Lily Allen – From Riches To Rags Review: Material Girls

LILY ALLEN – FROM RICHES TO RAGS: Tuesday 15th March, C4, 10pm

If there’s one thing that celebrities have failed to get their pampered, empty heads around, it’s how to be inconspicuous. The rules are simple – 1) If you go on a massive drug binge try not to invite a member of the tabloid press along 2) If you’re trying to stay out of the media do not shave of all your hair, and 3) if you want to keep something low-key then do not talk about it on social networking sites. Sadly for Lily Allen she failed to take heed of that final rule of thumb and in a sudden act of apprehension begged her army of Twitter followers not to watch her new documentary series. Needless to say if her possé of Cheryl Cole hating fans weren’t going to watch the documentary before, they certainly were now.

Riches to Rags follows Miss Allen, who quit music last year for fear of “ending up like Madonna,â€? as she ventures into the world of retail with her vintage boutique Lucy in Disguise, and after watching this first episode we can understand her initial fears. Lily and her “flakyâ€? sister Sarah sit around guzzling red wine and chain smoking enough cigarettes to make the cast of Mad Men swoon, whilst a handful of retail gurus try to muster a business out of the sisters’ hare-brained ideas. In fact, fashion expert Mary Portas firmly tells the girls that they “need to experience life outside of Primrose Hill.â€?

During a string of booze-fuelled business meetings, Lily and Sarah explain that they want to create a boutique that allows the average woman to rent designer clobber in order to feel like a star. Sadly, despite their best intentions, they have absolutely no idea what the average woman can afford to spend on renting out vintage pieces. In fact, despite Sarah claiming that after two decades of partying she has no money, the pair swan around vintage stockists spending Lily’s cash on various collection pieces for most of this evening’s episode, with Lily even exposing her naked breasts for the camera.

As Allen begins to build her business, Riches to Rags also endeavours to capture the private life of the woman who once famously dedicated her song ‘F**k You’ to David Cameron whilst performing at Glastonbury. In a visit home to her mother’s house, we at OTB were stunned at the upper-middle class surroundings in which Lily was brought up. She and her family gather for “din dinsâ€? and discuss the ridiculousness of computer game Grand Theft Auto. As for the sisters, Lily and Sarah have spent years fighting and Lily once even gave Sarah two black eyes during one of their numerous arguments before chasing her round the kichen with a carving knife. It seems strange therefore that the pair, who claim to have now made peace, are going into business funded solely by Lily’s money.

Perhaps Lily had a point when she tried to tweet her way out of embarrassment, because Rags to Riches portrays her an immature, spoilt star and it is difficult to relate to her. It certainly seems like a jolly good laugh cavorting about trying on clothes and drinking wine under the pretence of having a real job, but no matter how serious Lily and her sister Sarah claim to be, the whole venture smacks of two sisters playing pretend.