For my recent Date with Kate with Poppy Delevingne I honed in on a look that was light and airy and a fun colour palette of green and white. It was a refreshing change from a lot of the heavier looks I’ve been wearing during winter and what better excuse to embrace a little colour than lunch with one of my favourite models/actresses.
I am always easily won over by a long sleeved dress—there’s just something about the silhouette and the way it always looks chic and polished that I love. However I also couldn’t look past all the design finishes on this particular Maggie Marilyn dress (who by the way is quickly becoming one of my favourite designers). The cutout neckline, the sweet oversized bow and the ruching all work together to achieve a look that’s sweet without being too saccharine.
I wanted to have fun with my accessories so it seemed the perfect time for my embellished Gucci Dionysus bag to come out to play. My floral Gucci slides added a statement element to the rest of my look and pink sunglasses made for a vibrant finishing touch.
Credits: Dress (not in store yet), Maggie Marilyn; Shoes, Gucci; Bag (similar), Gucci; Sunglasses (similar), Gucci
You’ll be familiar with Poppy Delevingne first and foremost as a model. She was first scouted at the age of 15 by Sarah Doukas, Storm models founder and the woman who discovered a young Kate Moss. And whilst she’s modelled for the likes of Burberry and Alberta Feretti, and landed magazine covers for Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and fronted campaigns for the likes Louis Vuitton it seems she’s found her true calling: acting. She’s starred in King Arthur and Kingsman: The Golden Circle and is appearing opposite Antonio Banderas in Genius: Picasso. However we’re sitting down for a chat for another reason—her Queen of Pop collection with Jo Malone London. The fun, 60s inspired range includes everything from bubble bath to fragrances and has brought Poppy to Sydney to chat about its launch in Australia. Here we chat about working with such an iconic brand, why she loves Aussie labels and the one place in the world that gives her butterflies.
What are you up to and what are you doing in Australia?
I am in Australia for the last leg of my Jo Malone London Queen of Pop tour. We’ve done LA, London, Dublin, Paris, Milan. Now Australia. So this is my last bit, and I’m very sad that it’s ending.
Tell me all about your collection.
So Queen of Pop… we created our first standalone bubble bath. It’s Jo Malone’s first ever bubble bath. It’s about time. In a much bigger bottle, with three very luxurious fragrances. And then what is bath time without a luxury candle? Which we did in another three fragrances. And then I picked three favourite colognes, which all mean something to me in very unique and special ways. I’m a 60s girl at heart, so we went for quite a Mod aesthetic. I was very inspired by the 60s, and by pop art, and Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. So, bright polka dots, bright colours, gold stripes. We just wanted to do something that was really playful.
And so how did you go about choosing the fragrances?
So, Red Rose is … Was the first Jo Malone perfume I ever wore, and I started wearing it when I was 18 years old and I always go back to it, it’s like an old friend. Amber and Lavender is the cologne that my husband wears. It’s a unisex cologne and we did these little bottles so I can now carry him around wherever I go. And Peony Blush & Suede is my all-time favourite Jo Malone fragrance because it’s so feminine and light and floral, but has a little edge to it. If I wear it I get compliments.
The Queen of Pop collection is now available in Australia
What is a day in the life of you?
Every single day is so different…. a lot of planes, usually make up a lot of my time. I’ve actually at the moment just started [filming] a new TV show called Riviera, season two. So I’ve moved out to Nice, and I’ll be living there ’til November. Which is super exciting. Every day is a new adventure.
You’ve come from a modelling background, and now you’re focusing more on films and TV. Which genre do you prefer?
I prefer acting. I never really felt like I belonged to the modelling world. I was just always that goofy girl with lipstick on her teeth, tripping over lighting cables. I’m so grateful for the career that I had in the fashion industry, but acting really has my heart.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt while modelling?
Oh my God, to have a thick skin. To not take things personally. How to deal with jet lag.
What do you love most about acting?
For me, I like the challenge of it. I’ve always been someone who likes to push myself and challenge myself in any way that I can. So, for me it’s that terrifying feeling I get before going on set, and then being able to do it and achieve it. That sense of achievement at the end of the day is everything.
You’ve worked on some big films. What has been the biggest pinch-me moment?
I think my biggest victory moment would have to be doing the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in America. And I did that with Steve Martin and Martin Short. I’ve always been [a] huge fan [of both actors], since I was young. I grew up with [the movie] Father of the Bride. So, for me to be sitting on a sofa with those two comedic greats, and with Jimmy Fallon, who’s also a genius, he’s unbelievable, I was absolutely petrified and I opened a beer bottle with my eye sockets. I was like, “Oh my God, don’t do this, you’re gonna get a black eye!” It was so fun.
What was it like to be on such a big production like the movie King Arthur?
I mean, daunting, but quite incredible. Working with [director] Guy Ritchie is a dream come true. Getting to act with the wonderful Eric Bana and to meet all these incredible actors who I could learn so much from. It was daunting, but magical all at the same time.
What was it like to work with Antonio Banderas in the show Genius: Picasso?
Incredible. He is such a kind and generous man, and such a generous actor, and to be able to work with someone like him who I could learn so much from and … He was always so helpful and so respectful and I learnt a lot from him.
What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received would have to be from Cinderella, which is, “Be kind and have courage.” I love that.
How would you describe your personal style?
I think my personal style is very eclectic and I would say that I always dress to suit my mood. I like spontaneous dressing.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
For my daily uniform, I always have a really good pair of jeans. I’m obsessed with FRAME Denim or Citizens of Humanity. T-shirts, I love James Perse and Calvin Klein. A leather jacket. I have a gorgeous one by Anine Bing. And then I’d wear these little trainers called Feiyues, which are actually from China. I live in them. So yeah, like jeans, t-shirt, leather jacket and trainers.
What about beauty essentials?
Oh, my God, where do we begin? I wash my face with MBR (Medical Beauty Research) enzyme face wash. I love using Crème de la Mer eye cream and soft moisturizing lotion. That’s basically me done. I like to keep it very simple and quite basic.
What are you makeup daily essentials or are you one of those people that wears no makeup on a normal day?
If I’m not working, I like to do no makeup whatsoever, because whenever I’m working, it’s part of my job to wear it so I like to give my face a day off every now and again.
Are you a flats or heels girl?
Flats, because I’m so tall on my own. I don’t need any help in that department.
Do you like Australian labels? and if so, what are your favourites?
I do. Zimmermann has been one of my all time favorites and it’s come to London now, which is so exciting, because it means that I can basically wear them. I used to love sass & bide. I was so devastated when that stopped, because it was literally like my favourite store in the whole world. Who else do I really love? I’ve got really beautiful things … I can’t remember what she called it now. Her name’s Kit Willow. KITX, she’s got some gorgeous things. She’s a beautiful designer.
What are your favorite things to do when you come to Australia?
See all my Aussie fans, because they’re literally some of my favourite people in the whole entire world. To see them, to drink Aperol Spritzes, be in the sunshine, work on my freckles and shop.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
When I think about Italy, when I think about Positano and I think about having pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, that gives me butterflies with excitement. And Le Sirenuse Hotel has ton loads of memories. One of my all-time favourite places in the world.
What do you carry in your travel bag?
In my travel bag I have a lovely organic lavender hand sanitizer. Yes, it’s literally the best thing ever. What else do I always carry in my bag? Jo Malone London do a gorgeous lip balm, a gorgeous vitamin E lip balm. They also do a lovely geranium and walnut hand cream that I’m obsessed with. And I’m also really obsessed with Dr. Barbara Sturm, who does these hyaluronic ampules. They’re like acid ampules and you crack them open and put all over your skin and just let it sink it. It’s heaven.
Amazing. I need to try that.
And a silk eye mask.
Really? Do they really work?
Yes. Makes the world of a difference. It’s so bad to leave … you know if you take off an eye mask and you have a mark on your face, as you get older, it’s really bad to do that. My dermatologist told me that. She’s like, “You need to get silk pillows, silk everything, because-yeah, because, it just wrinkles your face so much. I know, right?
I always saw them and thought, “Oh, it’s too high maintenance to wash silk pillows.”
I know. It’s annoying, but a silk eye mask is good enough.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’ve been finishing off this show, Riviera. I’m filming it till November, and then I think just seeing what comes next. I’m going to be doing a third collaboration with Jo Malone London, so I’m super excited about that. I’m working on it at the moment, so it’s a work in progress, and we’ll hopefully get to tour with it next year.
If you could work on any film or with any actor, what would be your dream role?
My dream would be to work with the wondrous Meryl Streep. I think she can do no wrong. It doesn’t get much better than that.
And any particular character you could play?
I would love to play a character who’s perhaps completely out of my comfort zone. Somewhere where I’d have to really transform myself and really immerse myself and become that person. Anything that’s a real challenge.
Where you see yourself in five years time?
Five years time. Babies, babies, babies. I hope so. Fingers crossed.
We went to: Bistro Moncur Mosman
We ate: Pan fried barramundi fillet; Potato & ricotta gnocchi
Coffee and a chat with Poppy Delevingne at Flemington Racecourse.
British model Poppy Delevingne has modelled for the likes of Louis Vuitton, is an ambassador for Chanel and is a regular in the front row at London Fashion Week. I caught up with the 27-year-old while she was in Australia to chat about starting a new career as an actress, being labelled an “it girl” and her sibling rivalry with her supermodel sister Cara.
What are you doing while you are in Australia?
I’m out here just for Lavazza and Derby Day. Being English I’m so used to the horseracing scene but I’ve never been to Melbourne, so I jumped at the chance.
How does Australian racing compare to Royal Ascot?
Well, Ascot is all about the Queen and sipping tea, and this is one big party, it’s outrageous and wild!
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m living in LA part-time because I’m trying to get some auditions down and I’m trying the whole acting thing.
Poppy on the cover of Vogue Turkey.
Has it been an easy transition from modelling to acting?
No, not at all, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’m having to start at the bottom, so it’s like I’m 17 starting modelling again. It’s quite a hard pill to swallow but I really enjoy the challenge. It’s interesting because in LA I’m completely unknown, so it’s nice, but in London casting directors couldn’t really see past the whole sort of model thing so hence it’s a big move. I have to prove myself even more than before.
Do you want to go into TV or films?
At the moment I’m trying to do TV because I think TV is so big and has longevity in it, so that is my first challenge.
If you could be cast as any character, who would it be?
The things that I’ve been closest to getting have always been the bad roles: the nasty bitch at school, the evil queen and I was really confused by that because I always thought I would be cast as the heroine, leading lady and suddenly they are like “no, you’re definitely the bad role”. I think it might be because I talk like a man [laughs].
What was your first big break in modelling?
I was spotted at Cara’s sports day in London by the owner of Storm Model Management, Sarah Doukas. Her daughter was in the same class as Cara and she approached me and I thought it was the funniest thing I had heard. I was a very gawky teenager, I had limbs that I couldn’t really control, not attractive whatsoever, but she saw something past the freckles and the mad blonde wiry hair, and I decided to give it a go because I needed money so I could go travelling.
Poppy with friends (including Sienna Miller and her sister Cara).
You get labelled as an “It girl”. What do you think of that term?
The “It girl” thing is not as much of a problem as it used to be. I feel like now, it means models or girls who do more than one thing so that does not bother me as much as it did four years ago.
Why did it bother you?
I always assumed that an “It girl” was a girl who didn’t do anything and just went around from party to party, and I’ve worked for the last 10 years so it would piss me off, but now I’m fine, it doesn’t bother me.
You count Princess Beatrice as a good friend and Sienna Miller is your former flatmate; does that feel surreal?
Not really because they are some of the most down-to-earth people that I know and they have also been relationships that I’ve had for years. So, no, it feels very normal. They are very low-key and down-to-earth in their private lives.
Poppy and Sienna Miller.
You top best-dressed lists all around the world, is there pressure to look your best every time you walk out the door?
Not really. I’m bit of a spontaneous dresser, I never really think about it too much, but at the same time I don’t really get hounded [by paparazzi] as much as poor Cara – she gets hounded all the time, and she doesn’t give a shit what she wears.
Tabloids seem to try to create rivalry dramas between you and your sister Cara. How does that feel?
I find it hilarious because we couldn’t be closer. We are as thick as thieves, we have lived together all our lives, we still do live together. I have my telephone on 24/7 and I got a call from her last night at 3am. I mean, we just don’t stop talking and people always want to cause dramas and say there are issues, but we are just two normal sisters who bicker over who stole whose lip gloss and who stole whose last cigarette, that type of thing, like normal sisters. She is the love of my life, really.
Sisterly love: Poppy & Cara Delevingne.
Congratulations on your engagement to your long-term partner James Cook. Can you give away any wedding details?
It’s only seven months away now but I don’t even know what I’m wearing yet. I’m very behind, but my future husband is kind of like the groomzilla. He is fully organised and knows what flowers we are having and I am letting him do it all so he is kind of in charge.
What do you do for fun?
I’m a huge bookworm and I’m a lunatic dancer and, after a couple of beverages, I think I am Carmen Diaz out of Fame.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to have a baby. I’ve suddenly become quite broody, out of nowhere. And I would like to be a fully blown actress living in LA.
Poppy with her fiancé James Cook.
WE WENT TO The Lavazza marquee, Flemington Racecourse.
WE ATE Costoletta di Agnello – Parmesan-crumbed Riverina lamb cutlet, shredded radicchio, pea and mint salad with lemon dressing.