Life Food News

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Sweet tooth model Daisy Lowe launches cookbook

The plucky model chats about her new book tailored to those with a taste for desserts.

Stephen Milton

Published 27/06/2014 | 02:30

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Daisy Lowe.
Daisy Lowe.
Sweetness & Light, by Daisy Lowe.
Sweetness & Light, by Daisy Lowe.

"I was once cancelled from a show when I was 18 for being too fat," a rather enthusiastic Daisy Lowe jubilantly snorts, triumphant in her revelation.

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"I just couldn't fit the clothes. I was probably bordering between a size 10 and an eight and samples sizes are so tiny and back then I wasn't really working out.

"But I didn't really mind because my boyfriend at the time was playing a gig so I got to fly back from Milan and watch him play. So you know, every cloud."

The model follows this admission with enormous, cackling laughter, thrilled with such a reference to her grounded nature.

Which contrasts somewhat from the courteous yet immovable counsel from her publicist to absolutely on no terms, refer to her father Gavin Rossdale or step-mum, the inimitable Gwen Stefani.

Hardly ideal, seeing that's exactly why Lowe is famous after all, right?

Before the publicised romances with super producer Mark Ronson, Dr Who actor Matt Smith and a fleeting dalliance with Harry Styles; before her ascension as a princess of London's Primrose Hill, often photographed with celeb best pals, Alexa Chung, Nick Grimshaw and Kelly Osbourne, the beauty was borne of a media scandal.

A frenzy followed after revelations of a sensational parentage exposing Bush frontman Rossdale as her true biological father from a one night tryst with her mother Pearl, turning 15-year-old Daisy into a star. And seeing as she's stunning, the fashion industry in turn, welcomed the 5'10 beauty with open arms.

Daisy-Lowe.jpg

Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Dolce and Gabbana were all mesmerised by the statuesque teen with the doleful stare, and no doubt charmed by her deliciously rock'n'roll lineage.

A rather vocal school of thought however say her pretty features and 'curvaceous' body would fail to break the fashion world without her connections, lacking that traditional skinny appeal.

But then the model, who's gazed out from the covers of Vogue, Elle, Tatler, even bared all for Playboy, simply doesn't care.

"People will always have an opinion," she says, speaking to Insider from her Primrose Hill home. "That's why I made the conscious decision to never read anything about myself from the age of 19.

"Why bother? It upsets and agitates and I don't need that in my life."

Daisy, 25, is hoping many will read her new cookbook, Sweetness and Light. Yes, brand Lowe is now expanding into our kitchens, brandishing a selection of 60 healthy yet delicious sweet treats.

And how does our fresh new domestic goddess achieve such chicanery?

Well, as a marketing blurb describes, 'with simple changes to ingredients, such as using maple syrup rather than refined sugar, or discovering new ingredients such as raw chocolate, these recipes are transformed into something devilishly delicious but angelically healthy.'

Who knew Lowe fancied herself as a Nigella for a new generation? "God no," she chuckles. "I love baking and I love cooking full stop. I love finding all these alternatives to sweet things because I'm such a sugar addict.

"But I've never had 'chef' in mind as a career for me. I just thought it was really important to know and let people know that there are these alternatives that aren't as harmful to your body. It eliminates that food guilt."

But surely these bad food habits were eradicated from her diet by a pushy model agent long ago?

"I should have been much better with my diet but I've always been accepted as voluptuous. I never really found a way of getting around it.

"I've always been curvy because I've always loved my food. I'm not good at diets and I love dinners and socialising and cooking with my friends. I can never not think about food."

While far from plus-size, Lowe has often found herself grouped in the same category as famously more buxom models, Sophie Dahl and Crystal Renn, who both eventually relented to pressure and slimmed down for the sample size rail.

Did she ever feel the push to do the same?

"Of course I felt pressure to be thin. That's the modelling industry where they're all very slim, very beautiful women. But for me, I wanted to try to break the mould a little bit.

"Anyway my agency, Select Models, who I was with from the age of 15 until I was 21, in that whole time, even though the fashion industry weren't best pleased about my shape, Select always really championed the fact that I was 'all woman'."

The acting world has also caught attention of Lowe's vaulting ambition. She made her screen debut in shoe-stringed budget thriller Confine last year, alongside Game of Thrones' Alfie Allen and will appear with Danny Huston and Matthew Goode in another small, gritty drama, Pressure next year.

Apparently this has always been part of her masterful machinations for world domination.

"I've kind of felt like modelling has been training for acting. I was always in school plays, and always wanted to do it. And I made a promise to myself that after I bought my first home, then I'd do some acting training. And that's exactly what I did."

Does this mark a move away from modelling altogether?

"Of course not, I mean, it's just an evolution, see where else this journey takes me but I'll always look to modelling as my primary foundation."

While still only 25, Lowe speaks with an affected maturity, the kind that comes with ten years of a professional career under her belt. That kind that strikes as almost, immaturity.

Daisy-Lowe-book.jpg

"By the time I'm 30," she ponders, "I hope I've bought a house abroad. I hope I would have managed to see a lot more of the world, hopefully be more comfortable in my own skin. And still doing what I'm doing.

"And I want a family one day but I don't know if I'll have made one by then."

While still a staple figure on the London party scene, where it's difficult to check out the society pages without her soulful brown eyes and sexy Cheshire grin, the model, currently single, claims she's discovered her own personal brand of spiritual peace.

"I started doing transcendental meditation," she tells. "I do it morning and evening, for 20 minutes. Wherever I am, no matter the place. It changed my life.

"Anywhere from on the sofa to the kitchen or in the garden. I'll do it on the plane, I'll meditate on a train or the back of the car. And the difference it's made to has been absolutely extraordinary."

Why, I question? Has it increased concentration? An improved knowledge of self? Rid the mind of financial woes?

"It helped me get rid of eight of the closest people around me, that didn't deserve to be in my life anymore.

"I pride myself on being a good friend and it was really unbalanced and as soon as they got out of my life, I realised all the people left are so brilliant and bright and absolute radiators of life and love and laughter."

Famed for her sparkly inner circle, she's frequently snapped, enveloped in the lithe limbs of the new Primrose Set, who took over from the previous generations of Kate Moss', Sadie Frost's, Jude Law's, not to mention her mother, Pearl.

If you don't see pap pics of Lowe in the next few weeks, arm in arm with any one of the following; Alexa Chung, Nick Grimshaw, Kelly Osbourne, Jaime Winstone, Henry Holland and Harry Styles, guess we'll now know who lacks a certain beneficial love and laughter in their being.

Sweetness & Light by Daisy Lowe (Quadrille, €18) Food photography by Ali Allen. Portraits by Guy Aroch

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First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent
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