Natalie Joos' NYFW Diary

Casting Catwalk Shows With The Tales of Endearment Blogger

In our first peek behind the scenes of the new fashion season, in demand casting director, author of stylish vintage blog Tales of Endearment and bona fide New York Fashion Week scenester Natalie Joos shares a day in her Balenciaga heels. On top of picking faces for magazines like V and Japanese Vogue, Joos has been documenting the covetable vintage collections of designers, stylists and other fashionable young things on her influential blog for the past 18 months. “I like to immerse myself in the psyche and lifestyle of the girls I shoot. It's an exercise in meditation really,” she explains. “With most of the girls there has been an instant bond.” New York Fashion Week is the busiest time of year for the Belgian expat, who this season cast for the runway shows of Zac Posen, Karen Walker, Yigal Azrouël and Charlotte Ronson, all the while keeping up her blogging commitments with daily outfit posts. Here she talks us through her jam-packed first day at NYFW.

9am: At home in Williamsburg
The weather is sunny and warm so Joos selects a blue and white Peter Pilotto mini dress, cream Marc Jacobs blazer, Balenciaga heels and oversized Karen Walker sunglasses. “I love Peter Pilotto and want people to see that dress. I choose an outfit I can wear through the day and into the night.”

10 am: United Bamboo showroom with designers Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham
Together with stylist Andrew Richardson, Joos works on a final show rotation and decides what is missing from the cast. They discuss getting in a big-name girl to open the show and Melissa Tammerijn from New York Models is top of the wish list.

11am: Finalizing the casting with Yigal Azrouël
Azrouël is looking for a “Celine girl”, someone not too pretty but cool and sexy in a subdued French way. Due to a scheduling clash with Doo.Ri and Rag & Bone competing for all the top models, this proves a challenge. “It gets a bit political; there is a lot of pushing and pulling, begging and pleading to get the girls you want.”

Noon: Fittings at the Charlotte Ronson showroom
The collection is feminine and youthful so to counter the prettiness of the clothes Joos casts girls like Iris Egbers, “hip girls with quirk…if you put a pretty girl in a pretty dress it can look boring.”

1.30pm: ‘Lunch’
Without time to stop for a proper lunch Joos picks up some raspberries, bananas and bottled water on the go.  
2pm: Initial casting with Karen Walker and stylist Heathermary Jackson
Each new season Joos meets with the models, takes their Polaroids and creates a ‘pre-casting’ database of her favorite girls to send over in binders to the designers’ showrooms. Karen Walker goes through this file and marks the models she wants to see for a casting the next day. Because Walker’s show is at the end of the week, Joos likes to include models that have not been cast in other shows. “Seeing the same faces every show can get boring.”
4pm: Backstage at the Kevork Kiledjian show
All the girls arrive on time, it’s a relaxed and friendly environment backstage, with coconut water and Luna Protein bars to keep energy levels up. The show, which features short leather dresses and bright clingy maxis, goes off without a hitch. “Kevork likes sexy girls in sexy clothes.”

7pm: Fashion’s Night Out with Coach at their flagship store, Madison Avenue
Along with fellow bloggers Hanneli, the Glamourai’s Kelly Framel and Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, Joos is co-hosting a party for the return of Coach’s iconic Duffle sac. The store is packed with the bloggers’ fans, who are spilling out onto the pavement and clamoring for photo’s with their fashion icons. “The blogger community is friendly—as everyone has their own niche it’s not too competitive.”
10pm: Zac Posen showroom
Battling the traffic to Zac Posen’s showroom to check how preparations are going for his show and discuss last-minute additions to the cast. The show features "huge organza ball gowns”, so the models need height to carry them off. “Zac likes the more established models such as Coco Rocha and Eniko Mihalik but we are competing with Tommy Hilfiger and Thakoon on the schedule so it’s not always easy. New York Fashion Week has become so messy with all the shows and presentations on top of each other. But we pulled it off!”
Midnight: Back home in Williamsburg
Joos checks some final things on her laptop, plans an outfit for the following day and turns in for the night.

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