Exclusive: California Dreaming with Poppy Delevingne
Call us biased, but there’s nothing quite like a Southern California winter—the warm weather, the gorgeous sunsets, the outdoor activities—the list goes on. It’s no wonder then that sunny Los Angeles serves as jetsetter Poppy Delevingne’s home away from home at this time of year. Though a London native, Delevingne might be a true Californian at heart, as evidenced by her late-night In-N-Out Burger trips, insider knowledge of L.A.’s greatest haunts, and laidback fashion sense. We caught up with the model and tastemaker on her latest trip to the City of Angels (the first stop on her three-week honeymoon!) to talk what’s in her suitcase, that swimsuit collaboration everyone is buzzing about, and more!
There isn’t much Poppy Delevingne says no to when she’s in Los Angeles, so when we asked her to pack a bag of beach-ready pieces on the fly and take off on a road trip to Ventura (about 60 miles north of L.A.), the model was immediately game! Delevingne is, after all, an adventure seeker. “I love discovering new places,” she told us. “I think L.A. gives you the green light to be artistic, so I always feel like getting creative when I am here.” Impromptu photo shoots with friends around the city are a regular occurrence for Delevingne, who admits the thrill is in going to crazy places at all hours of the morning and night. Talking to Delevingne about her favorite California spots, you’d think the tastemaker had lived here for years, noting hidden gems like Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, the “mad genius places” in Topanga Canyon, and 1 Gun Ranch in Malibu.
Credits: Zimmermann one-piece, Ara Vartanian necklce; Rag & Bone shorts; Nicky Kehoe blanket.
Delevingne’s love of California is more than just a state of mind, though. Take a quick peek at the contents of her suitcase and you’ll find everything from breezy dresses to Converse sneakers, a nod to the model’s casual approach to dressing. “I’m definitely more laidback,” she tell us. “My husband always criticizes me when we’re in London. He’ll be like, ‘Why are you dressing like that? You’re not in L.A.,’ which basically means I dress for warm weather even when it’s freezing. I love it, I always feel a lot more free when I am [in Los Angeles].”
Credits: Matthew Williamson scarf; Topshop sweater.
Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a three-week excursion, packing is Delevingne’s strong suit. “I’m so pro at it now,” she says. “I’m also pretty quick. It takes me half an hour.” The seasoned traveler admits there is a process behind it, but tells us there are no lists involved. “Something might jog my memory as I’m packing and I will write it on my phone, like ‘find pink bra’ or ‘find red dress,’” she says. “I start with underwear first and make sure to have a complete variety, and the same with bras. Then I do tops, followed by jumpers, then jeans, dresses, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. There are always certain pieces you know you want to wear or show off, so I always make sure I have that first and then pack basics around it.”
Credits: vintage dress.
Among the many items Delevingne brought with her on our winter beach escape—namely a floor-sweeping, embroidered vintage dress she picked up in London and a neon stripe furry coat by Elizabeth and James—were a slew of cheerful swimsuits from her collaboration with Solid & Striped. “I was in L.A. for my hen [the British word for bachelorette party] last year and a friend gifted me a Solid & Striped bikini and I fell so in love with it that I bought them for all of my bachelorettes,” she told us of her first experience with the brand. Within an hour of meeting Solid & Striped founder Isaac Ross the idea of a collaboration was on the table. “It felt very organic, very right. We wanted to cater to as many types of body shapes as possible, so we came up with the three-part silhouette: the bandeau, the bikini, and the one-piece.”
As for the inspiration behind the swimwear collection’s vibrant color-blocking and charming flamingo motif, Delevingne credits her star icon: Patricia Arquette’s character Alabama Whitman from True Romance. “I loved her sense of freedom when she dressed, and she was always having fun with it,” she says. “We went for these really ice cream-y, almost edible colors that are flattering.” With the success of the first collection, we couldn’t help but ask if a spring line was in the works. “We would love to, but we will just have to wait and see— fingers and toes are crossed,” she told us. “I already have so many ideas for it, so it would be ideal.”
Credits: Manoush dress.
While Delevingne has a covetable wardrobe all her own, she told us she’s plenty happy dipping into sister Cara’s style from time to time. Of course, sharing closets wasn’t always so easy. “Pre Cara’s modeling days I would go mad seeing my favorite Rag & Bone blazer on her Facebook, because I’d probably never see it again, “ she laughed. “Now that her wardrobe is quickly becoming quite fabulous, I’m really enjoying stealing items from it. It’s great—it’s like having double the size of the wardrobe, and so I’m not complaining.”
Credits: Tanvi Kedia top; Solid & Striped + Poppy Delevingne Halterneck Bikini ($175).
Last year may have afforded Delevingne some amazing opportunities, but the Brit assures us that 2015 is going to be her year. “At the end of 2014, I started broadening my horizons in terms of what I was doing with my career,” she says. “I really want to branch out and do a lot more collaborations and designing. My friend Osman Yousefzada has an annual magazine called The Collective, and I want to work with him more on co-curating shoots and art directing, being on the other side of the camera. After modeling this long, you start developing certain opinions of your own. I want to do writing as well, so I think 2015 is going to be a year of new discoveries for me. Once you pop, you don’t stop—that’s my book title.”
Photographer: Kat Borchart
Hair/Makeup: Stacey Tan
Styling: Poppy Delevingne
Creative Producer: Jenna Peffley