Alice Stone from Lily and Lionel talks fashion.
I first met lovely Alice Stone from Lily and Lionel at a fun event celebrating Brit brands in The Dressing Room – a fab independent boutique in St Albans. I had previously fallen for her scarf collection – which you can read about here…, but this time around she was showing off her new ready-to-wear collection which is a riot of print and vintage style pieces which would fit just right into anyone’s wardrobe… especially mine 😉
Alice on her work:
How did you get into fashion design?
It’s always been in my blood. My family has been in fashion for two generations before me, and it has always been my obsession, ever since I was a little girl playing dress up. After studying design at LCF, I went on to cut my teeth working for designers Matthew Williamson before starting Lily and Lionel.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love travelling and picking up inspiration wherever I go. Ultimately, as a creative all your experiences shape your work and exploring different cultures and continents is the greatest source of inspiration for new collections.
How long does it take you to design a collection each season?
It takes about 3-4 months, from researching and designing the prints and shapes, to getting the initial samples and making tweaks, to seeing the final product. It can be a long, but really fun process.
What’s the hardest part of running your own business?
As Creative Director, you have to manage all the day-to-day tasks of running a business, while simultaneously finding the time and space to think of the bigger picture for the brand. It takes a lot of juggling but also keeps my job interesting.
Who’s your icon in the fashion industry?
Although slightly cliché, Coco Chanel has always been a massive source of inspiration. Her ability to go against the grain and create a label that has stood the test of time is by no means an easy feat.
Which aspect of the design process do you find the most fun and which most challenging?
I love silhouette planning – creating all the new shapes for our ready-to-wear collection. It’s so exciting to see ideas come to life, thread by thread. Deciding on which prints make the final cut in the collection is always challenging as I can be indecisive and it can be so hard to narrow it down when there are so many that I am passionate about.
What’s a typical day like for you?
First I go through projects with my team, then I’ll spend an hour answering emails before completing bigger tasks. Someone once told me to do the one thing that scares you first every day, and that’s advice I’ve taken on board. It makes it much easier to focus on what you need to get done for the rest of the day.
How do you dress for the day – comfort or style?
Comfort and style! I definitely don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. I need to wear clothes I can move in, so I’ll put a structured blazer with my favourite jeans and trainers if I’m running around. I rarely wear heels to work, though at times I wish I was that person!
Alice on her style:
What’s your personal style quirk?
Sentimental gold jewellery. I love layering up many of my favourite necklaces together; each one tells a different story.
What do you splurge on?
Classic pieces; beautiful leather pieces such as jackets or trousers, together with items I know will never date. It’s definitely something that has come with age. I used to buy a lot of high street and throw half of it away each year. Now I very much have a ‘less is more’ attitude.
Which item do you wish you could have from your mother’s closet?
I would love her vintage handbags and her precious jewellery.
A fashion rule you never break?
I never have my legs and upper body showing at the same time.
Heels or flats?
Current street style or Instagram crush?
Sienna Miller always gets it right.
3 of your favourite stores/designers?
Liberty is my favourite store, and I love Alexander Wang and Chloe.
Lipstick or chapstick?
Lipstick – it always makes me feel instantly put together.
With thanks to Alice for chatting to us. You can find her gorgeous brand here, but it’s also stocked in The Dressing Room, as well as loads of major stores like Liberty, Harrods, Harvey Nics and some Whistles stores. Her new collection will start landing in stores from later this month.
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