Helen Turnbull

Meet writer and journalist Helen Turnbull.

Helen moved to London to pursue her journalism dream, and writes for various fashion publications. ‘I have racked up a hell of a lot of amazing experiences on my journo-ey,’ she says. ‘I hope this continues…’

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Where do I start?

I can pretty much sum myself up in three simple words: floating, fashion and freelance but you’d learn that from clocking my twitter bio and I figure this question is asking a bit more. SO, here it is. I am currently loving living life in the big LDN. I studied English Language at York University and graduated in July 2011 but – with fear of sounding cliché – I always knew I wanted to be journalist slash writer. I moved to London in November after having bombed up and down the country during my university years for this internship and that ‘only-expenses-paid’ work experience I knew this is where I wanted to be for the long haul. So I made it happen and fled the Geordie shores with a canned G&T in hand, too many collars in the other and a bowler on head to where the magic supposedly happens as I strive to strike the impossible balance between #journowoes and #journojoys. ATM it is a balance FYI.

I am in the throes of an NCTJ – I have done more work in the last three months than I did in three years at uni – hoping it’ll make me less intern more paid freelancer.

What are your inspirations?

LDN: the places and its people. I literally don’t think there’s any better place on the planet for young creatives to flourish. East is my favourite mainly because of the diversity. Picture any Spitalfields street – the juxtaposition of the rows of curry houses that face the likes of YMC and some of the country’s best vintage – where else do you see two massively opposing cultures live so harmoniously? I also dig the insanely outlandish and ‘hip’ peeps who roam Spitalfields’ streets. SO. MUCH. STREET. STYLE. I eventually want to be based East. There is so much to explore and discover in this city and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Magazines are my biggest vice. Rumour has it print is dead but I will not let it go without a fight. I have especially big respect for those that are more niche and whose only premise is to provide a showcasing platform for upcoming talents (Oh Comely and The Gentlewoman). That is something which should be preciously protected from the ‘online beast’. Dazed and Vice are my mainstream favourites as they have both, individually, stood the test of time, adapting to each era’s zeitgeist while maintaining their original vision.

London and magazines are my two pivotal sources of inspo but generally my ideas mirror my personality: impulsive and spontaneous.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

Nothing can describe or beat the mahoosive sense of achievement I get when seeing my name in print. So on that, I’m going to say Notion Magazine‘s latest issue which came out a couple of weeks ago. I wrote a few bits and pieces as well as receiving a published accreditation for my contribution to their London Fashion Week coverage. Like I say, it’s indescribable.

I recently interviewed Jack Hemingway (Hemingway Design and son of Wayne) about his collab with Hush Puppies for Notion Magazine’s online alter-ego Planet Notion. He was lovely and since the feature went live I’ve received so much lush feedback on it so I’m pretty proud of that as well.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

I expect a lot of people will answer with Caitlin Moran, India Knight or Grace Dent – three hilariously funny women who I admire hugely but I think there’s an incoming trend for even more raucous female journalism such as Kate Carraway and Sarah Prickett – two American writers who are literally laugh out loud funny. I am also a big fan of Lauren Laverne’s fashion column for The Observer. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and it makes for a thoroughly entertaining read week after week. Thumbs up to her.

Visit Helen’s Tumblr and blog, Are You Dressing Up; Tweet her, too: @helenturnblad.


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