Columbia road based bakery Lily Vanilli has long been one of our favourite Sunday spots. We teamed up with her to celebrate all things candy with a twist- think grey icing, crystallised clumps of sugar and psychedelic marbling. Whilst shooting we talked business plans, Elton John and the importance of collaboration.
Having always loved baking growing up, Lily returned to her childhood interest in her early twenties, “I was just playing around at first but quickly grew obsessive and experimental!”
Soon her obsession turned into business, a process that happened “very organically, with no real plans or targets but always open to collaborations and side projects to keep the business growing creatively. I found that with this approach the rest of the things such as the book deals and new opportunities just fell into place.”
Lily’s creative and innovative designs, including her infamous Bleeding Hearts, soon caught the attention of various high brow clientele including Elton John and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
With a seemingly relentless knack for new ideas, we wonder how she gets new inspiration. Lily tells us it often comes from collaborating - “It’s fun working to someone else’s brief to push you out of a rut or a comfort zone.” She also draws ideas from other creative fields and eras, her references coming from “old books as much as current ones, designers and florists as much as bakers. I think there’s inspiration everywhere if you’re very passionate about something.”
For updates follow @lily_vanilli_cake on Instagram.
Photography: Laura Allard Fleischl
Cakes: Lily Vanilli
Hair: Olivia Crighton @ Glasshouse Salon
Make up: Rebecca McMahon
Styling: Alicia Ellis
Props: Minor Goods
Concept: Sadie Perry
Model: Lily @ Bookings