Our new column celebrates modern women of style and purpose, offering a fresh perspective on fashion that's focused on personal style – the way they look, think and dress.
Meet Natasha Lester, the New York Times bestselling author of six novels including The Paris Seamstress, The French Photographer and The Paris Secret, and a former marketing executive for L’Oréal. Her novels have been translated into many languages and are published all around the world. When she's not tapping away at her computer, she’s collecting vintage fashion, practicing the art of fashion illustration, reading about history and wrangling three children.
Natasha, if you were a dish, what would you be?
A fondue, because my brain is literally like a melting pot – but where crazy book ideas come out rather than gooey, cheesy bread!
What is your greatest extravagance?
Boots. I have at least a dozen pairs. Isabel Marant are among my favourites.
How do you deal with a bad hair day?
Get out my L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod 3.0. It’s the only appliance that actually gives me shiny straight hair or perfect waves.
What is your favourite journey?
I love heading down to our holiday home at Siesta Park, which is a gorgeous enclave hidden amongst the peppermint trees halfway between Busselton and Dunsborough. I’m also quite fond of meandering down any Parisian street!
What are your 3 must-buys for spring?
An Isabel Marant spring style will be my new book launch dress! I’m in love with the collection. Dries Van Noten’s lilac handbag with big silver hardware has a beautiful vintage vibe to it. I also need a pair of sunglasses and love Isabel Marant’s grey aviators.
Your favourite hero of fiction?
Jane Eyre. She was gutsy and married the tall, dark and handsome guy!
Your signature look?
As an author, I spend most of my day sitting at my desk turning ideas into book chapters so being comfy and casual is essential. Agolde jeans, Golden Goose sneakers and an Anine Bing tee are my perfect match.
Bookshops! Dymocks Claremont have super lovely staff. My kids and I are always happy to devour the pasta at Il Lido, and Lamont’s Wine Store in Cottesloe never disappoints – I’m obsessed with their duck parfait with onion jam!
Sorry and Bliss by Meg Mason. It’s achingly funny and sad all at the same time and I think it will be a strong contender for one of the best books I've read all year.
What is always sitting on your desk?
Fresh flowers and a cup of tea!
I run three times a week. It’s as much a part of my writing process as it is for fitness. I find the meditative act of running helps me work through any plot problems or writer's block.
"Peace, love and granola". A character I’m writing about in a book right now used to actually say this back in the seventies and it’s my new favourite expression.
Where do you feel inspired?
Anywhere that’s quiet! Being the mother of three kids, moments of silence are few and far between. I have a stunning office with Florence Broadhurst wallpaper, French doors that open out onto a gorgeous garden, and a wall of books so it’s hard not to be inspired there!
Long term ambition?
To keep writing books that readers adore, and to love and be loved by family and friends.
When do you feel most powerful?
Either when I have a shiny new idea for a book and where I take the idea is all just a glorious possibility, or else when I’m on a stage speaking to an audience – while wearing a brand new pair of boots of course!
What keeps you up at night?
Very little! I love my sleep and I’m very good at it. If my kids are sick though, I’ll always sleep with one ear open.
Most used emoji?
A blue love heart. I don’t know why the blue one gets such a workout but it does!
What music are you listening to?
Right now I’m writing a book that has a storyline set in the 1970s, so I’m listening to Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac to get me in the mood.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A great book, read while sitting in a little French bistro with a glass of champagne in hand – oh, and my three kids nearby!
Love Natasha’s books?
Our next In Conversation session is with Natasha!
Join her and host Elizabeth Clarke as they discuss the art behind penning a best-seller, Paris, and couture. Natasha will be signing copies of her latest novel, The Riviera House, which will be available to purchase on the day.
Thursday, 18 November, 9.30am
Adam Heath 46-48 Bay View Terrace, Claremont
RSVP 15 November