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Lily Allen: Really Riches to Rags?

29th March 2011

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Confusion is the first thing that ran through my mind when hearing that Lily Allen was starting her own reality show. Did she not long ago complain about the pressure of life in the public eye? Did she not retire two months ago? Putting these questions to one side, I was curious as to what she has to say for herself and watched her latest project, a clothes shop, take its first wobbly steps towards success.

The first episode, which aired last week, revealed the latest background in Lily Allen’s life, but may well have left viewers questioning whether she has even gone from riches to rags at all: she is moving into a gorgeous flat with her boyfriend, she banks at Coutts (the same place that the Queen’s banking is done) and was the face of Chanel.

Despite her fortune, however, the show claims that all she is really after now is ‘what we all take for granted: a normal life’. With an image of the girl behind the till rooted firmly in her mind, Lily has begun a grapple with the world of retail business in a bid to set up her own shop, Lucy in Disguise. With her sister on hand to number crunch and Mary Portas’ business expertise, what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, quite a lot. Lily’s supposed ‘antidote to the high street’ confused Mary Portas, who pointed out that the former singer had not done her market research. Engaging with her demographic proved quite the reality check: a focus group that revealed young shoppers don’t have £300 to rent a vintage frock for three days came as an angering shock. Ploughing ahead with the idea regardless, the next flaw in Lily’s plan manifested itself in the potential shop location, sparking more criticism with Mary Portas. 

An eye-opener for anyone with an interest in celebrity culture, Riches to Rags reveals an interesting insight into the singer’s life. In pondering her direction in life, Lily surprisingly explained that family life and having a child is her ‘vocation’, as opposed to music. Will Lily revert back to her musical roots, or settle with Lucy in Disguise? Find out as the series unfolds.


Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags is on Channel 4, Tuesdays from 10-11:00. Lucy in Disguise is set to launch in September. 


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