Natasha Royt is dancing her way to joy.
The Canadian-born stylist found her love of fashion early and, as quickly as she could, made her way to NYC and a job at ELLE. From there, she went to Vogue and then W, eventually leaving to start a thriving freelance career. Today, when she’s not styling editorial for prestigious magazines, she’s a creative consultant for Live The Process. As someone who is deeply invested in her wellness and spiritual life, our brand’s ethos speaks not only to her own lifestyle (she wears the collection every day), but also to her dedication to living a life of gratitude, peace and fulfillment—even when that requires hard work.
Here, Royt shares her perspective on this moment in fashion and on why living the process is about so much more than what we wear:
Live The Process: Growing up in Canada, did you always have an interest in style?
Natasha Royt: For as long as I can remember, I’ve been captivated by the aesthetic world of fashion photography. Growing up, I had pages from magazines plastered all over my walls and would spend hours digging through thrift stores and trying new looks. My mother was pretty fabulous and took great care of herself, so she was also an early inspiration. I was incredibly ambitious from a young age and didn’t waste any time before moving to New York and starting my career.
LTP: How did that passion evolve into a full-fledged career? Was there ever a moment along the way at which you felt that your younger self would be proud?
NR: That’s a great question—and I don’t think I truly allowed myself to be proud until the last few years. In fact, I don’t think people truly pat themselves on the back enough for what they have achieved.
I definitely worked really hard. When I was choosing what to study at university, I didn’t consider going to a fashion school because I knew I didn’t want to be a designer. I wanted to work in fashion magazines—of that I was sure. At the time, in my head, magazines meant journalism; and, because I loved to write, I went to journalism school and began to imagine myself as a fashion writer.
When I got to New York and started interning at ELLE, I quickly realized that a “fashion editor” was nothing like being an editor at a literary book. I thought to myself, “These editors get to travel the world with photographers and models and great clothes, telling visual stories; this is what I want to do!”
I quickly abandoned my writing career and started on the path of being a stylist. ELLE led me to Vogue and stints working with Phyllis Posnick and then Camilla Nickerson with whom I left Vogue for W magazine. After seven years of assisting, I finally broke off on my own and have been a freelance stylist for more than 13 years now. I recently celebrated my 20-year anniversary of moving to New York; and I was finally able to look back on what I’ve accomplished and feel quite proud.
LTP: If you had to encapsulate what’s happening in fashion right now in just a few words, how you would describe it? How would you describe your personal style?
NR: Individuality. That’s the word I’d like to use to describe fashion now. There are so many options now for how to dress, and all the old rules seem to be broken. Sure, there are trends and there’s hype, but there are options for everyone, no matter what they’re thing is. This doesn’t necessarily lead to great style all around, but the variety is never boring.
My personal style leans towards tailoring and a menswear influence. I love clean lines, nuanced color and intentionally modern shapes; I’m definitely in the #phoebephilo camp and love clothes that make me feel strong and pulled together, but comfortable and cozy. Nothing brings me more pleasure than luxurious quality and pieces made with integrity.
LTP: You’ve been with Live The Process, as a creative consultant, from the beginning. How has the line’s aesthetic evolved over time? How does the brand’s ethos complement your own philosophies?
NR: I’ve loved watching Live The Process grow! Working with Robyn has been a great pleasure, especially as I wear the line every day and feel personally invested, as a result. Since I work out everyday—either with yoga, Pilates or barre—I love to mix Live the Process in with my other clothes, which to me is the true essence of “athleisure.”
City life means that you could get dressed for yoga in the am and potentially have to run around still wearing your workout clothes for hours after, so I like to put it together in a way that still makes me feel good. Isn’t that “living the process,” in a way?
I think we have grown the line in a manner that helps to fill in the gaps, so that you always have something great to wear that not only looks chic, but also feels amazing against your skin—that moves and breathes with you through your practice—but that you also know was made ethically and sustainably.
LTP: You also consulted on the new Studio LTP space. What is your favorite element there and what do you think will make the space so special?
NR: Of course, Live The Process also relates to how you hold and create space around you. The Studio space is an extension of the brand and ethos, not only in aesthetic, but also in its commitments to a holistic wellness lifestyle. There are a lot of ideas and plans about what we can do in the space and who we can invite to share it with us in terms of workshops, classes and events that align with our principles, so it’s been such a fun journey getting it ready.
There’s still a long way to go, but, like anything worthwhile, it takes time to grow and expand in an organic way. We’d like the space to feel comfortable and home-y, but in a spare and elegant way that suggests stillness, a calm and serene mind and a commitment to great design and products.
As we are just at the beginning of designing the space, the first big element was to paint the entire ceiling black to create a chic cocoon. Interestingly, painting the ceiling dark actually made the space feel taller and enhanced the tin of the industrial Tribeca loft space, giving it a totally new ambience.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
NR: As cheesy as it sounds, happiness, I think, is getting into the “feeling space” of being grateful for everything you already have and appreciating life exactly as it is, all around you, through mindfulness practices and meditation. I believe everyone would be moved to tears of joy if they could just sit still and honestly take stock of all the gifts the universe has already bestowed on them. And, through that, more happiness comes; that’s just the way it works!
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
NR: Live The Process is about so much more than what you’re wearing when you work out; it’s more than even just working out your body. It’s about your body, mind and spirit, and all the things that you can do to lead you back to yourself.
As we’ve all heard many times before, it’s never the destination or the end result; it’s the journey, the process, and it never ends. Meditating for five minutes every once in a while or practicing yoga once a week won’t accomplish much. The wellness lifestyle has to be just that—a way of living—but also an attitude towards life, love, abundance and progress. It means finding ways to take care of yourself that are right for you and then letting those good practices become inherent habits and behaviors that impact your way of being and interactions with others in all areas of your life.
For me, it starts with meditation and trying to find stillness and peace in this chaotic world. I also love my daily little rituals and prayers that remind me that I’m really a spiritual being, just having a human experience. Then, of course, it’s about taking care of my body and feeding it good food and moving it in different ways every day. But also I love to find other outlets to let my spirits soar like chanting and dancing; the immeasurable joy that comes from expressing your heart and soul in these very human ways should not be underestimated. Take a look at any ancient or indigenous culture and you will find so much dancing and singing together; it’s only in our modern times that we’ve forgotten how.
Taking time away from digital pollution, convening with nature, going on retreat with other spiritual seekers—all of this takes discipline, effort and dedication. To me, this is truly “living the process.” And it not only drastically improves one’s own life, but touches all the people in your life by extension. This is divine oneness.
Photographs of our Spring 2020 collection, styled by Natasha Royt