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Ways to Wear

Day In The Life With New Look's Emma Menteath

Interview & words by Adam Fletcher, Copywriter

Imagine this: your group chat messages are starting to pour in, you’ve low-key packed your bag, secretly said your goodbyes, and you’re waiting for the seconds to go until home time. It’s late Friday afternoon in the office, and the weekend countdown has officially begun. Sound familiar?

If you’re anything like us, you live for those treasured two days off on a Saturday and Sunday. But, how do you spend yours? For many, weekends are a time to jam-pack the diary with plans, so much so that they feel as full as a normal working day. Just think of all the brunches, bar dates and new moves you need to break out on the dance floor. But, for others, it’s a welcome respite - a chance to sit back, press pause, and recharge those batteries.

Well, no matter what weekend you can relate to, there’s another one on the horizon - and a whole new set of plans to *add to e-calendar*, too. To help you navigate your two days off, why not spend 24 hours with our Content Editor? In the first feature of the series, Emma Menteath gives us access to her exclusive world by showing us what she saw and wore in our very own capital city at the weekend. Expect bike rides, books, and this season’s must-have beige blazer. Take a look...

When did you start your career in fashion?

I started modelling when I was 16, I was scouted at a shopping centre. They were handing out free mascaras at the time and I entered a competition, which I ended up winning. That’s how I got a modelling contract. When I finished school at 18-years-old, I moved to Cape Town by myself and started travelling for the first time.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to work in fashion?

I never had the desire to work in the fashion industry, it happened by accident. I studied Business and Communication Management and I had a lot of spare time, so I launched a fashion blog called My Life in Pink. I soon realised that I needed to know more about fashion, so I started researching different topics. From there, I quickly got into styling, curation, art directing and content creating. This is what led me to become an Editorial Lead at New Look. If you want to get into fashion, it's important to know what direction you want to go in - so that you can work towards your strengths, one step at a time. It's really helpful to surround yourself with people who are interested in similar things, too. Plus, if there's someone who inspires you, send them a direct message and ask them for a coffee and a chat - who knows where it'll go...

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Do you think that it’s also important to be spontaneous?

Yes, that could totally work. Even though I took a leap of faith, by starting the blog, I also had some idea of where I wanted to go. I’ve always been a curator of things in my life. I am a researcher, an analyser of things.

Tell us about your typical working day…

My alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Then, I usually meditate for 15 minutes and write in my gratitude book – I’m currently doing 21 days of abundance, which has been really amazing. After that, I go to the gym and try to get into work at 8 a.m., to avoid rush hour. Rush hour in London is a pain. I aim to start my mornings quite slowly, so I begin by replying to emails from the night before. Once that’s over, I plan the week’s editorials. As Editorial Lead, I’m responsible for the editorial platform that we’ve recently launched: New Look Daily. This role involves me attending meetings with my team to allocate articles, writing articles, concept upcoming shoots, art direction, style shoots and check images and image research, analytics and a lot of briefing.

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Do you find time to centre yourself while you’re at work, or do you leave that for the weekend?

I try to take time out during the day, but not always. I write in my diary in the mornings, which I find calming, and I make a list of things that need to be completed during that day. Throughout the day, I refer back to that list.

Do you take a systematic approach when it comes to planning your weekends?

When I was a freelancer, I would have a vague idea about what I wanted to do. Now, when working a 9 to 5 job, I find that people have their lives all booked up a month in advance. I’m now having to organise my weekends and make plans way ahead of time.

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Describe your perfect weekend in three words…

Culturally stimulating, relaxing and fulfilled.

What does a typical weekend look like for you?

Well, we finish at 4 p.m. on a Friday - which is amazing. As soon as I get home, I start with a deep clean of my apartment, which is followed by a cheeky takeaway (usually fish and chips) and a binge-watch of a series or movie on Netflix. On Saturday, I always wake up early to go to the gym, I’ll then go for a long walk or a cycle around the city, a visit to one of my favourite coffee shops, a quick stop at a book store or a visit to a local food market. On Sundays, I go to Columbia Road Flower Market, I try to get there early to avoid the rush of people, followed by a classic Sunday roast before winding down the weekend with yin yoga and sound mediation.

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What’s your favourite thing about a roast dinner?

Potatoes. Nothing beats a crispy potato.

What do you love most about London? It has always intrigued me, which inspired me to move here. It’s a city full of inspiration, sometimes we forget to look around. It can often feel all grey and gloomy but, actually, there’s so much to inspire us creatively. You can step outside your house any day of the week and find something going on.

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Finish the sentence; weekends are…

For me!

Talk to us about your go-to weekend look.

My outfit needs to fit the activity that I’m doing. If I’m going for a walk outside, I’ll typically go for boots and a raincoat. Generally, I’m very comfortable in denim - I love a straight-leg jean. At the weekends, I’ll dress my denim up or down to fit the occasion.

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I have to ask, who influences your style?

For day-to-day dressing, I look to the British influencer Lucy Williams. Besides her, I love Alexa Chung’s style - she usually pairs things together that I’d never dream of. The Olsen twins. Oh, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – she’s been dressing amazingly recently. When I’m getting ready to go out, I get inspired by the photographer Helmut Newton – I like to dress quite androgynously.

You make wearing double denim look so easy. Any tips?

I would say that the first tip is to be confident and to own it. Secondly, I like to match my shades and play around with different styles. Thirdly, you really need accessories to break up your look – it could be a hat, bag or a scarf. Lastly, I also find that roll-necks are key to making this look work.

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