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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Lily Allen's new blow-dry bar...

I had to walk up and down King Street a few times last night, trying to detect a hub of fellow journos at the launch of Lily Allen's new Blow Dry bar. I eventually found the location (the vintage clothing emporium, Lucy in disguise, that Lily and her sister Sarah have just opened) and tentatively stepped in. There were a few people flicking through the rails of lust-worthy items but nothing that screamed 'this is a Lily Allen party.' The usual questions ran through my head..."Is this the right place?" "Have I got the wrong day?" "Has Lily gone soft since being with child?" Turns out, I needn't have worried - the party lay beneath the shop, in the soon-to-be blow-dry bar, which, by the way, is gorgeous.

Me at the launch, enjoying an exclusive Grey Goose vodka cocktail
Retro leather salon chairs were poised in front of glamorous, dressing-room-style mirrors, while the so-hip-I-could-die stylists got to work on the guests. One girl walked away with a complicated-looking punky pony, another a 40s-esque finger wave. Minature fragrance heroes lay out on the counter (Tom Ford 'Black Orchid' and Chanel 'No 5' were two of the scents calling to be spritzed), while the achingly cool shop girls handed out mini cupcakes and canapes. The soundtrack to the night was provided by 'Jazz to Go', a cute-as-a-button trio who dazzled on the cello, keyboard and mic. I spotted Jamie Winstone having her nails done. She was rocking a bleached-blonde updo, and really is like a lifesize Polly Pocket.

Now for the treatments...just like the antique clothing, the stores' blow-dry menu specialises in vintage styles. All the styling is done using Bumble&Bumble products (mmm), on dry tresses, so don't turn up with 5 day old hair expecting it to be washed. Whether you're after a retro post-box red, or a mirror-like metallic, the WAHL nail bar is your go-to destination for a fast mani. My particular highlight was the built-in Grey Goose vodka bar, which means you can enjoy delicious cocktails while being preened amd pampered. You can chance walking in to the salon, or make an appointment to be on the safe side. This is definitely the sort of beauty emporium you want to visit before a big London night out.
This is a sure-fire hit. You only have to look at the success of the Daniel Hersheson Blow Dry bar in Topshop's flagship store to know there's a definite market for a post-shop beauty treatment. For a first-hand look at the new Blow-Dry bar, check out this interview with co-owner (and sister to Lily), Sarah Owen. Enjoy Sx

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