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January 25, 2010

chronicles of zoe and natalie

Zoe (in focus above) and Natalie (in focus below), from NO magazine # 8

Zoe Walker and Natalie Smith are writers and best friends. Zoe writes for New Zealand's Viva -The New Zealand Herald's fashion magazine every New Zealander looks forward to on a Wednesday; and Natalie writes for countless magazines including Russh and NO.

I met Zoe when I started interning at Fashion Quarterly, so obviously I met Natalie not long after. They are both so lovely, kind and so much fun to hang out with. I don't get to see them very often as they both live in Auckland, so I live vicariously through their lovely blog So Much to Tell You. While they're usually the one's asking the questions, I decided to ask them a few questions of my own (and made sure they didn't peek at each others answers)...

How did you become to be friends?

Zoe: I was working at a fashion website called Runway Reporter and Natalie came in for an interview as the site's social photographer. I remember that I thought she looked quite intimidating! After the interview, I had to take her out to an event to see how she did and report back to my editor; once I actually spoke to her I thought that she was really funny and nice and not intimidating at all. She got the job, and we slowly bonded over morning coffee runs and fashion returns.

What do you love most about each other?

Zoe: I love that Natalie is so open to new experiences and meeting new people.

Nat: I love Zoe’s honesty, style and kindness.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about each other?

Zoe: Of course, it would be weird if we didn't have personality clashes from time to time. But nothing major!

Nat: Probably, but it’s not nice to immortalize it on the internet, is it.

What got both of you into fashion writing in the first place?

Zoe: I was really into writing, even when I was quite young. Then as I got older I started to get obsessed with magazines. Not cool ones either - I loved mainstream magazines like Dolly, then Cleo, then Cosmo. I used to love reading the editor's letter and the list of people on the masthead, taking note of who was new and who did what. I was really interested in the idea of a team creating something special each month and all the behind the scenes type stuff. I went on to study journalism with the goal of getting into magazines, and in my final year I started to become more and more interested in fashion, so I focused a lot of my work on that. Everyone else seemed so serious and earnest, so maybe concentrating on what is typically thought of as being fluffy and silly was like a rebellion against that? Anyway, it worked because I got a job with one of my favourite fashion writers (Stacy Gregg) three days after Uni finished.

Nat: I fell into it by default, as I got a job at Runway Reporter straight out of university. I’ve always been passionate about writing, love fashion – a happy accident.

What kind of things do you like to spend your money on, besides fashion?

Zoe: The usual stuff I guess: magazines, books, music, food, travel. My boyfriend gave me a beautiful illustration by Kelly Thompson ( for my birthday, which has inspired me to try and start spending more money on art.

Nat: I buy lots of books, particularly collections of photography, and novels. I have a soft spot for the Penguin Classics. I’ve just moved into a new house, so most of my money is going on pretty things like candles and new furniture. And I’m addicted to tech-y Apple things. And cameras.

Kelly Thompson illustrations

When you were a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

Zoe: I always wanted to be a writer, but could never really understand that it was something you could do as a profession. I also wanted to be a vet and I went through a phase where I wanted to open my own cattery (I was and still am obsessed with cats).

Nat: A writer, independent, well-travelled.

My defining personality trait is...

Possibly my bluntness, or being sarcastic.

Nat: I can’t answer that! Determination, well hidden cynicism.

People would be surprised to know that...

I can't cook.

Nat: I’m obsessed with my garden.

The last movie I watched was...

The French Kissers - a really sweet French film about a teenage boy obsessed with getting a girlfriend.

Nat: Fantastic Mr Fox

I want my next vacation to be...

Paris would be the obvious one, but I'd be happy with a road trip to a beach somewhere too.

Nat: in New York.

My ultimate pin-up boy is...

That's hard! Erm, maybe Jason Schwartzman? I love boys who are a bit preppy.

Nat: Jarvis Cocker.

Jarvis Cocker - English musician and former frontman for the band Pulp

My life motto is...

I don't really have one, but I guess I do believe in the saying that if it's meant to be, it will be.

Nat: It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.

What will you be buying for winter?

I wish I could buy:
- Mulberry Alexa bag - I hate designer handbags but this one is the exception.
- Luella spring 2010 collection - all of it. I adored this collection and was heartbroken when I heard the label had gone under. RIP Luella!
- A Celine or Stella McCartney A-line skirt
The Alexa

What I'll actually be buying:
- Karen Walker a/w 10 - I've ordered a ridiculous amount of things from this collection, including several striped pieces, a pair of boat shoes and a black peacoat.
- Phoebe dress by Juliette Hogan - just the right amount of frumpy.
- Saddle shoes - I've been obsessed with them for ages, but I think this winter is going to be the season I actually get some.
- t.b.a 'Doll' dress - I pretty much love anything with a Peter Pan collar. (

Juliette Hogan's Phoebe dress

Nat: This is a very edited version. I’m on the hunt for the perfect pair of chinos (Acne do a good pair), a great pair of tailored, cuffed black pants, oodles of cashmere tops in grey, black and stripes, and one or two pretty dresses from APC or Lover. I like to buy a good pair of shoes and a handbag each season, I’d like to find a pair of the suede Isabel Marant ankle boots, but they’re old and I can’t track them down. And I’d love, love, love a Chanel 2.55. Maybe for my 30th…In five years…

Personal style quirk?

Probably that I only wear dresses. Natalie's would be her amazing hair/fringe, which I am rather jealous of.

Nat: Mine would be cuffing my pants, stripe obsession, never ironing anything. Zoe never wears pants. Ever. I’ve been trying to get her to buy jeans the entire time I’ve known her, not very hard though.

Never caught wearing?

Pants. Because I don't own any.

Nat: Man-made fibres.

Favourite stores?

I actually don't go shopping that often, but when I do I visit Karen Walker, Made Boutique, Topshop (online), Country Road, among others. Sometimes vintage stores, if I'm not feeling lazy - an eBay store that I really like is Liebermarlene Vintage( Non-fashion wise, I love spending hours in antique and collectible stores.

Nat: Bloodorange in Sydney, Made in Auckland. They both stock APC and Lover, my favourite labels.

x Olivia

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1 comment:

  1. I love Natalie and Zoe! I love their blog, it's so nice to find out how they became friends so thanks for posting this!