Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags
About the Show
Series charting the metamorphosis of Lily Allen from pop star to retailer as she and her sister Sarah launch their own fashion store
Series 1 Summary
Last September Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen launched their vintage clothing store Lucy in Disguise. Channel 4 cameras followed the sisters every step of the way as Lily traded in the security of a hugely successful music career to move into the precarious world of running a business.
But that's not the only change in Lily's life. The series charts a tumultuous year as Lily took a break from recording so she could settle down into a `normal' life with partner Sam - a year which she now says has fundamentally changed her as a person, and which she talks about candidly.
Feeling tired of life on the road, Lily is quitting touring in favour of a quieter life, and to realise another dream - to open a vintage shop.
The series begins backstage at The O2 Arena on the last night of Lily's tour as she prepares to begin a new chapter in her life. Along with her half-sister Sarah (a total business novice) Lily plans on making couture and vintage pieces available to those who may not be able to afford such luxury items in an innovative clothes store where customers can hire or buy one-off designer garments.
They set out transforming Lily's office into the base for their business. But all they have is the name - Lucy in Disguise - and an idea.
To make up for their lack of experience and transform their dream for the shop into a viable business Sarah and Lily hire Jess Morris as their brand director. With 15 years in the fashion industry under her belt Jess has worked for the likes of Agent Provocateur and Vivienne Westwood, and it's her job to help them find the right shop in the right place with the right stock.
While Lily is easily carried away spending her hard earned money on amazing one off items, Sarah is tasked with sorting out the company finances as she undergoes a crash course in business management to try and devise a budget for the project.
They start splashing the cash on couture fashion for stock but receive some home truths about their plans from retail guru Mary Portas after a focus group is unsure about the shop's concept and prices.
Tensions between the sisters are running high as Sarah tries to take financial control of the business. Lily talks openly about the rift in their relationship when they were younger, and reveals how her slim figure the press raved about in 2009 was the result of an unhealthy relationship with food.
The girls hunt for their perfect shop location and pitch for a bank loan while Lily moves house and announces she's pregnant.
It's now May and the girls are due to open their shop in September, but they're still without premises, and Lily has already invested a substantial amount of her own money into the business.
While Lily is pulled back into the showbiz limelight for the Ivor Novello song writing awards, where she is a triple winner, Sarah and Jess trawl the streets of London to find the perfect location for their vintage store.
But the shop isn't Lily's only priority. A large part of her exit plan from touring is to set up a home for her and partner Sam. Lily talks about their future plans together and how she believes that caring for a family is her ultimate vocation.
Back at the office Sarah is working flat out establishing the business as Lily's initial investment is running out. The girls call on Mary Portas again to help them find a location for their shop. And the day of reckoning arrives as they head to the bank to ask for a six-figure sum to invest into their business - or Lucy in Disguise won't become a reality.
And it soon becomes apparent why Lily has been so removed from the business and keeping a low profile, as she confirms that she is expecting a baby and has suffered from terrible morning sickness.
But with only six weeks to go can Sarah and Jess persuade Lily that a store in Covent Garden is their perfect fit?
In the final programme Lily and Sarah face the last few hurdles before opening the shop with a glittering launch night. But the year ends in devastation for Lily.
It's August and Lily and Sarah have found the premises for Lucy in Disguise, but with just five weeks to go before opening they are yet to move in and set up shop. With the layout and design to complete, a launch party to arrange and stock to move, it's all hands on deck.
In the countdown to opening they consult Mary Portas again about the layout and hit a stumbling block when the sisters disagree over whether to have the blow-dry bar they'd orginally planned for extra income.
Six hundred invites go out for the launch party and it's an emotional moment for Sarah when she sees the finished shop for the first time.
Finally Lucy in Disguise is open and gets a rapturous reception from friends, family and the press. But nothing could prepare Lily and her family for what came next.
Lily returns to work in January and reflects on the tumultuous year; a year which she says has fundamentally changed her as a person.
Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags synopsis
Series charting the metamorphosis of Lily Allen from pop star to retailer as she and her sister Sarah launch their own fashion storeEpisode Guide >