Shabby Chic's Offspring! Meet Lily Ashwell

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Born and raised in L.A. by her artist father, David Ashwell, and the mother of Shabby Chic, literally, Rachel Ashwell, Lily Ashwell was bred to become a designer. Surrounded by floral motifs and vintage gems, Lily began her career as a vintage dress preserver. Expect to see this designer’s Shabby Chic home (decked out with vintage clothing wall-hangings), on the Coveteur soon. But first, she dished to The Daily with her vintage tips and tricks.

Did your parents support your designer aspirations?
I grew up in a very open household; I could’ve done anything and my parents would’ve supported it. Both my parents are very creative! My dad’s a painter and mom started Shabby Chic. In our house, we were always making things and trying to find visual ways to express ourselves. My mom’s aesthetic played a large role in particular, with her vintage-inspired look and attention to detail.

Is your apartment Shabby Chic? 
My mom would say my taste is a branched-off version of hers. I’m drawn to darker colors and a little bit of a bolder palette but it’s very vintage, comfortable, and English Countryside meets California.

Will there be a collab between you and your mother in the future? 
Maybe one day. She’s amazing and I’d love to do something with her. Right now, I’m nursing my baby: My Lily Ashwell line. My mom is my sounding board, and I run my ideas by her.

Is she a tough critic? 
Yes! Sometimes, I’m nervous presenting to her. She puts her mom hat aside and is constructively critical. I sometimes get defensive, but she pushes me to discover things I normally wouldn’t.

What story does the S/S ’13 collection tell? 
In the summer, my fave thing to do is go on road trips with my go-to 10 vintage staples.

Run us through your essentials, s’il vous plait
I live in vintage and have a crazy vintage archive that all my collections are inspired by. My go-to pieces are my old French workwear overalls, a few 1940’s floral dresses that are easy to throw on and style day to night, and cute accent Peter Pan collars. 

As a vintage shopping pro, what are your top three tips? 
One, be discerning and don’t get easily seduced. Two, think of a handful of ways to incorporate that one piece into your wardrobe. You have to make sure it won’t just be quirky, and remain unused. Three, take a look at the construction to make sure the seams won’t bust open! All those rules can be thrown to the wind if you find something so spectacular you want to hammer it on your wall as a painting in your house. I have a few pieces like that in my place!

Where are your fave vintage stores in LA and New York?
I don’t go to stores; the prices often get jacked up. I go to flea markets! In New York, I go to Brimfields, and in L.A. I go to the Rose Bowl once a month, as well as The Way We Wore. 

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