Meet Natalie Wansbrough-Jones, the women who co-ordinated the looks on our Go The Extra Mile SS19 campaign.  We talk styling flat shoes, what comfort means to her, and the day’s work experience that started it all.

On getting into the industry…
In my late 20s, I knew I wanted to work in fashion, but I didn’t know what or how. I didn’t even know that styling existed!

A friend told me about a stylist called Sarah Richardson. I did a day’s work experience with her and we went to a costumier called Angels in Camden, London. We rifled through old Victorian underwear, and I thought, “This is the dream, this is what I want to do!”

I worked with her for about six months, and then went on to assist another stylist called Charlotte Stockdale for about three years. It was a baptism of fire, but she taught me so much. I travelled the world, and loved every minute of it.

After that, I was freelance for about a year. Then I got a call from British Elle and they asked me to be their Senior Fashion Editor. I did that for five years, then after my second son I went freelance again.

On her career before becoming a stylist…
I studied drama at Manchester University, because I thought I wanted to be a costume designer for the theatre. But I figured out that wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I travelled and took a gap year.

I did a course in window dressing, which I loved, but I knew it would never be quite it. All the displays I would do would be fashion-led, and the tutor would tell me, “No, you have to do still-life with fruit”. I’d refuse, and I’d use models and put rubber gloves on them and make it super wacky.

On being comfortable…
When I was working at a magazine, there was a time when I wore high heels and skirts every day. Now I don’t have a single skirt in my wardrobe! It’s all about comfort for me.

There are always some essential things that come on a shoot with me. A hat, which I managed to forget on this shoot! And a thermal padded coat, because you don’t know when you’ll be cold.

On advice for anyone wanting to get into styling…
Be prepared to do some work experience.  Know no job on a shoot is too trivial. It’s the basics, start from the bottom.

On working with female-led teams…
I absolutely love it. I think this is the most female-led shoot I’ve ever been on. No disrespect to the men, but it’s really lovely. It’s a really nice energy.

On travelling for work…
I think I’m lucky in this moment with how much I’m travelling. There have been moments when I’ve travelled too much and it’s really tough. I miss my kids, probably more than they miss me. I have an amazing agent who’s really supportive, so when I turn around and say, “Guys I’m exhausted, I haven’t seen my kids, I just can’t do this job,” they’re 100 % behind me.

On styling flat shoes…
I think if you gave me a high heel to style that would freak me out! I can’t remember the last time I wore high heels in the daytime. A flat shoe, a comfort shoe – it’s about the freedom. I think it’s almost every woman’s choice at the beginning of the day!

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