Stylist Elle Strauss remembers the photo shoot where she met her mate.

Photograph by Coliena Rentmeester for Lucky, January 2011, styled by Elle Strauss

In early 2001, while living in London, I worked as a fashion assistant at The Face and Arena magazines.

One day, I was unpacking and ironing clothes on the set of a shoot for Arena when the photographer, James Dimmock, introduced himself to me. My first thought was, ‘Maybe he likes me,’ because in those days no one ever acknowledged the assistant.

He wasn’t my type — he had too much hair — but he definitely caught my eye.

Four years later, at British GQ’s Men of the Year Awards party, my best friend reintroduced me to James, who had just shot the actor Paul Bettany for the magazine.

Photograph by Tierney Gearon for Lucky, December 2011, styled by Elle Strauss

James and I hadn’t seen each other since 2001; back then, I’d go to the opening of anything — even a packet of crisps — and he rarely went out.

That time, I was immediately attracted to him.

He had shaved his head and was super buff from triathlon training. I hate to name drop, but [Bettany’s wife] Jennifer Connelly [was the one] who told me that James should be my boyfriend. We ended up dating for four years, and eventually married in 2008.

To this day, I still catch myself checking him out.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Hairstylist Bridget Brager discovers her true passion on a mountaintop, an afternoon in the New York City studio of Boscar Project artists Ward Stegerhoek & Vicky Steckel.


Strauss and her husband, James Dimmock, who had two children together after marrying in 2008; photographs courtesy of Elle Strauss