The Recap: I'd Rather Be in NYC

My first stop.
Hearst Building

Teen Vogue Fashion News Intern Elana Fishman, and I in the 4TS lobby

Glossy talk with Fashion News Director, Jane Keltner

The Recap: 21

Ever since I was 14, I have been asking to go to New York for my birthday. It may have taken a while, but I woke up on my 21st with Manhattan just outside my window. It was a crisp fall weekend in the city, perfect for my first visit, and Teen Vogue’s Fashion University.

After being accepted (I submitted a questionnaire, photos and clippings of articles), I scrambled to get into all of my first choice classes. My schedule ended up including seminars with Rachel Roy, the Teen Vogue Editors, Peter Som and Proenza Schouler.

The night I landed I attempted to control my excitement. Needless to say I scrambled to find 4 Times Square, snapping pictures like tourists typically would at the Empire State building. My photography went on to include the New York Times, the Hearst building, and an endless array of newsstands. This was a mag-addict’s New York.

I decided not to waste any time before Fashion U officially commenced. Before heading to NYC, I had organized a quick coffee with L, formerly of Seventeen Magazine. Sitting in the Hearst cafeteria, I felt truly privileged to pick her brain about working at a magazine and the big move to NYC.

After skimming through my birthday texts and grabbing a quick breakfast, I rushed to my first seminar at Fashion U. Riding up the Condé Nast elevators for the first time, something came over me and suddenly this bright young Canadian was introducing herself to all of her favourite faces from Teen Vogue. I was thrilled to meet Elana Fishman because it’s obvious that the current Teen Vogue Fashion News intern is poised for great things in the industry.

Despite my unsteady hand (the photos prove it), I took detailed notes in each of my seminars. Rachel Roy spoke about ambition, determination and being true to your vision in the industry. Her seminar was my first choice because I admire her as a woman and designer. Unfortunately, I had to rush out of 4TS to make it to my seminar with the Editors. I ran across the street, dropped my bag on a seat and darted to the front of the theater. Before the seminar began, I introduced myself to Teen Vogue Fashion News Director, Jane Keltner. In the few minutes I had, I asked her about stand-out resumes and informational interviews. Having already gotten some advice, I nearly skipped back to my seat when the editors officially began. After lunch came Peter Som, who spoke about the process that takes him from inspiration boards to the final line. I love hearing about what inspires people in fashion, whether it’s a place, a colour, or a feeling. Finally, my day concluded with Pronza Schouler. Two young guys who met at Parsons and went on to win acclaim from some of the most prominent voices in fashion. I have always loved their clothes, and have continued to follow their work since hearing them at Fashion U.

There were a couple of main points that kept coming up throughout the weekend. First, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you’ve studied. Each of the speakers attested to the fact that students shouldn’t discourage themselves because they didn’t attend a fashion school. Whatever you’re interested in only contributes to your personal viewpoint. Secondly, internships are an extremely valuable source of practical experience. Research opportunities, find them, and inquire about them because it never hurts to ask.

Of course I couldn’t have left New York without planning my next visit. And so I hurriedly called my friend in the West Village almost as soon as I landed back in Toronto. It wasn’t the last New York had seen of me. Oh, and it was the best birthday ever.

Lovely, Lovelier, Loveliest

I have vintage VOGUE covers on my walls, and I'm obsessed with Turner Classic Movies. Earlier this year in New York, I visited the International Center of Photography to see the Edward Steichen exhibit on its opening weekend (more on my NYC trips to come!). Obviously, these classic images never cease to inspire. Here's a photo courtesy of NYMag.com's The Cut Blog preview of the Met's upcoming 'Model as Muse' exhibition. Its from the June 1948 issue of VOGUE. Does it get any lovelier?

View From the Top

“I see them sometimes in the fashion closet, and they are just brimming with enthusiasm packing up shoes. You can just see it, you recognize it,” she said. “I try to teach them some of the things I learned, which is that it’s O.K. to be an assistant. Sometimes people come out of school right now and they immediately want a job doing something. And there’s nothing wrong with just listening and learning and watching.” - VOGUE Style Director Alexandra Kotur, in a recent interview published in The New York Observer

Aside from discovering more about Alexandra Kotur in this intimate profile, I loved hearing her view on interns and magazine-lovers who are currently at the bottom. It's wonderful to know that people in positions like hers notice the enthusiasm and dedication of interns. However I also think I should keep her advice about landing a job in mind. While witnessing office promotions and changes to the masthead, its difficult to put my anxiety surrounding graduation aside. In the midst of mail-outs and transcriptions, I'll certainly continue to take it all in.

Quite a Thrill

While recently reading Dream Job TK (http://www.dreamjobtk.blogspot.com/), I noticed a post about those little thrills that come up throughout the course of one's involvement in the world of magazines. Yesterday, before leaving my post in the Entertainment Department, I experienced one of those thrills. When asked to mail out a couple of copies of the June 2009 issue, I couldn't resist taking a quick peek inside, only to find my name on the masthead! Seeing my name for the first time was something I have always dreamed about. Hopefully I can grab an issue for myself next week. But for now I'm happy to spread the word about Taylor Swift on the cover, and my name on the page.


Advice from ALT

“Ooh! Ooh she’s learning your little intern. Oh she’s asserting herself! Assertiveness - that’s how you go ahead in life.” - Vogue's Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley from Season 2 of The Hills

Maybe there is something to be learned from reality television. Maybe I'm just trying to justify my addiction to all reality television that is somehow fashion-related. Regardless, Whitney's segment on Good Morning America and ALT's visit make this episode worth watching.


Intern Diary

Internship No. 2 continues to be both exciting and agonizing. Exciting because no matter what task I'm given I am absolutely ecstatic just to be there. Agonizing because I can't help but reflect on the impending job search and how much I would love to work at the magazine. Don't forget to check the Next and Fashion blogs for my weekly postings. My name's on the website, and hopefully you'll soon be seeing it on the masthead.

One small difference between Internship No. 2 and Internship No. 1 is that last week I was able to get my own security passcard. Now I can come and go as I please, and forget about avoiding certain doors because I can't open them. Awkward identification picture aside, I'll be spending the summer attempting to maintain the appearrance that I actually work there. Last week the security guy said I approached the exit looking "defeated". So I certainly haven't mastered the use of the card yet, but tomorrow I'll walk in with my head held high and just hope that the glass partition actually opens.

Essentially Erica

For Christmas this year, my best friend achieved the almost impossible. She gave me what I now refer to as "The Best Gift EVER". For me such a gift includes a hand-written card and a little inspiration courtesy of MK and A. Mary-Kate and Ashley's Influence is a book that I read and continuously flip through. It reminds me of my first trip to New York, my ongoing obsession with the twins' style and my creative best friend. Inside, the twins fill out the Proust Questionnaire to give readers a better sense of who they are. I decided to start out by doing the same.

“An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.”

Your most marked characteristic?

The quality you most like in a man?

The quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?
-compassion, humour in any situation

What is your principle defect?
-being shy in certain situations

What is your favourite occupation?
-anything that excites the person in question

What is your dream of happiness?
-establishing a life for myself in the big city

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
-death (Ms. AO had it right)

What would you like to be?
-an influential editor

In what country would you like to live?
-USA (New York City) or Italia

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite flower?

What is your favourite bird?
-definitely don’t have one.

Who are your favourite prose writers?
-Emily Brontë and Janet Fitch

Who are your favourite poets?
-Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
-Gatsby, Ponyboy

Who are you favourite heroines of fiction?
-As You Like It’s Rosalind, The Devil Wears Prada’s Andrea Sachs

Who are your favourite composers?
-Tim Rice-Oxley right now.

Who are you favourite painters?

Who are your heroes in real life?
-Mom, DVF, Amy Astley

What is it you most dislike?
-Repetition (one day I’ll come up with a better answer)

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
-the ability to act spontaneously

How would you like to die?
-Never thought about it. Would rather not think about it.

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?
-Feel confident. Look confident.
-It could always be worse.

Your Name or Pseudo
-Erica, Air, or “Eric” (according to L)