We Hartley Natalie
She’s a brave stylist, and not just because of her clothe choices. Natalie Hartley is the senior fashion editor (no less!) of the Sunday Times Style magazine – yes, she’s the brave girl who week after week demonstrates to Mrs. Joe Blogs how to pull off big shoulders or track pants with heels or head to toe denim. A risky move for a leader in the industry – she’s opened herself up to national scrutiny…or has she? Her page in the magazine has had, with no great surprise, a massive thumbs up by everyone. She’s had people in the street stopping her and thanking her (“It’s so weird” she says coyly), hundreds of people following her on Twitter (God knows you’re no one without a huge following), loads of lovely ‘fan’ mail letters and emails, and mentions on numerous blogs – www.pinkgamegirlrocks.blogspot.com gushed: “I completely fell in love with her style” and Jackie Dixon did a fab shoot with Natalie for her blog www.showmeyourwardrobe.blogspot.com and a special in Style magazine. Natalie’s worked on some of the best titles in the fashion magazine world, with some of the most famous faces in the media and with some of the best editors in the world, yet she still remains down to earth and uber-cool. She’s not affected. She’s true to her work. She’s a stylist with style. Someone here in the HF offices has worked with Natalie in the past and tells us that her nonchalant yet still highly enthusiastic approach to her work is highly infectious and so refreshing to see in an industry that can be a tad wrapped up in it’s self. We were thrilled when she agreed to answer some questions for us. She’s a busy lady don’t you know! Here’s what she had to say… HF: Congrats on your new-ish feature in Style mag, you always look great! Did you jump at the chance to be photographed? Or did it take some persuading? Natalie: Thank you! I didn’t exactly jump at the chance but am very happy to be doing it as I think it’s really taken off as an idea and think some people do find it helpful/inspiring. HF: Is there any of them that you have hated? And what items have you loved the most? I personally loved the metallics one! Natalie: I try and do each outfit as I would wear them, and genuinely would wear most of them, apart from maybe one which definitely would appeal to others – fashion tastes are so different for everyone….there are no rules and what I say on my pages are just my opinions, not necessarily to everyones taste. HF: Obviously as a stylist your own personal style comes into your work, but what are the boundaries? Natalie: The boundaries for me are whether it goes out of the comfort zone. I love to look good but like to be comfortable at all times. People who dress for fashion sake instead of relaxing into an outfit don’t always look great, no matter how trendy their look may be. Trying too hard is a big turn off! HF: What has been your best shoot to date and why? Natalie: My best shoot so far was with Eva Mendes. The vibe was great on the day. She was nervous of being to bare and exposed so we had fun with the clothes and she looked amazing. It is quite a challenge getting on with celebs – they are only human at the end of the day and usually as nervous as any of us are at not wanting to look bad. When you achieve something with them that everyone is happy with, then it’s great and memorable. HF: In regards to mens fashion, is there a particular way you like to style men? Natalie: Menswear is not my strength but when I do style men for the newspaper, I tend to keep the outfits simple and wearable. I like a man to look relaxed in their clothes. HF: Who would be your absolute perfect person to get your hands on rock up their style? Natalie: Jordan!! I think she’s fab and naturally beautiful so would love to see her looking stylish and elegant without the makeup. Elle magazine (Natalie was fashion assistant to the director for three years) did a great shoot with her a few years ago. I think she would look great with a new image and less boob! HF: Is there anyone in the media who you think always looks amazing and why? Natalie: Carine Roitfeld (Editor-in-chief at French Vogue) dresses for her age in an amazingly stylish way. Also Oprah Winfrey – she knows her body shape and dresses accordingly. The most stylish women dress like that. Its not about keeping up with trends as such, but using them to suit you and your body. HF: What tips would you suggest for the following: A key accessory for any season Top 3 staples for a summer wardrobe A curvy lady A man desperate for a change Natalie: Key accessory: a loose grey jumper goes with EVERYTHING Three summer essentials: denim cut offs, loose t-shirt and Carrera sunglasses A curvy lady: a good belt to accentuate the waist A man desperate for a change: always change the shoes! Shoes for men, as for women, are the easiest way to update a look without trying to hard. HF: Who are your favourite designers at the moment? Natalie: Loving Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Peter Pilotto, Felder and Felder, Meadham Kirchoff. HF: What is it about the fashion world that you love? Natalie: I love how I get to go to so many interesting places and meet so many people. At fashion week for example, the venues can be amazing; you can go into buildings that are not always open to the public, and to be able to look at a collection in an spectacular space just adds to the drama (in an industry that probably doesn’t need more drama!). I feel very special to be part of it.