brands and designers inspire you?
A. ‘I love the artist Andy Warhol and I love Patricia Field and Stephen Sprouse.
Favourite designers are Marc Jacobs and I love Danielle Scutt. And Topshop of course! How can you not!’
Q. Have you always been interest in fashion? From what age?
A. ‘I’ve always loved fashion in the sense of creating your own identity and it just being fun. My mum used to be a model so she had a unique style & some crazy outfits and we’d always dress up as kids - so from an early age I suppose. My dad was a tour manager in the music business so we’d visit him on the road and I was always inspired as a kid by the outfits and swag at the gigs. I was lucky enough to go to gigs growing up so loved looking at what everyone was wearing! From everyone from the band and the crowd - people watching. He travelled a lot too so brought souvenirs back from all over! That always inspired me …’
Q. How's your prep going for HSFW?
A. ‘It’s going ok! J Just trying to create some surprises and one-offs inspired by the event itself so all a bit manic at the mo, but we like that energy - it makes you move your ass!!!’
Q. How did you get involved in HSFW?
A. ‘We discovered HSFW through Twitter actually.’
Q. If you could choose any celebrity to wear your clothes who would it be?
A. ‘We’re so honored to have had Debbie Harry wear one of our hoodies! That was a dream! Other than that I wish Andy Warhol were still here! It’s hard to choose but I think Cara Delevingne - she’s beautiful, cool and I heard she’s a fan of t-shirts!’
Q. If you could do a high street collaboration- which store would you choose?
A. ‘We’ve been lucky enough to have had a concession in Topshop Oxford Circus before under the LOLLIPOP label. We lent them our Make Up Not War design back in 2005. It was amazing seeing our rail in there so I’d love to collab with Topshop again - this time with Lillies Of The Alley.’
Q. If you could do a designer collaboration - who would you love to work with?
A. ‘Would have to be Marc Jacobs or Danielle Scutt.’
Q. What's your own style like?
A. ‘My own style can depend on many things ha! …from how late I’ve woken up or where I am. I’d say my style is eclectic. I love to pick up things wherever I go and I guess I can only describe my style as me. I don’t try to aim for certain looks I just style myself to how I feel. I’m loving crop tops with jackets at the mo though I must say and getting a bit obsessed with trainers. …. I just put together what I like and try not to worry too much about what other people think - be you!’
Q. Your fav model of the moment?
A. ‘Gal of the moment has to be Cara Delevingne.’
Q. I'd you could have dinner with anyone (in the world ever) which three people would you choose?
A. ‘Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe & Buzz Aldrin.’
Q. Name three things you'd take with you to a desert island.
A. ‘Ok so not including any friends, family or pets…photo album, wind-up music player, pen & paper (can that count as 1 ? J).’
Q. Where do you see the brand in a years time?
A. ‘God such a hard question…well we’re hoping to be able to expand our product range. Just to still be loving and enjoying what we do. We’d love to be able to have our own bricks and mortar store one day J and would love to collab but these things take time…’
Q. What would you be doing of you weren't designers?
A. ‘Working with animals!’