Whether it’s as a model or a street style maven, New Zealander Natalie Cantell has featured on the pages of fashion magazines and websites in celebration of her knack for turning heads. As she’s named among a host of contributors for Witchery’s new Style Collective, Natalie tells us where she draws her sartorial inspiration from.
How would you describe your style?
It’s slowly growing up. I’m finding myself more interested in polished looks and investing in classic pieces. I own two black handbags for the first time in my life. I have a habit of taking something audacious and teaming it with the really nondescript and casual – mixing in grey marle basics is the magic that lets you wear something super bold without looking like you’re trying too hard.
Where or who do you draw style inspiration from?
I love reading biographies, so I get obsessed with one little microcosm of style and culture at a time. Usually it’s rockers and movers and shakers from the sixties and seventies, although I’m reading Andre Agassi’s book at the moment. This is a guy who married Brooke Shields and played Grand Slams in faded denim cut-offs. If you need to see a historic moment of athletic fashion glory, Google what he wore for the 1990 French Open.
What are five things every woman should have in her wardrobe?
The perfect grey marle tee, a piece of jewellery that means something to you, shoes that look amazing but are secretly really comfortable, some beautiful, relaxed lingerie and a really good leather jacket – Witchery has an incredible biker jacket in for this autumn that I just snapped up.
Who are your favourite designers?
Jonny Johansson, Phoebe Philo, Alexander Wang, Karl Lagerfeld, Dion Lee, Kym Ellery, Karen Walker, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
What is your favourite city for shopping?
That’s like choosing your favourite child. I love antipodean designers so I always get excited to shop at my old spots in Sydney & Auckland. In New York you have Bergdorfs, Barneys and Bloomingdales – it’s one of the few places in the world where I love the department stores. The huge sales they have in France are amazing, the French government regulates when the shops can discount so twice a year everything goes on sale at once and all hell breaks loose. French pharmacies are also incredible, they’re a weakness of mine. If you ever lose me in Paris, look for the nearest glowing green cross.
How closely do you follow trends?
It’s part of my job to attend the shows and write trend reports, so I always have an eye on them. It’s easy to be burnt by memories of the trends you’ve over-invested in or rocked way too hard in the past, but at the same time I think you just have to embrace those looks as representative of that moment. They’re how we can tell the forties from the seventies from the nineties – they make up a timeline of your life and mark your place in history.
Who is the most awe-inspiring fashion person you’ve met?
I shot with Bruce Weber and it was a very strange thing to try and make sense of. A lot of people have been pretty outstanding, but with Bruce I felt I was in the presence of someone great.