Earlier this week I woke up to find a neatly piled stack of mags in the kitchen. Nylon (I thought my subscription had run out!), a UofT alumni magazine (yes, I do read it) and a copy of the latest Worn Fashion Journal were all addressed to me. It turned out that my issue of Worn seemed to combine the off-beat styling of Nylon with the smart girl perspective this UofT grad had been lacking lately.
I spent most of last weekend brainstorming story ideas for Mother's Day. Images of high tea, sunny days and white fabrics suddenly came to mind. If you know my mother, you know that I have to laugh at our different opinions when it comes to style. Naturally I had to read G. Stegelmann's piece on what she learned about dressing from Mom.
Pages later I swooned at the Nancy Drew inspired fashion spread. Stories of this young sleuth are a very large part of my obsession with reading. Seeing the vintage mix made me think of carrying Nancy Drew novels in my backpack and dreaming about being a fiction writer someday.
Finally, those Wornettes captured my attention with "Colour Me Your Colour Baby," a look into the history of colour and its associations with gender. As an undergraduate student I took any gender courses I could find. My fascination often found it's way into my writing, including one piece I contributed to the second issue of VIVE, our campus fashion publication.
I've been familiar with Worn since before it made the move to Toronto from Montreal. It has always valued the smart, critical and historical takes on fashion. But this issue made me wonder, Hey Wornettes, can you read my mind? If you're curious, check out www.wornjournal.com, they may be reading yours too.
“Look at Vogue. Oh my God. Vogue and Harper’s once were very well designed magazines. I mean they were exciting to look at. You could not give a shit about fashion and be excited by the whole look of the magazine. You look at Vogue now: it’s not even designed. What a difference. You pick up a Vogue back in the days of [Condé Nast’s Alexander] Lieberman and those guys, and you look at it now, and it’s a disgrace."
ps. any tips on how to use/learn to use in design?
Despite leaping out of the car just a block west of the building, I entered the festive lobby with soaking wet boots. I was early enough to dry myself off and switch into my favourite pair of studded booties. Luckily, my outfit ("Dress for the job you want" says the voice in my head) was unaffected by this year's first encounter with slush. I added a swipe of lip gloss, stashed my extra bag (filled with homework and a cozy knit for class this evening) under the receptionist's desk and still had time to spare. I reviewed my back issues, ideas and writing samples before the editor at large appeared.
Though this was my first interview for a paid position, it wasn't my first time chatting with editors about my experience. Despite being usually shy around new people, I seem to become possessed by an extremely outgoing version of myself each time I enter an office. Those questions I was oh so prepared to answer? I wasn't asked a single one. Instead I had the chance to speak a bit about myself, hear more about what will be expected of the EA and ask some questions of my own. I presented her with another copy of my resume and a collection of writing samples that took me hours and hours to format properly on my new mac.
A funny thing happened when I mentioned my references. "I received a letter about you," she said. I didn't know whether to be shocked or deathly afraid. It turns out that after telling my teachers about this interview, one of them had written her a letter about me! I was genuinely surprised and extremely flattered. She couldn't remember which one had sent it, but I plan to solve that mystery tonight.
Regardless of what happens, I felt good about it. I truly would not have done a single thing differently. You should know that I'm always up for magazine chat, so of course I left with a smile. Oh, and one more thing, an edit test.
I stepped back out onto the street with my hood on and my head held high. Next stop - dream job! But before that, I headed to the Eaton Centre to buy a pair of waterproof boots.
Mango's magazine is essentially a catalogue with editorial-style photography. The stories star Scarlett Johansson (the cover girl), Daisy Lowe ("Sensual Feeling") and Leigh Lezark ("Girl & Boy"). H&M's is quite a different story. With photo shoots by Terry Richardson, an interview with Lady Gaga and a piece telling readers how to find their inner hostess, the mag appears to be much more like my usual reads.
But what's the point? Mango seems to be telling it like it is. So why am I reading H&M's "25 Best Tips for a Great 2010" (In case you're wondering, they include "Don't dream it. Be it.")? I guess the fact that I shop there regularly should answer my own question. Before this turns into a rant on consumerism and brand management, next time I'm at the cash I'll politely refuse an issue.
Fashion is all about moving forward. Fashion is about what’s next. Or is it? I’ve always been the kind of girl who believes that somehow, someway, it all goes back to the classics. But this week I was exposed to both the new and old in magazines.
This week I got my first look at VOGUE Italia’s December cover. Covered in a collage of models’ self-portraits, it was accompanied by comments about Twitter. I was immediately excited and approving. The collage/moodboard layout reminded me of so many I had created in my room and on my desktop over the years. But models? VOGUE? It has a do-it-yourself feeling that is far from covers photographed by Patrick Demarchelier and Co. After some thought (maybe a little too much) I realized, with high-end designers rushing to create diffusion lines, reality television shows that capture all of the happenings behind-the-seams and a new cover that resembles a collection of Twit pics, fashionable ideas seem to be falling off their respective pedestals.
Back in my dream world of vintage photography and ‘60s musicals, AG and I decided to take in a night of girl talk and holiday cheer. We finally checked out the Vanity Fair portraits at the ROM. The room was bustling with couples and gal pals, all shuffling around for their glimpse of Princess Diana, Madonna or Rob Lowe (circa the days of the Brat Pack). We followed up with sushi, a major catch-up session and a stroll by the Holt Renfrew holiday windows. My favourite had to be their interpretation of fashion’s notable names (Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington among them) as snow[wo]men.
I spent the day studying a year’s worth of back issues of one Canadian women’s mag. As I flipped pages I was confronted with the idea of old and new once again. Summer beauty buys, holiday basics, the same stories are repackaged again and again. We look in the rear view mirror as fashion keeps moving forward. I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as it keeps us wanting more.
This week I attended Ed2010 Toronto’s latest event, an interview seminar led by Megan Griffith-Greene of Chatelaine, Bonnie Munday of Best Health and Jenny Pruegger of Transcontinental HR. And now, some notable points…
-The Bigger Picture: Remember that HR will be the first to review your resume. They’ll be looking to see whether or not you’d be a good fit for the company/publisher.
-Do Your Homework: Know your role. Know your superior’s role. Know the magazine and have a sense of their reader.
-End on a Good Note: Ask questions about the role and how previous employees have been successful.
I loved seeing the room filled with mag-lovers and readers. Chatting with other writers and interns reminded me that I’m not alone. There’s always going to be someone with a little less experience, and someone with one more enviable opportunity. Regardless, now's the time to set myself apart.
“Here stereotypes do apply. In Italy it's body hugging and the highest of heels; in California, colour, hippie chic, fleece and flat sandals; in France, low heels and understatement; in New York whether down or Uptown, polished and put together; in Japan the extremes of conservative work wear and Harijuku girls.”
For me, it depends where I am. Florida is an annual trip in our family and we all look forward to the empty schedules and sun. My plan? Swim, read, swim, read, swim. If I’m caught wearing old t-shirts and bathing suits day in and day out, forgive me. Trips to New York and Italy are meant for style, but this one certainly isn’t.
A week of procrastinating and then finally writing came to an end last night. Draft One (a comforting thought considering I know it needs work) of my major profile assignment was due last night. As usual I continued to re-read my work right up until the last minute before I had to leave for class. I quickly wrapped up the end (was my writing even coherent by then?) and sent it in. Though I was doubtful, I am truly excited to continue working on it. Working on this ongoing project means having piles of notes, sheets and style manuals handy along with a healthy dose of hope. I hope I can finish this and still be proud of it. I hope I can find the perfect quote. I hope – boy do I ever – that this may appear in print someday.
Whenever I finish a big assignment you can guarantee that my appearance is completely frazzled, from my au natural hairstyle to my choice of outfit. On a good day it’s a cozy knit, anything less and I reach for the good ol’ TNA sweats. Yesterday I managed to avoid the tracksuit and opted for a dress instead. Large ballet pink scarf is always a must – especially when the goal is to catch a nap on the subway.
Enough of from my guide on how to appear like a hobo – I got to Ryerson and of course half of the students weren’t there. They’d emailed their assignments and then stayed home. Why didn’t I think of that? Regardless, my teacher is an inspiring lecturer with countless stories to tell about on-the-scene reporting, so I stuck it out.
Afterwards we headed to a pub to ‘toast to our deadline.’ It was fun to hear more of our teacher’s stories, chat about our assignments and what we learned along the way. Working on this assignment was definitely a highlight of the course so far (along with being called a “graceful” writer). It was nice to take the time to chat about where we’ve all been and where we see ourselves going, until it’s time for Draft Two that is.
Yesterday I spent the majority of my day waiting for something to strike. Of course, in the final hour before class things started to come together. I scrambled to print my research and ended up with ideas for an entirely different publication than the one I had set out to brainstorm for.
I suddenly decided to check out if this mag had any job info or openings on their site. They didn't. The energy that came with the flow of ideas must have taken over, because before I knew it I was on the phone with the EiC. Despite the WTF in her tone, I could not be shaken. I simply asked where to find out more. She said that they are not currently accepting applications or queries right now. After she hung up I had to laugh. I expected to get contact info from the receptionist, not to interrupt the EiC. Personally, I think I'd be a good fit for their magazine, and I intend to prove it. But I didn't have time. I had to get to class.
So what if I was a little late? I needed to make a quick stop for green tea. Plus, my story meeting with my teacher (an executive editor) ended with some encouragement on his part and utter excitement on mine.
My sister asked me yesterday if I actually read my magazines. Read them? I flip first, then go back and take it in cover to cover. As I continue to take courses at Ryerson I find myself reading differently too. I’m constantly looking for signature items, writers, interview techniques and whatever inspires me overall. There was definitely no shortage of inspiration in my holiday issues.
FASHION? Thanks for Rebecca Tay’s “Show Down.” It’s your combination of commentary and whimsy in your writing that keeps me coming back. FLARE? If the buzz about GaGa isn’t enough to lure you in (I’ll admit I’m not a fan but the cover photo’s lovely. Plus I had to see how the accompanying feature spun the Haus of GaGa and all of it’s glory) flip to “Bright Young Things.” The sparkly spread captures a holiday party at Rolly’s Garage in Toronto. Though I’ve already been caught wearing eye-catching earrings and my hair in a bun, I can only wish that my holiday looks like this much fun.
So thanks, dear holiday issues for keeping me going. You intrigue me, surprise me and remind me of what I want to be apart of.
On campus I got to transcribe my own interview. I looked through shelves of books on instant photography. Apparently choosing to write an assignment on the inner workings of a Polaroid camera was a bad idea. I can barely believe that I spent Monday going through the motions of work and school – and by Tuesday a lengthy list of assignments seemed to magically appear. I sat in the library, waiting for ideas to strike like lightning. Current research includes hand sanitizers, fashion design stereotypes and pubs in Toronto (help!).
On Bay Street I met with a friend of a friend at Indigo for a chat. She contacted me to discuss all things internship, and naturally I was happy to oblige. The main theme that we kept coming back to was to ask for what you want. Curious about job info? Reach for the masthead, that’s what it’s there for. No one’s going to hand you your dream opportunity.
On Bloor Street I popped into Holt Renfrew to check out wares from a specific designer. The sounds of carols immediately had me in the holiday spirit. Embellished silver ornaments made it easily feel like Christmas was around the corner. Snapping back into the present, I sought out a particular rack in the name of research...
On Queen Street West I got a true taste of life as a fashion writer. I interviewed Toronto-based designer Erin Kleinberg and got to tag along on a trip to her fabric supplier. She’s young, funny and extremely determined. Her ambition and business-minded view of fashion was inspiring. She attributes her work ethic to the infectious New York energy she was exposed to while interning with W Magazine stylist, Alex White. Surprisingly, the gentleman at the supplier even suggested I work as Kleinberg’s assistant (too bad she has one). Hey, it worked for Elana Fishman [former Teen Vogue Fashion News intern, currently Jason Wu’s assistant] didn’t it? Either way, this jobless glossy-lover had to smile. If meeting Kleinberg taught me anything, it’s that all you can do is keep going.
Vogue Paris June 1966
Vogue Paris August 2004
Vogue UK December 2007
Into the Wild at Ula Zukowska
The woman wearing Ula Zukowska has two choices for Spring/Summer 2010. One is to opt for clothing that protects from the elements. While the other is to wear an outfit that let’s you relax and enjoy the spring breeze.
The show itself seemed fairly subdued. Clothes came down the runway in shades of beige, lilac and dark blue to the tune of the violin. But the accessories shook things up. Pops of bright orange made tights and statement necklaces obvious eye-catchers.
Ula Zukowska’s opening looks immediately had me thinking of utility, practicality – even armour. Survival came to mind when I saw the high, stiff collars, the pockets and the neutral palette. Though the leather leggings were already on more than enough members of the audience, they too fit the tough chick aesthetic. Or so I thought.
The collection switched gears with a series of loose-fitting dresses. The light fabric and silhouette had more movement than some of the show’s earlier pieces. Colours bled into one another unlike the solid neutrals that dominated the beginning of the show. Large flowers were pinned to jackets and found on patterned tights. Suddenly nature wasn’t something to protect yourself against but something to embrace.
If the choice were mine I’d go with the structured pieces. As someone who has never even entertained the idea of camping before, I’m siding with the touch chicks on this one.
Lucian Matis Plays Ringleader at LGFW
It was a circus under the tents for the Lucian Matis show. While waiting outside the crowd seemed to multiply until finally, when people stopped paying attention to assigned seating, things got started.
An eerie trinket-box melody opened the show as several loosely draped dresses came out. The circus theme continued with the clown-motif decorating the dresses. Strapping the models into their embellished headdresses and pastel-coloured shoes only added to the disturbed mood.
But the restrained models’ outfits only got prettier. The length and silhouette remained the same (below or at the knee, loosely draped or away from the body) but the clowns were out and the jewels were in.
With each dress I struggled to take in all of its detail. Steely blue, muted purple and white fabrics were studded, sequined and sparkled more and more as the show went on. I knew the mood had lifted when pink made its way into the mix.
Matis has always had an eye for elegance. For Spring/Summer 2010 the look is 1920’s glam. Highlights include a white sequined dress with low-slung straps and a gray blue gown that would be backless without Matis’ expertly detailed chains.
When the music changed again the audience waited for what sort of theatrics were up next. Canadian supermodel Monika Schnarre closed the show in a white corseted gown with added crystals. By this point I was mesmerized. Maybe it was the supermodel surprise. But it was probably the jewels.
I turned 21 in Manhattan at TVFU’09, surrounded by Teen Vogue staffers I vowed that I would make things happen this year. Yesterday – just hours shy of turning 22 – I received an email from one website asking if I was interested in covering some of the final shows of LGFW. I was at the front desk at work. Yes, that work – my part-time receptionist job that always involves wearing athletic gear and sometimes involves watching Rachel Ray. Part of me could only smile at the thought of this dream come true. While the other part went into panic mode, running down all of the usual questions: What do I wear? How do I get there? Will I be late?
After going home to change and get the details of my job, I tore apart my closet. I’m a big believer in dressing for your mood and so with one quick glance at the dreary weather, a big gray H&M knit topped off my look. I ran out the door sans heels (yes, I forgot them. It was the end of the week. My flats were David Dixon so I figured I could get by).
I’ve been to Fashion Week in Toronto before, but clearly not like this. This time I was there with a purpose. I was on the guest list. I had an industry pass. The King & Shaw location accommodated many more editors, bloggers and fashion fans than LGFW has ever had (certainly many of my TO idols were in attendance). As I took notes during the Brandon R. Dwyer, Jessica Biffi, Ula Zukowska and Lucian Matis shows I couldn’t help but smile. I didn’t have a blackberry like so many of the tweeting editors, heels or an all-access pass to the media lounge but I did have a job to do.
After making it through a storm and an unnecessarily long cab ride, I made it home in one piece. Feeling a little drained (all my energy had gone into loving Lucian Matis’ opulence overload), I sat at my computer writing reviews. The clock struck twelve and it was my birthday. One wish came true a little early this year.
Marc Jacobs isn’t the only one who knows how to bring back the ‘80s. At Wednesday night’s Pink Tartan show, designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran traded in lace and leather for belts and bold shoulders. For the PT girl, Spring 2010 is all about mixing up mainstays (think horizontal stripes, trenches and wide-legged trousers) with a little luxe sparkle and shine. Pumped up shoulders were balanced by defined waists, cinched by the effortlessly knotted belt. Shades of grey got a fresh update, combined with the sophisticate’s go-tos – black and white. In the midst of an ‘80s fashion redux, how does a designer put her own stamp on it? It seems Newport-Mimran had last season’s rebellious muse step aside, in favour of her sporty sister.
To view the collection (with a little colour commentary from Mr. Adrian Mainella) see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuKr7juHXOQ
I suppose the same can be applied to writing. I've always wondered if certain critics have ever felt the pressure to shower everyone with praise in the beginning. In fashion, the most interesting critics are the ones who draw references from obscure and often unexpected moments in art and pop culture. But what about the image of a writer or editor that comes through in their critique? With the arrival of LG Fashion Week comes views from every elite editrix, witty blogger and fashion fan. Though I admit to being drawn to some of the online coverage laced with snark, it gets tired when it comes to be expected. While perusing the FLARE blogs I came across this comment from Lisa Tant's blog:
"Even normally polite editors (that would be me) hooted and hollered like a hooligan at the finale of Lanvin’s gorgeously luxe show."
She may not have a mishap to speak of, but I love the fact that she doesn't try to uphold some sort of frosty image. I can't imagine what I'd do as a result of sensory overload at a Lanvin (swoon) show. Amidst all of the chaos that must have been her fashion week experience, I'm sure some hootin' and hollerin' were in order.
Remember the diary you hid under lock and key? The one that held all of your deepest confessions ("I have a crush on...") and most scandalous secrets ("Guess who made out...")? The one that you wrote in by the light of the moon and to the sounds of the Backstreet Boys on your walkman? Okay, maybe that last one was just me. Anyway, Liana of Lili's Diary has returned to the tradition of journal writing with her very first blog. Honest and candid, she writes about the present day thoughts and musings of a 20-something girl in post-university world.
Hey, we can't all be supermodels but we can be confident, driven young women who are out to make our mark. Amanda's Not a Model is for creative types looking for a one-stop site for all things related to fashion, beauty, style and health. It's life advice from a 'non-model' who admits she doesn't have it all figured out. But no one does. It's my opinion that we all just need something fun to inspire us along the way.
David Livingstone briefly described how he fell into fashion and who influenced him along the way. Chanel biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux and fashion journalist Kennedy Fraser reminded him how important it is to have a historical perspective of fashion.
Livingstone’s work caters to the intellectual’s view of fashion. He studies obscure aspects of pop culture and how they end up on the runway. Unfortunately, he’s a less than captivating speaker who meandered from point to point and paused along the way. He spoke of the two sides of the fashion industry: the artistes and the BS.
Q&A led to some more interesting opinions. He is disappointed by the “ghettoization” of men’s fashion – the way fashion is depicted in the media and advertising as a woman’s area of interest. He wouldn’t want Robin Kay’s job (head of the Fashion Design Council of Canada). Finally, he doesn’t think that Toronto’s LG Fashion Week is all that exciting. Torontonians certainly shouldn’t expect or aspire to have Anna Wintour show up in the front row. Livingstone believes that not every city can be named a fashion capital, and that’s what makes the current capitals so buzz-worthy. Paris, London, New York, Milan.
Though I will continue to read and admire Livingstone’s work, his speaking skills only reminded me that there are definitely some strange characters in the fashion industry. I promised myself I’d stick to his writing, and maybe going to class. With that I hurried back toward the subway. Besides, I had penciled in thirty minutes with one of my favourite guilty pleasures, MTV’s The City. If I wasn’t in a fashion capital, the least I could do was catch a glimpse of it in a so-called reality.
-Prepare a list of your favorite designers, photographers, and stylists. A comprehensive knowledge of the field demonstrates your passion and shows that you've done research.
-Arrive on time and dress to impress. Your ensemble should reflect your personal style as well as the position you're applying for.
-Remember to ask some questions of your own. Inquiring about the details of the job indicates enthusiasm.
-Suss out any connections you might have. Do any of your extended family members or friends work in the business? If so, they may be able to pass along your résumé to someone who needs an intern.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me. As always, I love to hear from you and what you would like to see on the blog.
Searching for the Source of Style: An Evening with David Livingstone, Fashion Journalist
Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. West.
Wednesday Sept 30, 2009
Doors open at 7pm (with refreshments)
Lecture starts at 7:30
General admission $14, students $6.
Years ago on vacation we participated in the hotel’s karaoke night. I stood tall and softly sang along to a song I already knew, “Top of the World” by The Carpenters. She rocked out to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” That’s my sister.
This picture from the Daily Mail says it all. Anna Wintour is seated front row at the Twenty8Twelve runway show (Sienna and Savannah Miller's line) alongside MTV personality Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof. I'm a fan of Chung's look, but it certainly looks inferior next to everyone's favourite editrix.
The other day I had the pleasure of strolling down Bloor to meet my cousin at an organic lunchspot (only a stone's throw from the site of my previous internship). Before our date I had to stop in at Indigo to grab some necessities for school (really!). Aside from finding Shinan Govani's Boldface Names, I had my latest assignment in mind. One of my teachers had asked us to pick up a Canadian magazine we've never read and prepare to discuss it in class. I'll admit I was a little surprised and disappointed by the fact that I ended up choosing Z!NK Canada. How did I not know about this earlier? Shouldn't I have been completely aware of a new fashion mag? I was impressed by the fashion wells, the art direction and the size of the magazine. It reminded me of some of the publications I've seen in Europe. I remained in shock after immediately flipping to the masthead and discovering that former Fashion File host Adrian Mainella, is the Editor-at-Large. I knew then that I had to find out more. Insisting that I didn't need a bag, I proudly carried my stack of purchases out the door.
Though I'm still going over the mag, I soon got over my embarrassment of never having seen it. Instead I chose to be excited. There's something new and innovative on the Canadian glossy front, or at least to me there is.
“They think they want to be interns. It usually starts off with some really bad letter which is like, 'I have a passion for fashion' which I throw away…I look for someone who doesn’t think that they know anything about fashion – because they don’t.”
We said goodbye and parted ways for class. Passing through the TIFF-loving crowds, I'm reminded just how much I love downtown Toronto and think maybe school won't be so bad. With my entire walk to Ryerson ahead of me, one of my sandals completely falls apart. So I'm forced to trudge down Church St. and try my best not to trip. One man sitting at a patio compliments my footwear, only to look away upon noticing my less than graceful steps.
I arrived at class in one piece, and ready to learn more about the editing process. We discussed our previous experiences, favourite magazines and goals. I love hearing from people who are equally as excited as I am. We'll even be creating our own prototypes by the end of the semester. Editing, fact-checking and freelancing. Welcome to boot camp.
After spending most of the day doing things around the house, I still somehow ended up rushing to the Spoke Club. After changing from flip flops to strappy high heels on the subway, I teetered toward the venue. I got there just in time to speak to the art director about my duties before she began to enjoy the party. I was in charge of the magazine's guest list, as well as all sales of the photos. I thought I might have the chance to chat with the new intern, but surprisingly I was the only intern in sight. I worked alongside employees at the Spoke Club who were busy tending to guest lists for all sorts of TIFF events.
It was great to see all of the staff again, especially the ones that I frequently chatted with during my internship. I recognized many of the guests the second they walked off of the elevator. Jeanne Beker, Ainsley Kerr, Nada Shepherd, Tosha Dash and many more fashionable faces were in attendance. Many of the photos were sold and the proceeds went toward a Ryerson School of Fashion scholarship.
As both of my bosses left for the evening, I was able to briefly catch up with each of them. Highlights certainly included being called a "star pupil" and "the best intern ever." But if they saw me struggling in my heels to get there on time, they might not have said I "had it together." But I suppose that's the beauty of living a double life. They promised to keep me updated with any job prospects, and I promised to contact them for a coffee date.
When things slowed down I was able to peruse the exhibit. The portraits of Daria Werbowy and Isabella Rossellini were my favourites (both sold). Then I packed up my things, said goodnight to the Spoke employees and waited by the elevator. Celebrity photographer (and one of the magazine's favourites) George Pimentel was also waiting to head out. He looked me in the eye and asked me if I knew who he was. I recognized him right away and told him that. I also knew that he came late because I hadn't checked off the guest list. He asked me what I did and then said he recognized me from his visits to the office.
"Well, I'm done interning and now I'm searching for a job."
"Want some advice?"
"Work your ass off."
And with that, I crossed the street and began my trek back toward the subway. Under the street lights my walk was different the second time around. I was much more light on my feet.
An intern's work is never done. Anxious as I was to maintain my connections, I emailed my former boss at Internship No. 2 as soon as I was back at my home sweet home. I thought it might lead to some TIFF action (research or transcribing), but instead she invited me to work at the front reception for an upcoming cocktail party hosted by the magazine. I've volunteered at TIFF events before and have had both good and lackluster experiences. Regardless, there are outfits choices to scour and glossy staffers to greet. I'll be sure to fill you in on any sightings, smut and small successes. Here's hoping I'm able to greet glossy staffers without fumbling at the door.
You know you’ve got style cred when you’ve been behind the scenes at Canada’s biggest fashion magazines. Stephanie Trendocher’s name first popped up on mastheads after she won FLARE’s Intern Search. Her video entry landed her a coveted spot helping out in each of the mag’s different departments, as well as the chance to blog all about it on FLARE.com. Since then she went on to intern at FASHION and write for fashionmagazine.com. When I read in an online interview that she was working on her own site, I became immediately excited. For fans of sites like WhoWhatWear, Skinny Bitches brings together must-have items, red carpet roundups and the up and coming stylesetters to watch.
It has to be one of my top 5 favourite Sex and the City episodes ever. In Season 2 Carrie hypothesizes why Big chose Natasha and comes up with the following, “The world is made up of two types of women, the simple girls and the Katie girls.” Now 3 other fashion-loving ladies identify themselves as Katie girls on their blog. After graduating from Ryerson University and interning at both Teen Vogue and Interview in New York, Randi rounded up fellow Katie girls Robin and Sam to contribute to the site. If you haven’t read Randi’s work before, catch up with her here for musings on art, pop culture and fashion.
Do you have a go-to fashion site or blog? Fashionair aims to roll all of your fashion fixes into one. Offering online shopping, street style and advice from fashion insiders, Fashionair brings the commercial and creative sides of famous fashion sites together. While I won’t be giving up my blog roll anytime soon, I’ll return to this one because of their online videos. Log on now for a look at Julia Restoin-Roitfeld’s closet and to find out why Erin Fetherston adores the City of Light.
Just because that oh so Euro fashion sensibility is fresh in my mind – doesn’t mean I am capable of defining it. There is always a sense of elegance or effortlessness present in European fashion. While I didn’t physically bring any of that fashion back to Toronto (thanks to VISA trouble abroad), I hope to keep the aesthetic in mind when shopping for new pieces for fall. Sure, we’ve read countless stories of heroines fleeing their frantically-paced lives for the pleasure of enjoying a glass of wine and a cigarette alongside a lover who may or may not speak English. But what do those women across the pond think about North American women and their approach to dressing?
“They’re afraid to not be trendy, they’re afraid to not have the good look, and they’re much more self-conscious. They buy much more and they follow things much more. It’s like Sex and the City – there’s love, work and shopping.”
-Model and former Chanel muse, Inès de la Fressange, in the latest issue of FASHION
Leaving begins with a fear from deep inside. Something tells you that you're about to be ripped from the present moment - all ties severed. There's a sadness, but there's also the hope that someone at home might be able to understand what you've been through and what you've seen.
Leaving Italy is not only unnerving because I love the culture. A lot is about to change at home. School, friends, job search - this time it's back to reality. Despite my usual optimism (I couldn't wait to start university), I can't help but feel overwhelmed.
We (Amanda and I - 2/3s of the Tre Canadesi) continue to look at our pictures - especially those in Positano. We can't say that we didn't take it in. We also agree that our hearts will always be on the Costiera Amalfitana.
We can pretend our trip was filled with glamour, luxurious hotels and designer purchases, but we'd be lying. We're real girls with multiple mishaps and wouldn't have had it any other way. When Guido at Acquachiara described me as "chic and reserved" I suppose that meant I was pulling it off. But who can carry that 24/7? That "chic and reserved" girl is also the one who had chocolate smeared on her face while enjoying a fresh cornetto after partying in Amalfi till dawn. Sometimes you've got to sweat it out on the Circumvesuviana to get to that terrazzo in the sky.
In the end we savoured the gelato and charmed the locals. We suffered from sunburns, watched the sunrise and had a drink named after us in the process (it's called Tre Canadesi if you must know). We attended an impromptu birthday party, a family reunion and heard some marching bands. We perfected the arts of making Canada proud, dodging sketchy locals and sipping aperitivo - all with a smile.
But how much of our experience can we actually bring home? A Pinko bag, DSquared2 sunglasses and photos that can't begin to capture our adventure are all heading back toward a Canadian fall. While a part of our hearts and anything that weighed down the luggage will stay.
Now it's time to pack up and say goodbye. Until next time I can say that it was the best trip ever.
For all that didn't happen in Terracina. For all of the sunrises we saw on the coast. For all of the night outfits we didn't get to wear in Rome. For us. Alla Nostra.
Fall will certainly be the start of an uncertain time. I’ve graduated from UofT and will be back at Ryerson in September. Freelance work and job searching are also on the list of things to do. I’ve been warned that my first job won’t necessarily be a dream come true, but the focus is on finding one! It seems my friends and I will all be on different paths. Work, school and cluelessness about our futures will be in the mix. I’ll definitely be posting all about my efforts to find my glossy future. Check back and check back often, but next stop: Italy! While I can’t guarantee regular posts during my two and half week getaway, you can keep up with me on www.twitter.com/ericaec. Style, food, friends, sun and nightlife await!
Exciting things to come – I promise!
-Speak up! Share your ideas, interests and passions. Editors want to hear ideas from interns.
-Add to the research roster. When looking for the latest arts and pop culture news, seek out offbeat sources instead of the gossip rags.
-Get to know what your daily tasks are and get them done early. You never know what unexpected assignments the day will have in store.
Chatting with someone else about the work I’ve been doing only made me want to hold on to internship even more. Can you tell I like glossy talk? Sadly, my final day was approaching. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get to go back to help out in the fall. Keeping you posted!
I still haven't gotten my hands on her novel LA Candy (a potentially perfect beach read), because my boss said it needed to be kept on file after being featured in the magazine. Instead a visit to Indigo became an essential part of my vacation prep. I'll be sunning myself with Speed Shrinking, The Time Traveler's Wife, Chasing Harry Winston and of course, Frommer's Italy 2009.
Don't forget to continue to email me comments and questions - I love reading questions and getting recommendations for blog posts!
Tomorrow I meet the new intern. Will he/she measure up? It's my job to train him/her and then to continue blogging, writing and researching before I leave for Italy.
They've all been designed by speakers at this year's Teen Vogue Fashion University. Want the chance to hear from Reem Acra, DVF, Thakoon and other fashion industry names? Apply for Fashion U '09 at www.teenvoguefashionu.com. Whether you're currently a student or not, nothing says New York to me like walking into 4 Times Square with a purpose.
I'm a bright young thing named: Lydia
Employer/Position: Intern at ELLE Canada
How would you describe your personal style?
Classic – straight up with a twist (as the Bond girl, Xenia, would say). I’ll pair jeans and an oxford shirt with chunky jewelry and/or graphic silk scarf (ideally Hermes!). I’m presently in love with black cropped pants from Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. I haven’t found them yet – but as soon as I get my hands on a pair of chunky studded pumps, I will wear them with these pants.
What do you think is the most stylish city? Why?
New York City, especially Soho and Greenwich. There is something so effortlessly stylish (cliché, I know) about those areas. It doesn’t seem contrived – like they’re not trying to slavishly copy runway fashions.
What are your favourite magazines?
ELLE, of course!
Vogue US, Paris and Italia.
Zoetrope: All Story (a shout-out to my boyfriend)
Other than magazines, what inspires you?
People on the street. I am very attentive to what garments people don – and how. I’ll confess that I take cues from what my friends wear, and make them tell me where they shop.
Do you have any favourite blogs or websites?
I love Garance Doré, the gal pal of the Sartorialist, Scott Schuman. She has a sexy blog. I read fashionologie everyday. The Sartorialist is fabulous too. The Fug Girls are outrageous – outrageously funny.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as an intern thus far?
Expand your network. Don’t be afraid to meet new people – even when they’re so painfully chic.
What do you think every intern must have?
Punctuality. (Other people can be late, but not you!)
And a pair of sky-high heels!
What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as an intern?
Interviewing people who I have never even dreamed about meeting. I won’t namedrop.
What surprised you the most about working for a fashion magazine?
How down-to-earth and warm and generous the girls are. No one fits the stereotype of being starved, frigid and bitchy. They even wear flats sometimes!
How does being an intern compare with being Editor in Chief?
There’s no comparison – as Editor in Chief, you are expected to carry the magazine on your shoulder. So, I guess I should be thankful that the pressure is off. As Editor in Chief, your role is more or less circumscribed. The work that I do as an intern is so varied – it’s very refreshing. One day, I’ll be writing and researching. The next day, I’ll be attending events and mingling with other press and media folks.
If you could have tea with anyone in publishing who would it be? Why?
I’d like to have tea with Charles Townsend, the President and CEO of Condé Nast so that I can land a job. I would also love to meet Carine Roitfeld, the beauty and brains of Paris Vogue, and Kate Lanphear, arguably the most stylish editor at US ELLE.
The truth is that back in my CosmoGIRL! days, I couldn’t really tell why I loved it so much. After Atoosa Rubenstein left, I realized that her message is what kept me coming back for more. She encouraged young girls to be their enthusiastic selves, whether that involved a seemingly embarrassing situation or not. I think that what the media communicates to young girls is extremely important. While I always felt that sections of embarrassing stories were completely unnecessary in a teen magazine, I did read them for advice, style tips and that added source of confidence they gave me.
Are there any magazines that you were attached to as a teen?
The questions came back to me today. In the midst of transcribing, one of my bosses struck up a conversation about future summer plans. When I mentioned my upcoming vacation, he offered to meet with me this week to discuss my future. As excited as I am about this meeting, I know that I will have to prepare. I’ll have to describe where I’ve been and where I’d like to go. When I return from my vacation, the job search will become my reality. So this is my chance to find out more about what’s out there, and what might be right for me. I’m nervous but excited. As much as I am looking forward to being under the Italian sun, it’s bittersweet for me to be discussing closing interviews with my bosses. Hopefully this meeting brings encouragement, inspiration and news for the blog!
After work today I found the greatest news in my inbox. SCOTT SCHUMAN is coming to Holt Renfrew. Will you abandon your desks to meet him? I’ll certainly ask, politely of course. Here are the details:
On Wednesday July 22 The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman will be making a personal appearance at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street between 12:30 and 2pm. His visit coincides with a selection of his photography being shown at the store between July 22-29.
Since beginning the blog in 2005, The Sartorialist has become a fashion authority. Schuman’s photography brings style from the streets of Milan and Paris straight to fans all over the world. Each city seems to invent its own aesthetic. Each individual instantly becomes a fashion plate. With all of this buzz about his work, I can’t help but remind you that The Sartorialist’s book is coming very soon - so look out for it.
Internship No. 1
-Called the promotions department
-Emailed my resume, set up interview
-On the day of the interview, she had gone home sick. I waited in reception until the receptionist felt so bad for me she called the editor. I was ecstatic to have the chance to give my resume to her, only to find that she was annoyed that I had bothered her. She said she’d email me. I knew she wouldn’t.
-I waited a long time before calling the number again. When I did, a new person was in the position. We spoke and set up an interview.
-I got it! After spending months in promotions and communicating my interest in editorial, I was able to switch into the editorial department when the intern position became available.
Internship No. 2
-On Christmas break I sent my resume to everyone I could imagine myself working with. I filled out applications, wrote cover letters, mailed and emailed information about myself numerous times.
-I began correspondence with one editor and set up an interview.
-I had my longest interview yet, and really enjoyed chatting about magazines and my point of view.
-I didn’t get it. But I continued to contact people, determined to land an internship for second semester.
-School picked up, so did the homework. I didn’t hear back from anyone else.
-As school was ending I emailed all of the contacts again, knowing that they were most likely looking to fill summer internship spots.
-One editor instantly emailed me back asking if I could be available ASAP. We set up an interview.
-I had a very brief interview this time, unsure but hopeful about the outcome.
-Sitting in class, my phone rang and I got the news that I got the internship!
Questions? Comments? Let me know all about your fashionable wishes and glossy dreams!
Since the beginning of my internship, there have been tasks that I have been required to complete at home. I fell into a comfortable routine of getting my blogs done each week from the comfort of my kitchen table. I usually reserve Sundays for extra research or emails. It’s not the most enjoyable when the sun is out and I’m inside. To say I’ve been frustrated at one time or another is an understatement. But if doing things at home will help me get a chance to work on more exciting tasks at the office – I’m up for it.
But oh, how an intern’s day can change. After lunch I found myself going through mail and updating contacts. My morning of positive feedback had faded into an afternoon in which the work piled up, I got locked out of my email and received an alarming message from my bank. One more dose of reality came from my boss, who reminded me that my internship will soon be over. Her search for a new intern will soon begin. Nothing ignites a reaction in me like the thought of being left outside of the white-walled offices. It’s time to make an impression while I still have a security card, and a cubicle.
-Lora (Editor of Fashion Weekly): Wants to bring awareness to Canadian design.
-Farhan Zaidi (Moro Model & Talent Management): Persistence is key. Stand up for yourself and know your aims. Understand your demographics. Go the extra mile and always keep a positive attitude (interns especially).
-Audrey Romoff (OverCat Communications): Research the companies you want to work for and know their clients. Be proactive and speak up when you think a strategy will be unsuccessful.
-Amy Lu (Stylist who has done work for Interview, FASHION and Vanity Fair): It’s not all glamorous. Don’t turn down opportunities to get your work out there – even if they aren’t the most creative. Build a portfolio of both commercial and editorial work.
-Anita Clarke (I want – I got) and Jen McNeely (She Does the City): Define your website’s target audience. The hardest thing about blogging is to keep doing it. Always do something to move your business/brand forward. Decide what the purpose of your blog is and build your audience. Bloggers are the new trendsetters.
-Jason Meyers (Designer and Project Runway Canada contestant): Believe in what you do. Find somebody in your industry who will mentor you (his is David Dixon). Keep your eyes open – Meyers found inspiration in the costumes and Venetian architecture found in Summertime, starring Katherine Hepburn.
Italian love in the Summertime (1955)
The day that Gap's CFDA collaborations debuted, I raced down Bloor to snag a piece of Vena Cava. The store wasn't busy but the clock was ticking so I just grabbed a size and ran. Sadly the dress I had lusted after fits terribly. Though this means I'm without Vena Cava, maybe I'll soon be able to incorporate some Wang into the wardrobe.
-Walk by Holt Renfrew
I cannot wait to check out Holt Renfrew's blogger-inspired windows. I first heard about them on fashionista.com and was excited to see how the store would interpret the likes of Scott Schuman and Tommy Ton. My commute this week will definitely involve a skip down Bloor.
Teen Vogue is gearing up for another year of Fashion U. The application's online and some of the first speakers are already being posted at www.teenvoguefashionu.com. The event falls on my birthday once again and DVF is listed as one of the seminar leaders. Details (getting accepted, planning trip to NYC) aside, she must sign her picture in my copy of Influence.