Counting Down to La Costiera

In one week I'll be boarding a plane to Italy, ready for the trip of a lifetime with two lovelies. Of course I'm looking forward to the sun, the food and the style that awaits us (from Positano to Rome). But anyone who has travelled with me before knows that I cannot wait to pick up an impressive stash of magazines both to feed my cultural curiosity and to help me practice reading Italian. Some things I'll just never get over, like VOGUE Italia, and this image of MKO in it.

Recap: 2nd Last Week

Soon I'll be saying farewell to my messy cubicle, complete with it's fabulous view (how did I score that?). This week was quite eventful. I've been trying to get all of the experience, advice and answers that I can from these final weeks at Internship No. 2. Here's the recap of things learned and observed:

-There is a "book" i.e. a binder representing what the magazine will look like.

-The thrill of seeing my name on the masthead is still just as thrilling as ever. I won't even begin to pretend like I'm one of those people who is over it.

-Research can be a long process when you just can't seem to find what you're looking for (today I was tempted to invent some far fetched connection between The Gossip album and werewolves, yes I was that desperate). I almost burst out into song when I finally found the most perfect item to add to an upcoming themed section. My goal is to have a strong list of items prepared before I leave. Then I'll just have to cross my fingers and wait to see how many of them actually make the cut.

-Based on my ongoing communication with various PR reps, I've started to receive mail with my name on it. Despite the fact that they're usually catalogues and not enticing event invitations (did my invite to that party on Queen W get lost?), I keep them.

-Don't be afraid to voice your opinions. Today I let myself babble to my boss about my excitement about the new issue. I let her know my views on some of the articles I helped with, the art work and the overall tone of the latest mag.

-Sometimes you just have to take care of things yourself. Even if that means lugging courier bins up and down the stairs because your cubicle is covered in piles of envelopes that you have no place for. Naturally in my experience, after waiting for nearly an hour for the bins to be dropped off they magically appear the second that I return from my trek.

-Branch out. After packing up my work today I headed over to the online editor's desk to ask her about freelance opportunities. Not only did she remember me from a previous interview, but she was really helpful and encouraged me to send her pitches.

-Spotted: 2 different camera crews filming interviews with the EiC. You bet I was straining to listen in.

-According to one of my bosses, freelancing is the way for me to go. Post-Italy I was told I have alot of reading and writing to do.

-I was absolutely ecstatic today when my boss told me that we'll be in touch when I return from my trip to discuss the possibility of me helping out during TIFF.

-Enjoyed some major glossy talk with my boss this week. She told me I was ambitious and I explained to her the philosophy behind Ed2010.

Next Week: More glossy talk as I have my closing meeting with my boss. My final research presentation. The last blog posts for the magazine. Hearing feedback on my piece for the website. Face to face with the new intern. Packing anxiety and farewell to my cubicle!


Sadly, the 2nd last week of my internship has come to an end. I'm already gearing up to train the next intern next week! I can't help but imagine who it might be. Someone oh so put together who makes me look like the haphazard commuter that I am? Someone quiet who seems to lack my lust for all things pop culture? Someone so creative that I befriend them, only after asking them if I can blog all about their first days? I'm not sure. But it's certainly bittersweet to enjoy magazine chatter with my boss one second, and then hear her mention interviews for new interns the next. In the past couple weeks I have felt much more comfortable voicing my opinions and ideas. I can only help but wonder how things would have progressed if I wasn't leaving for vacation. As the interviews continue, the reality sets in. I'm leaving for the trip of a lifetime. But when I get back things will have changed completely. What's a part time Magazine Publishing student to do? Pitch, pitch, pitch. Blog, blog, blog. Find a position (or a cubicle) with my name on it.

Feeling Bookish

It seems in fashion all of the most exciting things come when the leaves change colour. Since September will be a time of uncertainty (career?) for me, here are some sources of inspiration that I'm looking forward to.


A Day in the Life

What do the three following looks have in common?
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.


"you're one of us. the spotlight is on"

Meet Lydia. Former (and first) Editor in Chief behind U of T's VIVE Magazine and current fashion glossy intern. With VIVE she brought fashion and academia together, gathering a staff of creative students to explore ways in which their studies connected to their love of style. Luckily this ambitious girl on the go agreed to answer some Qs for Life is Glossy.

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.
Vanity Fair
The Economist
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.


21 Going on 15

My sister says that I’m still fifteen at heart. I’ve never disputed that. I still think it’s fair for everyone to read young adult fiction in the summer, and I continuously find myself following the gossip surrounding the tween heartthrobs. As a teen I always had more than one magazine subscription. My love affair with CosmoGIRL! led to a later infatuation with Teen Vogue. If I said that I’d parted completely with Teen Vogue, I’d be lying.

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?

Who? Where? Why?

There was a time when I researched the possibility of meeting with a mentor – someone who has worked in the business and now focuses her energy on counselling up-and-comers. Though I decided against it before we had even met, she did share with me what her first assignment usually entails. It was a list of questions that would help her get to know me better. The questions required me to define my strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, interests and of course, career goals. Truthfully, I found the simple assignment rather daunting. Could I sum up who I am to someone new in a few brief answers? I know which industry I would like to work in. But could I really narrow it down to a single job title?

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!


Style Maker

one of my favourite photos courtesy of The Sartorialist

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.

"i need some new stilettos. can't walk down the street in those"

I’ve been asked several times how I got my internships. You see, I’m the girl who twists her ankle while running from the subway to the office in heels. I don’t always have it together. I didn’t have an ‘in’ but I persistently fought my way to get there. My best advice is to study mastheads, decide which department you want to work for and gather your contact info from there. Here’s how I landed Internship No. 1 and No. 2.

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!


PJs to Work

When my boss gave me a list of things to accomplish before the end of my internship I was overwhelmed, but kept on smiling. It’s still weeks away, but I now know exactly what I should be doing for the rest of my days at the magazine. In an effort to sneak in some exciting tasks I worked on some of the administrative stuff from home this weekend. It wasn’t the first time I sat at home, in an outfit topped off by a U of T sweater, to work on the organizing, listing and researching I had ahead of me. After updating contacts and tracking down specific items, an intern’s work isn’t done when I leave the building on Thursdays.

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.


Glamour with a side of Nutella

Nobody's perfect. I know that all of the work I'm doing will soon pay off when I'm vacationing on the Amalfi coast with 2 lovely travelling companions. We'll laugh, dance, tan and explore the parts of Italy we haven't seen. I can imagine the perfect trip, the perfect hotel and the perfect outfit. But the more we debate, the more I realize that there will be days when things won't be ideal. If our past trip was any indication, the mishaps led to the most memorable times.


Another Day, Another Reality Check

After my interview experience, my boss explained that the juicy quotes are what get picked up by other gossip and fashion sites. This morning I found a perfect example of our latest cover girl’s images and quotes on Refinery 29. My heart began to race as I realized that I was a (small) part of this publication, and that it was receiving recognition for presenting something new and creative to the fashion-loving world. I excitedly invited my boss to check out the links and soon our Editor in Chief also joined us in my cubicle. Does she know my name? I’m not sure. But she did request that the links be sent her way. It was a moment that reminded me that our Canadian mags are just as much apart of the international scene as any other.

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.


Fashion Camp Recap

Today I attended Fashion Weekly's http://www.fashweekly.com/ Fashion Camp. It was a day of seminars and workshops devoted to educating people on careers in the fashion industry. I listened to bloggers, looked at stylist Amy Lu's portfolio and got to style a shoot. Here's a basic roundup of some of my notes.

-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)


French Canadian

Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming August issue of French Vogue. Daria Werbowy will be the only model you find inside. The Canadian model has recently been seen in ads for Lancome and Matthew Williamson's collection for H&M.