Our new hush Meets… series is all about bringing you closer to interesting people (while still obeying social distancing rules, of course). Next up, we meet stylist and freelance fashion writer Emily Dawes. Get to know her as she dishes up some of her favourite recipes, shares how she started her career in fashion and tells us why Diana is her fashion icon.
hush Meets… Emily Dawes
How did you begin your career in fashion?
I moved to London after finishing my English degree with no fashion experience or connections. After a while, I was put in touch with a stylist who got me some work experience (in PR, on shoots, doing mail outs— I would do anything!). I ended up getting an internship on the fashion desk at a newspaper supplement and I worked my way up from there, to assistant and then fashion editor.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I’ve travelled to some incredible places when styling shoots on location – that has always been a highlight. I also love the social aspect of the industry and meeting lots of different people, from PRs to shoot teams and colleagues, especially now being freelance. Mostly I just love that it never really feels like work because I enjoy it so much!
What’s the one moment in your career you’ll never forget?
Probably when I had to step up from assisting to being an editor. It was a huge leap experience-wise for me and it seemed terrifying at the time, but I gained so much confidence that I have taken with me into my future career, so I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity!
What does your dream day off look like?
It would probably be quite simple and boring. A lie in, then a boxing or yoga class followed by coffee and brunch. An afternoon in the sun with my husband and friends, perhaps in a pub garden or on a countryside dog walk, finished off with a nice glass of rosé at golden hour.
What book do you have on the go right now?
I’ve just started Three Women by Lisa Taddeo as I feel like the only person who hasn’t read it yet! I’m a fan of anything set in the American suburbs— I loved American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld and both of Celeste Ng’s books recently.
What would we find on your bedside table?
A stack of books that are on my reading list, a radio (I love listening to Classic FM at the end of the day and feeling like I’m in a fancy hotel), a candle and some This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Then probably a tangle of hair ties and jewellery!
Do you prefer film or TV? And what are you watching?
I’m usually a film person but recently my attention span has preferred TV shows. The BBC Normal People adaptation was the last thing I absolutely lost myself in – definitely worth a watch. We’ve also recently got into The West Wing which is a great throwback from the golden age of box sets.
We’re always on the lookout for new recipes to make at home. Any suggestions?
I’m a big fan of fresh pasta and a salty sauce. This recipe for anchovy and parsley pasta is so cheap and easy to make with hardly any ingredients. This rock salt roast chicken recipe is my fail-safe and I make this chicken noodle soup with the leftovers.
I’m getting better at baking; this simple, gooey white chocolate cookie recipe will change your life. Leave the dough in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before baking. Plus you can freeze the dough as balls and just pop one straight in the oven in time for your afternoon cuppa – just add 1-2 mins to the cooking time.
What’s your drink of choice?
I’m a very seasonal drinker! As soon as the sun comes out, I love a pale Provence rosé which takes me back to my wedding there last year, or a crisp Hendricks Gin & Tonic. In winter, I’m much more into red wines and extra-hot frothy coffee.
Where’s the first place you will travel to when we can go exploring again?
Our anniversary is approaching, and we were hoping to return to the South of France to reminisce, so hopefully we can make it there before the end of summer. The hotel Les Roches Rouges is my happy place and I find myself dreaming about it daily at the moment.
Where is your happy place here at home?
Definitely in our garden, probably sitting on the outdoor sofa catching the last rays of a warm day – it’s a sun trap! I feel so incredibly grateful and lucky to have some outdoor space in London at the moment. It’s keeping me sane. I also love a big bubble bath as we’ve recently redone the bathroom.
If you could invite any women to brunch, who would they be and why?
Is it OK to say my best friends? Of course, I’d love to have a chat with Oprah or Michelle Obama but really, right now, all I want is to sit around catching up and laughing with my girls after all this time apart.
Who do you follow for style inspiration?
On Instagram, I love Monikh for dress inspiration and I seem to want everything Lucy Williams wears. For me, her style is the perfect balance of wearable but still special, minimal and fun. I’m a big 90s fashion fan, so Diana will always be my ultimate fashion icon.
What are your favourite hush pieces — and how would you style them?
I’m loving throw-on dresses at the moment. They require zero effort but still make you look like you’ve put some in. The Valenti Tiered Midi Dress and the T-Shirt Dress are perfect easy pieces to style with a light denim or khaki spring jacket, chunky sandals and one of my many basket bags.
What’s your go-to staying-in style?
Definitely a comfy, light dress for when the weather is warmer. When I want to be cosy, it’s either a throw-on utility style jumpsuit or a smart jogger, paired with a linen shirt or light knit and Birkenstocks. I love minimal, classic pieces that all work together.
Follow Emily on Instragram @emilyjdawes