Lily Allen’s guest editor letter for Stylist

Introducing Stylist’s very special guest editor: Lily Allen

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Wondering what you can expect from Lily Allen’s Stylist edit? Prepare yourselves for CBD facials, an incredibly frank interview with Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, and much, much more…

As many fans of Stylist will already know, we are celebrating our 10th birthday this year. Which means that, throughout 2019, we’ll be handing over 10 issues of the magazine to 10 guest editors.

And next up is singer, activist and thoroughly modern icon Lily Allen.

“When we were deciding who should be among our 10 guest editors for Stylist’s 10th birthday celebrations, Lily Allen was an obvious choice,” says Stylist’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski.

“In recent years we have seen a swathe of women using social media to create change – from #MeToo to Everyday Sexism – but Lily was there first, and has spent the past decade using her platform to speak out.

“Like many women with a strong voice, she has been heavily and personally attacked. But she refuses to be silenced, and we have always been inspired by her strength of character, as well as her musical talent. She is a truly strong, Stylist woman.”

Lily Allen
Lily Allen runs through her plans for her special guest edit of Stylist

Lily joined the Stylist team at our London headquarters for a kick-off meeting about her issue back in March – and, naturally, she came brimming with ideas.

“An artist who knew how to connect with people and express herself authentically online long before it was common practice, it’s fair to say Lily is the voice of a distinctly digital generation,” says Stylist’s photography director Tom Gormer, who worked closely with Lily during the project.

“Our two-hour meeting was in two halves: one full of fun, gossip and stories that we cannot repeat. The other, discussion and debate on everything from the power of flags and nail art to Twitter trolls and the complexities of dating.”

The results of that meeting can be seen throughout Lily’s special guest edit of Stylist. In fact, she has written, commissioned, edited or approved every single page in this week’s issue, which will hit the streets and appear online on Tuesday 11 June.

And, as you might expect from someone who is consistently nonconformist and unapologetic – about who she is, who she was, what she thinks – Lily’s take on Stylist is seriously thought-provoking. Think CBD facials, social media activists, self-censorship, tried-and-tested sex toy recommendations, the dark side of fame, and a day in the life of a private investigator. Phew.

The issue also features exclusive interviews with Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer and Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark, an essay from YouTube sensation Amelia Dimoldenberg, a DIY fashion lesson on tie-dye (one of this season’s biggest trends), and Lily’s scoop on the up-and-coming female musicians we all need to know about.

“People always associate me with technology and social media, and I spend a lot of time online. When I first joined social media, I captured what it was meant to be before it got corrupted,” says Lily, explaining the inspiration behind her very special Stylist issue.

“I feel very grateful that I got to enjoy those formative years of the internet. But in the last couple of years, especially with Trump and Brexit, the internet has become a fetid place of propaganda and manipulation. There’s a worrying trend for normalising racism and sexism. So one of the things I wanted to do with this issue was speak out about some of the topics that get shouted down online, like female enjoyment of sex.”

Lily adds: “I’ve also explored the opinion vacuum that social media is creating on page 66. The internet has changed so much that nothing happens organically any more. MySpace allowed new musicians to be discovered, but now the only way they can be found is if somebody is piling lots of money into putting their music in front of everybody.

“It’s lost its democracy, which is why I wanted to include three up-and-coming female musicians I’ve discovered.”

Stylist’s guest editor finishes by saying: “We are living in a strange time, both politically and socially; so I hope this issue gives you a positive break and lots of food for thought.”

We don’t doubt it.

You can read all of the articles from Lily Allen’s special guest edit of Stylist here.

Photography: Sarah Brick

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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