It's official: Fashionista and One Direction are now kind of related. (And not because I've married Harry Styles -- let me have my dream!)
One Direction's longtime hair stylist, Lou Teasdale, is releasing a book of beauty tips she's picked up during her time in the industry, called The Craft, and she tapped none other than founding Fashionista editor Faran Krentcil to illustrate it.
I caught up with the pair at Fudge Urban's US haircare launch (available now exclusively at Target), for whom Teasdale serves as an ambassador and whose products appear in the book, to get the story on how it all came together.
Like the best relationships these days, it all started online: Krentcil, whose quirky handwritten notes set the tone in the early days of our site, has been posting her illustrations for over 200,000 followers on Tumblr.
One of those followers was Teasdale, who says she was a "full on fangirl." So, when it came time to get an illustrator for her book, Krentcil topped the list. Luckily, Teasdale had an inside connection: Her twin sister Samantha, who had worked with Krentcil at Nylon on a story about her cool-girl hair salon Bleach in London.
"I had known her sister for like two years, but I had no idea that they were related even," Krentcil says. "I just thought everyone in England had a cool name -- everyone in England sounds like they're named after a teapot."
Fortunately, it had long been her dream to illustrate a book -- and even more fortunately, the two got along almost instantly. They're more friends than collaborators, which means they're also often (excuse the pun) on the same page idea-wise. When the shoots for the book were completed, Teasdale sent over the manuscript and gave Krentcil free reign.
"We kind of laid out the book and sent it to Faran, and she's quite organic," Teasdale explains. "So she tore things up, pouring nail polish on parts of the book, and then she scanned the pages back in and sent them to us, and we were like, 'Deal.'"
"Everything was happening on my living room floor," Krentcil adds. "I didn't know they would literally take every single page and do it, which was kind of awesome! But it's also wild to me because I see [an image from the book], and to me it's like something that lived in my bedroom, with 'Empire Records' playing in the background and glitter under my nails -- now it's something that is everywhere and it's freaking me out."
Lest you be tempted to write off The Craft because Teasdale is now most known for Harry Styles's (British Style Award-winning!) floppy locks, hear this: Before Teasdale worked with the pop phenoms, she attended the London College of Fashion and put in her time doing editorial.
Spending all that time with a bunch of unruly boys turned out to be quite the good thing; she kept up a beauty blog to stay inspired, which lead to the book. "I've done guys for three years straight and I'm bored to death!" she says. "I've had all these ideas and my head is exploding, so I just wanted to get it all out."
Those ideas burst from her head in this book, which is totally different from the rest of the "classic" beauty tomes out there. There are tips and tricks on everything from nailing spidery lashes to getting the perfect rainbow hair and everything in between.
"Think of it as a bible for girls that are just learning, just getting creative, thinking about what they want to do with their looks, what they want to do with their lives," Teasdale says. "It's just a whole lifestyle that I think I've tried to put together, and hopefully, even if it inspires one person, I think that's wicked."
Teasdale has devoted an entire section of the book to career advice, something that was also very important to her as a young mom. "Being a mum, the positive side for me is to look at other young mums, maybe single mums, looking at the beauty industry and seeing that it's a really, really cool job for people who might want to work in their own time because they have children," she says.
When I ask why this project was meaningful for each of them, it's more obvious than ever that they operate on the same wavelength -- they both immediately light up and rush to answer. "This is so cheesy, but I think anything that inspires and encourages girls to do their own thing is very important," Krentcil starts, before Teasdale excitedly jumps in.
"I think we have the same philosophy on that, making it really non-pretentious, making it very approachable, bridging the gap with the whole fashion scene and making it really cute for young girls to feel like they can be a part of it," she says.
"Yeah! Don't be afraid, do your own thing," Krentcil interjects.
"And be a bit inspiring to young girls who want to do that kind of thing," Teasdale finishes. "I just think we have a really similar attitude towards what we're trying to achieve from fashion and what we like for ourselves."
"If it's not fun and you can't relate to it, what's the point?" Krentcil says, putting a bow on the conversation. "That was what happened when I started Fashionista and what happened when she started beauty blogging, so we never had to wonder what we had in common. It was always there."
Then, the friendship side takes over from the business side. "But she has much nicer hair than I do," Krentcil jokes, "and sometimes it makes me really sad."
The Craft is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.