When I scouted Natalie at a show during last season's fashion week, I had no idea that she was a highly esteemed casting director in NYC. However, I could see instantly, that she had that comfort in her skin and in her style that makes my head turn. It has been a lucky twist of fate for me in doing StyleLikeU, that I usually don't know (and don't care) "who" I am stopping to approach for a closet interview, other than the instinct that they pique my visual radar. Not trying too hard can often be when the magic happens, as it was for Natalie when she decided to come to New York, from London (originally, from Belgium), early in her career life. With two suitcases, and an open attitude, Natalie says that she came with no expectations, and was approached by "all of the right people" as a result. "I am just going to do this," and "I never said, 'if' it doesn't work out, that I am going to go home." Natalie says that she dresses in characters, depending on her moods, which is what she did as a child in the small village that she grew up, which had "lots of castles and green." Already into Dior at thirteen, ( which her mom would reproduce for her), her appreciation for effortless and seminal pieces is as intense as ever. I am still dreaming about her black double-breasted Givenchy jumper, and I share her passion for expensive shoes. Natalie loves vintage, but, for her, the most current in designer shoes, just one pair can set the tone of everything. I am completely fascinated by the fact that Natalie wrote her college thesis on "The Ideal Standards of Beauty and the Influence of Mass Media." It basically analyzes the high and low "conjunctures" of body image and how it changes over time based on the cultural influences. "There were times in history, where being fat was a sign of being wealthy." Natalie is in congruence with my own feelings, that we are heading to a time where we celebrate "real" people, for lack of a better phrase. I like to look at it as we are entering a Renaissance, where we value the indivdual as a whole, and the outside as a reflection of what's inside, both equal in importance. For example, someone like Natalie, who's inner and outer, effortless, beauty, brings to life something as simple and classic as Ralph Lauren's version of a Pendelton cardigan, she makes you want to own one.
Check out Natalie's blog, Tales of Endearment