TABATHA LEGGETT catches up with Made in Chelsea stars ahead of the show’s third series. In today’s installment: AMBER ATHERTON and CHESKA HULL.
Made in Chelsea, TOWIE’s upmarket cousin, burst onto our screens last year, making vajazzles so yesterday and introducing us to a world of elegance, cocktail parties and dog therapy.
The first series saw everyone’s favourite long-haired Sloane come out as bisexual, and the second series introduced a whole host of new characters, including pardy man Jamie Laing (who might just be perfect in every way). For this group of Cheslea socialites, life changed in an instant: they were thrown into a life of media attention and non-stop scrutiny. I caught up with Amber, Cheska, Rosie and Jamie to find out exactly what they’ve been up to, and how the show has changed their lives. Find out what Amber and Cheska had to say below:
Amber Atherton is not a typical Chelsea girl. From managing a jewellery website, to modelling for glossies like Vogue and Harper’s, writing a style blog and appearing in E4′s Made in Chelsea, Amber certainly fills her time more productively than most of her peers. “It all started when I was in boarding school,” Amber tells me.
“My parents lived in Hong Kong, so I used to bring back loads of jewellery from there and sell it to my school friends. I’ve always had an eye for accessories, and the pieces sold well, so I set up a basic WordPress website and started my own business at the age of 16.
“MyFlashTrash grew quite organically from there. As the website started to increase in popularity, designers started to contact me asking me to feature their stuff.
“Now we feature over 30 designers, and we’ve been nominated for our first award!”
As those of us who watch Made in Chelsea will know, nothing is more important to Amber than her business. “I’ve never been a main player in the show,” she tells me, “so I think I come across as more elusive than a lot of the other characters.
“The general public probably see me as quite a frivolous, eccentric person, but in reality I’m a successful business woman who works 9am-7pm days. They only show a tiny aspect of my personality, exaggerating my frivolous side and focusing far less on my life in the office. But it’s all good fun.
“The third series, which we start filming next month, will show more of my business side. It’ll show me offering advice to other cast members who have set up businesses, but perhaps haven’t been so successful.”
With her business in mind, when Amber was approached by a producer friend about getting involved with a Gossip Girl/The Hills style show, she jumped at the chance. “I got my friend Rosie involved, and it all took off from there,” she says. “But none of us could have predicted how successful it would be – Made in Chelsea is now Channel 4′s highest rated show!”
…item for sale on MyFlashTrash? “I love London-based Spanish designer Patricia Nicolás’ stuff. She’s actually just done a line for Topshop, which I adore.”
…beauty product? “Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser.”
…shop? “The Shop at Bluebird on the King’s Road, or Matches.”
…item of clothing? “I’m so fickle with my clothes – I get new favourites every day. But I do have a leather jacket by my friend, Sunday Girl Jade, which I always wear.”
…designer? “I’m really into Austrian labels right now, like Cameo and Helmut Lang. And I love Acne and APC.”
…club? “The Experimental Cocktail Club in China Town.”
…drink? “They have great cocktails there – there’s one that’s been ageing for like 20 years. But normally, I go for a Moscow Mule.”
…restaurant? “This is going to make me sound so Sloaney, but I’ve just discovered a new Azerbaijani place on Sloane Street called Bakh. It does great grilled meat.”
…book? “Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant.”
…TV programme? “I don’t watch a lot of reality television, but I love documentaries like Panorama. I did also dabble in a bit of Downtown Abbey.”
Cheska Hull might be the sweetest girl in the world. If she’s not helping her friends get over bad breakups, she’s visiting her mum in Salcombe. But that’s not to say she isn’t smart. “I was working in PR and events when I was approached about joining a show with a working name of Chelsea Girls,” Cheska tells me.
“At first I was unsure, but my friends Binky and Ollie wanted to do it, so I figured we’d all do it together and it’d be fun.
“I had no idea how big it would be, though. It really has been life changing.”
Before the show took off, Cheska was blogging for Matchbox magazine. “I love writing, and I think I’d like to work in the magazine world,” she tells me. “It’d be so cool to set up a magazine, working from my blog. But then again, I also love TV work and presenting.
“I think my dream would be to appear on Strictly Come Dancing, because I love dancing so much. Whatever happens, I want to work in media.”
But Cheska isn’t a one trick pony, and she has high aspirations for the boutique she co-owns with her mother. “We run a little boutique in Salcombe, which I’d love to bring up to London. It sells frilly knickers, bags, shoes… everything a girl could possibly want!”
Unlike some of her co-stars, Cheska loves reality television. “I love The Only Way is Essex. The press make out like there’s a rivalry between the cast members, but I think it’s more about the TV channels fighting for viewing figures. We all get on really well, and I’m actually good friends with Lydia and Arg.”
But what sets MiC apart from TOWIE? “People such a fascination with how others live – whether they’re from Liverpool, Essex, Chelsea or wherever. But Made in Chelsea is all about aspirational living. There are tears, dramas and relationships, but they all take place on the lovely backdrop of Chelsea.
“It’s reality television, so people can relate to us. But equally, it’s constructed so it’s aesthetically pleasing.”
…shop? “Obviously I’m biased, so I’m going to say Amelia’s Attic. But I also love a lifestyle shop called Anthropologie on Regent Street. Ollie and I absolutely love it – we can spend like three hours there.”
…designer? “Beulah, which is run by two girls from Chelsea and sells ethically made clothes. People like Kate Middleton and Sienna Miller shop there. I wore a blue Beulah dress to the War Horse premier recently.”
…item of clothing? “A pair of boots from Kos with fur on the top. I always wear high heels, so I love wearing them because they’re so comfy.”
…club? “I go out a lot in Soho. I also like Embargo.”
…drink? ”Pina colada.”
…restaurant? “Bluebird. Ollie and I go there all the time – even just to take our laptops and work.”
…film? “Love Actually, or War Horse. But if you’re a girl who likes animals, take a lot of tissues to War Horse, because you’ll cry a lot!”
…TV programme? “Misfits, Fresh Meat or Skins.”
…holiday destination? “Ollie and I are going to the Caribbean next week, but I love Salcombe in Devon. It’s home for me, and I’m lucky enough to live in a holiday destination.”
Illustrations by Ella Jackson
Come back Monday to see what Rosie and Jamie had to say when I caught up with them.