Stylist steps back in time to inspire future
Natalie Joos is sampling Bermuda's palette from wall to wall. The trademark architecture brings colour to her already bright blog.
Ms Joos was lured to the island after attending local designer Catherine Quin's collection dinner in Los Angeles. The BTA-sponsored event brought together members of the city's arts community for an intimate meal at LA institution the Chateau Marmont.
“I'm constantly looking for inspiration. Everything I see is a picture,” she told Lifestyle. Since its inception in April 2010, her blog has taken her to Sydney, Tokyo, Kiev, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Jamaica and Istanbul. Yet, despite the popularity of the site, she doesn't call herself a blogger.
“I definitely don't call myself a blogger. There are people that are way more savvy at using that platform.
“I would rather call myself a writer because that's what I went to school for and I would also call myself a stylist.”
As a stylist, she has done work for Russian Bazaar, Teen Vogue, V Magazine and has collaborated with brands such as Chloe, Max Mara, Diane Von Furstenberg.
The vintage focus is born from her own “obsession”. “I started my blog primarily to inspire designers or people to buy vintage because there's unbelievable gems to be found that are very inspiring and unique from prints to cuts to details.”
The mission is in the name — Tales of Endearment is for stories.
The 40-year-old is candid about her personal life, using the platform to talk style, dating, ageing and egg freezing.
The dating stories proved to be “wildly successful”.
Her first in April 2013, recounted a date acquired through site Match.com where she got into a verbal scuffle over her choice of outfit. Apparently she “should have worn a short, tight dress”. Feminist giant Jezebel republished it. “The next day, the Daily Mail picked it up,” she said.
“It got me thinking, I could do more stories like that.”
She trained in journalism and uses her experiences as a vehicle for her style.
It wasn't long before she published in Japanese and British Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and created a dating video with Manhattan department store, Barney's.
With titles like “How honest is too honest?”, The Carrie Bradshaw comparisons rolled in for the fellow curly-haired, vintage-loving, former New Yorker.
“People always say that my blog is very positive. It's uplifting, it's optimistic. It's not serious or too fashionable. I don't take myself too seriously. I've created my own world which is positive and fun and takes you somewhere new,” Ms Joos explained.
Despite her apparent honesty, she admits she is “careful” with what she shares.
“It's funny. I try not to be political. I never reveal anyone's name,” she promised. “Once you start a blog, there's nothing personal. Everything's out there. I don't mind sharing my story. I'm not embarrassed about anything. I think it's interesting and girls love it.
“I'm careful. It's a little dangerous. With social media you can be anonymous.
“Nobody knows who you really are, so people hide behind this profile to say whatever they want. I define my life with experiences,” she added.
The Belgium native lived in New York for 17 years after being offered a job straight out of university in London.
“I just left and never came back. I never thought about moving to America. Their sense of humour is different. Saturday Night Live, I did not understand. Now I get it,” she laughed.
Now nearing the end of her passion project, a book of muses that carries “a collection of women and men who wear vintage with style and passion”, the shift she was after required more than just a change of clothes. In January she packed up and moved to Los Angeles.
“I just wanted a change. All of a sudden I started to see the chaos, the dirt and the noise in New York and I wasn't inspired anymore,” she confessed.
“I've literally had to redefine myself and start from scratch, which is great when you're 21, but when you're 40 — I've worked so hard to build this brand for myself that I shouldn't just lose that altogether.”
“It's been a struggle to maintain that energy I had in New York and transfer it to this world that's very relaxed, very slow and not conducive for working.”
“I want a position, a title, I want people to stop calling me a blogger,” she adds, laughing.
• On her playlist: African-American sounds — “From Etta James to Pharrell, Kanye to Marvin Gaye. I love it all.”
• Style rule to abide by: “I always want to be a woman first.”
• Favourite holiday destination: Islands
• On her bucket list: Madagascar and Zanzibar.
• Favourite cocktail: Moscow Mule
• Last supper: My mom’s cooking. Meatballs with mash. Something really simple that my mom cooked.
• Dream date: A guy who has some imagination and who is gallant. He should take the lead.
• Workout of choice: Running. “When I’m staying in Venice I love going to the boardwalk at 5 and running to the Venice Pier and back.”