Poppy Delevingne ready to focus on acting career
Poppy Delevingne comes from a long line of millionaire aristocrats. She was a top model before her supermodel sister Cara ever hit the scene, but now, she tells Triona McCarthy, she’s focusing more on her acting career.
Poppy Delevingne, the 32-year-old model, socialite and sister of Cara, is talking in her plummy yet gorgeously gravelly voice. "I don't do it in the bedroom," she declares. "I do it in the sitting room." Just like Trump said he'll know "within the first minute" if the North Korea summit is going well, I know hanging out with Poppy is fun from the get-go. I meet her to talk about the launch of her latest collection - Queen of Pop with Jo Malone London.
Poppy instantly lights up the room with her sense of humour and approachability. We're supposed to be chatting through the colognes and candles in the collaboration, as well as the first ever bubble bath for the brand, something the bright and bubbly Poppy insisted on.
However, the model's success means much of her life is spent mid-air, commuting between London and LA, so who better to get some packing tips and tricks from?
"I've a laminated list by my desk because I pack everything in my sitting room as there's more space, so I don't like doing it in the bedroom.
"I go through my list, tick things off, bring everything downstairs, lay it all out, and pack it into sections. So if I'm somewhere like Dublin for 24 hours, I can shove my hand in and know where my knickers are, know where my bras are, know where my hairbrush is."
I'm sort of surprised Poppy is so well organised and regimented.
We've all seen Poppy papped partying it up with her famous pals, who include David Beckham and her former flatmate Sienna Miller.
Who can forget the famous photos, last year, of her coming out of a bar in west Hollywood with Golden Balls himself, looking slightly worse for wear. Hmm.
"I'm actually secretly, scarily organised - it's quite weird," the blonde, blue-eyed beauty with impossibly high cheekbones and eyelashes far longer than are strictly necessary tells me.
Is that because your life is so chaotic?
"I think so, but I've always - since I was a little girl - been very organised. Filing and colour coding my stationery and thank-you cards. Bizarre, I know, but I'm passionate about it."
Are you a neat freak then? Do you get obsessive about lining up the tins in the cupboard?
"No, but my husband's kind of like that. When I was a teen, I was quite messy. But I've been with my husband for 10 years, and he's really tidy. Basically, if you come to our house, it's kind of immaculate, I'm not going to lie. It's kind of a safe haven where I can just get there and go 'ah' and not have chaos."
Poppy's husband is James Cook, a former model who works for his family's aerospace company.
The ridiculously good-looking couple tied the knot in May 2014 at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, with Poppy in a custom-made Chanel couture gown, and her sister Cara - also in Chanel - as her maid of honour.
The wedding breakfast at Kensington Palace Gardens was followed by an after-party at London hotspot Chiltern Firehouse which continued late into the night.
The happy couple then jetted off to Marrakesh to continue the celebrations at La Mamounia, Marrakesh's most swish hotel. For this party, Poppy wore an embellished Pucci gown designed by the king of bohemian chic, Peter Dundas. The Moroccan-themed, hippie/rave-inspired affair saw them surrounded by their celebrity friends, with numerous outfit changes for the bride.
A-listers such as Cara's godmother Joan Collins, Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Matthew Williamson, Georgia May Jagger and Princess Beatrice - imagine that seating plan - partied for three days. It's definitely worth googling the photographs.
It was actually the night of James's birthday that Poppy was seen out with Beckham in Los Angeles.
This piqued people's interest. Poppy, however, was quick to post a black-and-white photo of her husband on Instagram, quickly quelling any rumours. Underneath, she wrote: "Happy Birthday to you, my husband, my true blue, my forever boy. Your support & love is endless, & I can honestly say I am one lucky weasel to have you in my life."
Poppy mentions James quite a lot during our conversation, and I can't help but admire her engagement ring, wedding band and eternity ring.
They were all custom-made by James, she tells me. Her engagement ring is an emerald-cut blue diamond in a bezel setting with heart-shaped side stones.
"I was admiring your rings as well," she says, and we get all girly, although I have to excuse the state of my nails, having pulled off super-glued stick-on nails earlier that morning.
"Never do stick-ons. They nearly ripped up my nail beds before and it took four months to get over it," Poppy tells me. "Now, if they ever try to do it to me on a shoot... I'm never a diva, but if you put any of those stick-on nails on me, I will have a fit. For four months, my nails would split down the middle and start bleeding into the bed."
Poppy is super friendly and fun, probably because she comes from a very social family, the Delevingne dynasty - one of London's best-connected high-society families.
She appears to be on every important guest list from the Met Gala Ball in New York, to fabulous front rows.
From a long line of millionaires, debutantes and party peeps, her maternal grandparents were a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret and the managing director of the Evening Standard and the Daily Express.
Pandora Delevingne, Poppy's mother, was one of the society beauties of the 1980s. She was friends with Sarah Ferguson in school, and is a former heroin addict.
I remember reading an interview about how Poppy believed her name was a reference (as in opium poppy) to her mother's drug addiction. "I watched her struggling with addiction, in and out of rehab, desperately striving to overcome it," Poppy says. "My mother is the bravest human being I've ever come across."
Charles, Poppy's father, is a grandson of politician Hamar Greenwood, first Viscount Greenwood, while his late aunt, Doris Delevingne, was a society girl close to Winston Churchill. Her Venice palazzo was bought by Peggy Guggenheim, and is the site of the Venice Guggenheim museum today.
Charles made his money in property, much of it in partnership with the late Ned Ryan, the son of a Tipperary farmer and a one-time bus conductor who went on to become a confidant of Princess Margaret and her 'walker'.
Poppy is one of three sisters. Chloe, who is the eldest, is also the brains of the bunch, training to be a doctor, building on her biomedical sciences degree.
Poppy is six years Cara's senior, and prior to Cara's meteoric rise to fame, it was Poppy's name that was doing the rounds of the fashion world as an ambassador for Chanel, a muse to Marc Jacobs, the face of Louis Vuitton and in campaigns for the likes of Burberry and Anya Hindmarch.
Both Cara and Poppy attended the fashionable private school Bedales (Chloe went to Stowe) and it was here that Poppy was scouted at 15 by Storm Model Management supremo Sarah Doukas - Doukas's daughter was also a pupil at Bedales.
In person, Poppy - who has appeared in films Kingsman, The Golden Circle and King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword - is much taller than you'd think.
She's wearing a sleeveless khaki-green velvet jumpsuit, which only someone of her stature and beauty could carry off, her blonde hair is softly curled and she's showing off some seriously chic earrings.
"Oh, they're by this girl called Sophie Lis. Her Instagram is @sophielislondon. These are the fallen stars, and she does lightning-bolt necklaces and bracelets."
I tell Poppy they might be perfect for a big party I have coming up, which leads us on to talking about our going-out rituals.
"I love getting ready to really loud music. The first thing I have to do is have a dirty martini or a pint. I'm a pint girl. And I like to just be with my friends, dancing like idiots. I love dancing. I'm all about the dancing. And generally ending up on the floor in a heap of giggles; that's kind of like my night out.
"And the morning after, it's all about a big bowl of pasta or toast. Anything that's carbs. Toast with lots of butter, or pasta with lots of cheese, and PG Tips. And a bath or shower.
"And also that's the thing - when I was a teenager or in my 20s, I thought you had to lie in bed until you got over the hangover. Absolutely not true. If you get up and shower and you push on for half an hour, feeling like you're going to keel over, you kind of get over it. It's like, just do something! If you just lie there, you feel deathly."
She adds: "To be really honest, this year has been bonkers and I've been filming a lot. And when I film, I don't drink. Because I cannot. For me, this acting career now, it's like starting a new job, it's the first day of school, and I still feel very alien. And I just finished a TV show in March and then did press for that. It's called Genius Picasso and it's on National Geographic.
"So I finished that at the end of March, and did a press tour. I just haven't had enough hangovers this year. But I've had a few, and they've all been spectacular in their own right, but I have to book them in. When you're in your 20s, they just sort of creep up on you and it doesn't really matter. Now it's like, 'I have to prepare'.
"We just went on a trip with a bunch of really close friends to Turkey, to stay with some friends who worked for this hotel and they wanted us on this little trip. It was brilliant, and I definitely had two substantial hangovers.
"But what was so beautiful about it was that the sun was out, and I was in Turkey, so what with the weather, I just rolled out of bed, put on a swimsuit and you're lying like that and you throw yourself into the sea, and the hangover disappears.
"But otherwise I've been working, so I haven't had any London ones."
I suppose with modelling, you could be hung-over, and all you'd need to do was just open your eyes?
"More so, but again. I'm one of these people, I can get hungover quite quickly and also, it really shows on me. And my eyes get a little smaller, and I'm not very good at it. So, if I'm working, I'm actually pretty good, and I don't."
What Poppy can’t live without
I use this off-the-beaten-track range called Medical Beauty Research. There’s a face wash that I’m obsessed with and can’t live without. I’ve used it for the last five years. I love Sisley Eye Cream, and all the SkinCeuticals products, especially C Ferulic.
I love Dr Barbara Sturm and Creme de la Mer, of course, for night-time, for extra indulgence.
I’m really into nourishing and hydrating skin on flights, so Dr Paw Paw cream is a must. And I’ve just discovered this new product called Cara Soin, which is all natural-based. It’s a cream, but it turns into a very light oil. I also use a brand called MV Organics by this fantastic lady called Sharon McGlinchey, an Aussie. It’s all very natural, and she has a rose mist spray that I love.
I like a bold lip, and love all sorts of brands like Lancome and Bobbi Brown. Burberry does amazing contour sticks. I love Chanel — especially for their loose powders, nail polishes and eyeshadows. And Charlotte Tilbury, of course!
LITTLE BLACK BOOK
I love facials. I’ve got an amazing lady in London called Teresa Tarmey. see teresatarmey.com
The Instant Look in a Palette in Beauty Glow by Charlotte Tilbury was inspired by Poppy’s wedding-day look. Charlotte, a good friend, was responsible for her make-up.
Poppy talking scents
QUEEN OF POP COLLECTION
Jo Malone never had a bubble bath before, so, I thought, ‘It’s about time’. I did it in this larger bottle, because I thought ‘The more the merrier, the more bubbles the better’.
I made it in three very indulgent sort of sumptuous fragrances — Velvet Rose & Oud, Black Cedarwood & Juniper, and Nectarine Blossom & Honey.
And you can’t have bath time without a candle. So we’ve done these very florally-clean fragrances like Grapefruit, Blackberry & Bay and Basil & Neroli.
Then there’s my three favourite fragrances, Amber & Lavender — which my husband wears — it’s unisex, also lovely on the ladies. Peony & Blush Suede, which is my brand-new favourite; and Red Roses, which I’ve worn since I was 18! So, it’s an old, dear best friend.
Peony & Blush Suede is a floral, but it’s got a little edge to it. It’s really pretty, and people really react to that. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, what is that? I need that.’
I wanted to celebrate Jo Malone London’s fragrance-combining philosophy, which is why so many love the brand — it’s why I do. We wanted to make this personalised bath time — make it unique and special, and choose your own.
As I’ve always been a 1960s girl at heart; we went for it in terms of packaging. We were inspired by pop art and Roy Lichtenstein, so we went for these crazy bold stripes, polka dots, pink and gold. We just wanted to do something that really stood out.
To buy go to www.jomalone.co.uk; also on sale at Brown Thomas Dublin