Natalie Hartley is the Fashion Director of British Glamour Magazine. Every time I meet her she is happy, friendly and lovely. I have never known her to be anything other than this. It is always a pleasure to see her. She allowed me to come and photograph her while she was still on maternity leave, which was a double treat as I got to meet the beautiful Tiggy too. Here is her story.
D: Tell me a bit about yourself and your journey in fashion so far.
N: I started off in PR which wasn't my favourite moment but it opened my eyes to the industry and discovered styling. I met stylists on spots and did some work experience at a magazine called B and then started assisting freelancers whilst I worked as a shop manager for a small boutique chain. Things developed and I went freelance, before, quite late down the line I got my first magazine job, at Elle as a fashion assistant, where my career changed and moved me into a role that I fell in love with.
D: What does your role of Fashion Director entail? When you are planning a fashion story what is your process? Does the idea for the story start with you and then you discuss it with the rest of the team and then the photographer? Or is it a completely different process?
N: My role is to work on main fashion shoots and covers and manage the fashion team. When I start to think about ideas I like to come up with a story not necessarily a trend that can work in an environment or tell a story. From there I bring my idea to the photographer I am working with and show them the mood boards and then we add in their take on that idea and come up with a final mood board that gets used for everyone else on the day for example hair and make up get their inspiration from these and the model gets an idea of what we want from her; the character we want her to play.
D: What is your favourite part of your job?
N: the travelling is amazing. It's my passion and am very lucky I can do it for my job. We go to the shows twice a year in the main cities and then each season I try and work out a big abroad trip based on what suits my ideas and what can work for the clothes.
D: Who or what inspires you?
N: People inspire me from all walks I feel everyone has a certain style maybe not your taste but there is something interesting in lots of things. Art and music as well, I think they are all closely linked and everyone inspires each other.
D: Describe your own personal style.
N: I am all about comfort and like to dress casual things up and more dressy things in a more low key way. I love menswear too and tend to buy a lot of men's basics like T-shirts, jeans etc.
D: Tell me something surprising about yourself.
N: I smoke and drink and no one ever thought I would do it as I also don't exercise with any regularity but I decided to do the half marathon in San Francisco and then the triathlon in London the year after. I have not run or swam since but once I put my mind to something I have to see it out!