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“Our Enduring Friendship”

Anna Saunders

They share our happiest moments and they are there for our darkest days, which is why, this month, we’re celebrating the power of female friendships. We’ve collaborated with Polo Ralph Lauren, known for its timeless and enduring style, to interview eight inspiring women about their most enduring friendships. See Part Two here.

“We’ve come a long way together”

Eleanor Pendleton, the founder of Gritty Pretty, and Morgan Tait, Gritty Pretty‘s creative director, first met at school. In the past year, they have both been celebrants at the other’s wedding. 

Eleanor: “When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we wanted our celebrant to be someone who knew us both – and for us that was Morgs. We’ve been friends since we were 13, and since then she’s always been part of my life.

On our wedding day, I remember walking down the aisle and all I could see was Mat. But when I reached the end, Morgan was there, and having her next to us made me feel so much more at ease. It was such a special moment.

When I started Gritty Pretty, Morgan was one of the first people I called. She is talented, creative and funny, and she and I have the same work ethic, which is relentless. 

In the early days of the magazine, we would work till 2, 3, 4 in the morning, just glued to our screens, and then we’d wake up at 6am and send it live. I don’t know anyone else who shares that level of stamina and perfectionism.


Morgan Tait and Eleanor Pendleton PHOTOGRAPHER: Hugh Stewart

Morgan and I come from very similar backgrounds – both our parents have had small businesses – and we’ve come a long way together.

I’ll never forget flying to LA to shoot Miranda Kerr for the cover of Gritty Pretty magazine. It was our first international shoot, and I remember sitting in the back of an Uber on the way to Miranda’s house thinking: How did we get here? Two girls from the Central Coast, who have never had a leg up, photographing one of the biggest supermodels in the world. It was such a special moment to share with Morgan.

I have a beautiful family, but my friends are the family I choose. Morgan is funny – she has the driest sense of humour – and she has always been there, that person I can talk to when things aren’t great, even though it mightn’t appear that way on social media. When I’m around Morgan, I just feel like myself – without the professional career side, without the media profile; she just makes me feel like me. We lift each other up.”

Morgan: “I remember the moment Eleanor asked me to be the celebrant at her wedding. We were having coffee and El got quite emotional and nervous.

On her wedding day, as El walked down the aisle, you could see that she was radiating happiness. I was standing so close to them, I could see every movement on their faces. It was so intimate and I’ll never forget it.

Then, last week, Eleanor was the celebrant at my wedding in New Zealand. I was really nervous walking down the aisle, but El gave me a big beautiful smile and it was amazing to be walking towards two people I know really care about me.

I was really nervous walking down the aisle, but El gave me a big beautiful smile

Friends often ask if it’s strange working for El, but it’s not because we have known each other for such a long time, and our friendship has such a great foundation. We grew up together – our childhood was fun and typically coastal – no shoes, that sort of thing.

El and I are extremely honest with each other and we also both work really hard. We are the same in that way. I know that if I have a question and it’s 2am the night before the magazine is about to be published, I can email El and she’ll be awake. There is a constant communication flow between us. We talk on every platform possible – gchat, texting, email.

El is loyal, kind and honest, and I do lean on her. Recently, my husband was deployed to the Middle East for nine months. He was in a war zone and I wouldn’t hear from him for two weeks at a time. El was so thoughtful, always checking in with me. I would be stuck in a work hole and she’d say, come on let’s go for a coffee. She is extremely kind and she always thinks about other people.”

Morgan wears Polo Ralph Lauren white t-shirt, $149.00, available in Ralph Lauren Chatswood Chase, Doncaster & Collins St;  Polo Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid Wool Trench $1499. Eleanor wears: Polo Ralph Lauren White Shirt $149; Polo Ralph Lauren Demin Dress $399.00, available in Ralph Lauren Chatswood Chase, Doncaster & Collins St; Polo Ralph Lauren Suede Big Buckle Belt, $459.00, available in Ralph Lauren Chatswood Chase, Doncaster & Collins St.
Talisa Sutton and Brooke Testoni PHOTOGRAPHER: Hugh Stewart

“We lean on each other for advice”

Talisa Sutton and Brooke Testoni are fashion influencers who also run their own businesses. Brooke has a nine-month-old son, and Talisa’s first baby is due soon.

Talisa: “Brooke and I first met about six years ago when the pool of people who were considered to be ‘fashion influencers’ was quite small. We first connected, properly, over lunch at an event and discovered we had a lot in common. Our backgrounds are similar – fashion and graphic design – and at the time we were both planning our weddings, too. Our lives have continued to follow a similar path. We both run our own businesses now, and Brooke has a baby and I’m pregnant.

Brooke is a very relaxed person – even if she’s under pressure, being around her is so calming.

I really admire her – she is a businesswoman but a mother, too. I always thought that at some point in life you have to compromise, but it’s really encouraging to see her make it all work and do such an amazing job of juggling everything.

Working in this industry, it’s nice to have friends you can talk to when life isn’t so glamorous

I ask her advice a lot. I had quite bad morning sickness as she unfortunately did too. I’ll ring her and tell her I’m feeling so tired, and she’ll say it gets better! Working in this industry, it’s nice to have friends you can talk to when life isn’t so glamorous.

I also look to her around how she has handled combining having a baby and social media. The nature of what we both do means that people connect with you personally. However, I really value my child’s sense of privacy. I think that the way that Brooke has managed it is great.

I trust Brooke and it’s been beautiful to watch her become a mother. The relationship she has with her son is so special. I feel so lucky to have friends like her during this time of change.”

Talisa Sutton and Brooke Testoni PHOTOGRAPHER: Hugh Stewart

Brooke: “Talisa is the sweetest thing in the world. We talk about everything… babies, work. I completely respect her – she is such a hard worker and her aesthetic is beautiful. 

We really look out for each other. When you’re a freelancer or working from home, it’s great to have someone to talk to and get truthful opinions from. 

We often talk on the phone about jobs we have coming up or we’ll ask each other how the other one produced a shoot. There is no competition between us. If she gets a job I’ve been up for, I’m really happy for her and vice versa.

I absolutely love motherhood, but it can very challenging juggling working and a baby. I often give Talisa tips about pregnancy and she’ll ask me about things like Braxton Hicks. I think it’s so important when you’re pregnant to have a friend you can turn to for that type of thing. You can only learn so much from books!

In my early days, I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, which was really hard. It was very helpful to have friends with children to turn to. Talisa didn’t have a baby at the time, but she is a friend I can always turn to for support. During the first half of my pregnancy I had morning – or should I say ‘all-day’ – sickness. It was a challenging time. If I spoke to T on the phone, I would always walk away feeling my spirits were lifted.

Talisa is a very sweet and gentle soul; she has a very calming demeanour. I know she is going to be a great mother. I can’t wait to be on the journey together.”

Talisa wears Polo Ralph Lauren Knit Dress $299; Brooke wears Floral Dress $749.00, available in Ralph Lauren Chatswood Chase, Doncaster & Collins St & select David Jones stores

This story was created with Polo Ralph Lauren, which is synonymous with enduring style, timeless design, impeccable quality and the utmost attention to detail. The iconic brand recently celebrated 50 years, and you can find your nearest store here. It is also available at The ICONIC and David Jones.



Photographer: Hugh Stewart

Stylist: Aileen Marr

Writer: Anna Saunders

Make-up: Charlie Kielty

Hair: Gavin Aynesbury

Photographer assistant: Sean Slattery

Stylist assistant: Maya Entwisle



BY Anna Saunders

Anna is the co-founderof Primer. She is perennially grateful for the incredible friends in her life.

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