“Craig (Green)’s first solo show, I was definitely one of the crying audience members. I sort of held it together and then we went backstage to say well done and I fully sobbed. The show was really beautiful and he’s the nicest person! Also Craig’s SS14 tie-dye show at MAN was really standout because it was so surprising after his black and white MAN debut. Oh, and his AW14 ‘Listen to Your Heart’ moment. Sorry, I’m obsessed with Craig!”
Right hand to Lulu Kennedy at Fashion East (and some), Natasha Booth is the adidas Gazelle repping, emoji hearting, blonde bombsell who’s been at the core of the non-profit platform now for nearly four years, and these are her proudest moments.
“Other honourable mentions,” she continues: “Our first Tate Modern show in the Tanks with Claire (Barrow), Ryan (Lo) and Ashley (Williams) in February 2013. Ryan’s girls had glittery faces and the soundtrack was girls night out gone wild (Grace Jones/Bonnie Tyler/Scatta feat. Kanesha Karrats and Blondie). Too good! And then our February 2014 show in the Tate’s Turbine Hall too! When you stop and think Lou (Alsop) had a shouty Death Grips soundtrack in the Turbine Hall for her catwalk debut, how amazing is it that that can really happen!”
Unable to edit, she finishes with the time they stuck a load of emoji’s on the SS14 credit sheet, just because. “Spotting Harry Styles sat on the FROW definitely looking at the smiley cute poo emoji is my career defining moment!” she giggles.
Arriving at Fashion East as an intern some way through her studies, inevitably spending more time there than at uni, today Booth is a paid up member of the club, dispensing advice like it’s her mother tongue. Offers Liam Hodges, “I don’t think she’s ever left a question mark in an email or text unanswered.”
It doesn’t take a genius to work out why; Natasha loves her job and is passionate about the designers she works with. That Fashion East is ‘all she knows’ – having gone straight back full time the day after her final hand in – can’t be dismissed, being something of a nucleus for new talent and by default of its nature consistently exciting.
As a boss Natasha reckons Lulu is “the best”, a label you assume she genuinely believes, given the freedom Kennedy has allowed her – “she basically lets me get on with it!” – and the no, no beer at work rule. Appropriately, Hodges here gleefully recalls his first Fashion East moment at the SS14 installations: “She was freaking out and had to keep confiscating beers from the models.”
Hailing from a dead end crappy seaside town (her words) in which “a kid burnt our school down when we were 15 and we got loads of time off, result!” she readily embraces the entertaining opportunities her job allows, not least working with endlessly talented and fun people, as she describes them.
“I like the fun little bits like putting together our walk in music playlists and show invites. ‘Pony’ (by Ginuwine) playing whilst important, serious editors walk in to find their show seats is fun, there aren’t many other places you could do that. I snuck in Riri ‘If It’s Lovin’ That You Want’ this season at MAN; summery!”
She explains: “There aren’t really any rules. Because we’re a small non-profit we don’t have anybody to tell us no when we have ridiculous ideas!” Hence 36 hours ahead of the Fashion East Menswear Installations last month, her and Lulu decided Shaun Samson – over from LA – would make the perfect surprise guest.
“Lulu just text me late on a Saturday night saying ‘should we?!’ and we both were like ‘yeah, amazing! Why not?!’ It was a bit of a logistical nightmare for our already planned event but was worth it. Did you see Shaun’s collection? So good!!”
The downside she notes, is simply not having the time or resources to increase their reach; “We want to do everything.” On the flipside she recognises plenty good about the industry, asserting the volume of supportive figures much higher than one might expect.
As for advice passed on to her, she tells Clash: “A nice one to stick by is ‘take care of your people’, I think Lulu’s mentioned it before. And we really do, it’s a nice little family. We’ll do almost anything for one of our own!”
It’s something she’s inherently passed on, as Louise Alsop spills her top tip from Natasha; “Be nice to people, it goes a long way.” Her particular highlight of her friend at work though, is during show time, “When her headset’s on and she’s getting shit done, making it happen. She’s amazing!”
The making it happen bit is important to Natasha, naturally, as she clarifies of our conversation: “I hope this doesn’t make me seem too ridiculous, I do also work really hard and take it seriously!”
Having witnessed her in action (headset and all), Clash attests this is indeed the case; how else would such a huge event be as comfortable, if not for a diligent team?
With SS15’s womenswear line-up announced just this week – newcomer Ed Marler joining Alsop and Helen Law – the summer of 2014 is fast moving, and hopes Tash, will be filled with London rooftops, frozen margarita’s and menswear label Bazar14, plus, if she has anything to do with it, a meeting with JME: “I really want to get one of those fan selfies he retweets all the time!”
Words: Zoe Whitfield
Portrait: Jamie Brett
Videos: Peter Mann and Sharna Osbourne