Informed Intern

Since starting Life is Glossy, I've received lovely emails from readers with compliments and questions. So I thought I'd take those questions and answer them one by one right here. Whether you've already landed an internship or not, you might like to hear what I think about the questions that come up the most. While most of them can be answered in a variety of ways, I can only speak from my own internship experiences. Don't hesitate to weigh in with comments or different views! Welcome to the first installment of Informed Intern!

Q: What's the best way to stand out and make a good impression during my internship?

A: Speak up! I've struggled with this because I tend to sit back the first week or so and just observe how things are done. This isn't bad, but in the past it took me a few weeks to warm up to one boss and when I finally felt comfortable enough to chat about ideas, my thoughts on the current issue and the things I'm passionate about she asked me why I hadn't been that vocal from the beginning. Make the most of your internship by asking your boss questions about the industry and don't be afraid to make suggestions. Once you've settled in and learned what you will be responsible for, it's important to anticipate. Learn what your regular tasks will be and get them done. Finally, I think the sooner that you develop relationships in the office the better. Editors have interns because they want fresh ideas and perspectives coming in. Interns work for free because they want a crash course on the industry. Usually internships have a start and end date, so make the most of your time there.


Love/Leave Jan 2011

Welcome back for another round of Love It or Leave It, where I compare covers and let you know why I would or would not pick them up if I had a choice on the newsstand. It's time for January issues, meaning that some of my favourite glossies are bursting with stories for the 'New Me.' Before I get ahead of myself and start discussing resolutions, let's get to the covers while it's still 2010.

LOVE: That Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't look over-styled in this picture. I really do enjoy that she isn't wearing something ridiculous that screams 'Carrie Bradshaw' here. It seems like a softer approach after the glitz-filled holiday season. What stories will I flip to? ELLE's spring fashion preview and their piece on Winona Ryder (perhaps that should have a larger cover line because it's not a story that every fashion magazine has). Pink cover lines really help the cover star, fashion preview and perfect haircut stories pop. Even their beauty stories sound appealing, I mean, I've admitted before that I'm a sucker for certain cover lines/recycled stories and they often include 'new year, new you' or 'personal style' themes.
LEAVE: Ugh, SJP again? Really? Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me say that as much as I love reading about health and fitness, I don't like doing so in fashion magazines. The "What Makes You Fat" cover line has me cringing only because so often health stories in fashion mags describe one 'ideal' body type and involve extreme measures to achieve it. I'm not so keen on the pieces I 'need' for the new year because I like my January issues to be about re-invention and renewal, not buying more, even if they could be considered gifts to myself.
LOVE: Amy Adams' daring cover look. Besides being taken aback by her recent performance in The Fighter, I admit that I don't know much about her and would be interested to read Marie Claire's profile. Her expression seems to be directed at all of those viewers who actually think she's a lot like the princess she played in Enchanted. I've said in the past that I like that typeface they use that makes certain cover lines appear scrawled across the page. 
LEAVE: Unfortunately, I don't read Marie Claire a lot because their newsier stories are often all about shock value. Is a reader honestly turning to this mag to read about sex being sold on online?

LOVE: After recently subscribing to Vogue in an effort to make myself read it more often, the cover that came out was December 2010 featuring Angelina Jolie. I immediately felt like my decision to subscribe was a complete waste of money. But this month had me smiling because I'm a fan of Natalie Portman's. Sure, Black Swan is absolutely everywhere right now, but I'd be interested in reading their interview with her. I never thought of her as a 'good girl,' but it seems she's going to shed that image with Black Swan and the upcoming No Strings Attached. As I pointed out before, previews of looks for 2011 are my reasons to read this month's major fashion mags.
LEAVE: When I think of Vogue, I think of the magazine's history. Will this cover really have an impact years from now? She looks frightened rather than glamorous. Couldn't they have done something a little more dramatic? This is Vogue!

Based strictly on covers, I'd say Marie Claire takes this round. Reader loyalty is important (I read both Vogue and Elle more often), but Amy Adams' look certainly stands out from the rest of these pretty cover darlings. What do you think of these covers? Are there any issues you can't wait to get your hands on?

Visual Interest

When I recently redecorated the board in my room to reflect what I'm interested in this season, I noticed a return to words rather than images. Since most of the fashion shoots in my December issues failed to jump out at me, I ended up tearing out pages with bold heds [titles of articles or shoots], deks [sub-titles of articles or shoots] and even ads with encouraging slogans. Now the words "refined" and "make yourself proud" appear mixed in with images of Alexa Chung and Sasha Pivovarova. That afternoon I just couldn't seem to track down pages of photos that inspired me. Then one early morning before work I found a collection of paintings by Paolo Galetto on Vogue.it. The images feature some of the world's best known society heiresses, actresses and models, from a dreamy, water-coloured perspective.
For more click here.
 Chiara Clemente
 Poppy Delevingne
Zani Gugelmann


One Trend Fits All?

I've always thought that different cities had distinct street style identities. Dressing for a day out in London wouldn't be the same thing as dressing for Milan. I also love reading articles that play up the differences between prominent looks in varying international locales. But according to Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani, there's no distinction at all! Sozzani's blog provides an insightful, behind-the-scenes take of her job at the influential fashion publication. In the past she's written about the role of each department at the magazine, and how they choose their cover stars. Recently Sozzani's confessed that she has been seeing similarly dressed women across the fashion capitals, and she asks if magazines are to blame. She concludes her post with a reminder that magazines are to be interpreted, topics are to be argued and that the looks in fashion shoots are always missing one thing - your personal touch.

"Vogue by its very nature tries to look for new ways of wearing clothes. It's a magazine based on research...I would like to emphasize once more that magazines must be read with your own head, and interpreted with your own taste." -Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia


A Good Night

Oh the lengths we'll go for a night on the town. After leaving suburbia, and making a few stops, we arrived at the birthday girl's apartment. She and her beau hosted a lovely pre-party (complete with appetizers, wine and french music) before the main event at Goodnight. "Don't forget to give them your name at the door," we were told. Goodnight is a bar in downtown Toronto with a strict reservation policy. So strict in fact, that if you haven't made a reservation, don't expect to get in. Just past the clubland crowds lies the alley that leads to this hidden hot spot. We dash across the street toward what looks like a dead end, only to find a few smokers outside of a large grey door. A tiny sign is the only indication that this is the right place. My sister rings the doorbell and a woman with blunt bangs and glasses answers. LC gives her our reservation, "It's under Marie-France" (the birthday girl is French and decided to make reservations under the names of French presidents' wives or mistresses). I thought we obeyed all of the rules of this hidden haunt, but we are told that next time we should arrive with our entire party. Regardless, the woman glances at her clipboard and lets us in. 

Inside, is a sparsely decorated room complete with barely-there lighting and a large bar. I already can't help but feel like we snuck into some secret hideaway, and the decor certainly adds to that effect. It looks as if the place was just found this way, and someone decided to serve alcohol. I can't help but think of the prohibition when I see that the bartender is wearing suspenders and sporting a combover. The cocktails are listed without descriptions, so we had a few questions for the man behind the bar. Friends drank Old Fashioneds and Gimlets, while the Dark and Stormy and the Tea at Goodnight remain mysteries. The music was from a mix of genres throughout the night, but it was the old school hip hop that pleased the tiny crowd. 

Later we sat around chatting about our fantasy itineraries for this summer's European adventures. Who would love to go? Where are they dreaming of going? My mind spun with the possibilities of vacation destinations. Before any actual planning takes place, there are the visions of strolling through new cities and dreamy conversations about what you'll do first. As much as I adore recapping fun nights or memorable trips with friends, it's those moments beforehand that are my absolute favourite. None of it's real, and none of it has to be.

Don't expect too many chance encounters at Goodnight, or to call up some friends to join the party. You do have to reserve your place there after all. Plus, you shouldn't expect to show those who missed out pictures from your night at the bar. When my sister tried to snap a shot of friends, she was quickly told that cameras are not allowed.  

At First Sight

Years ago on a family vacation, I remember my mother arriving at the pool with a treat for me in hand, an issue of Vogue with Jennifer Lopez on the cover. I still have it and have found that over the years there are certain celebs that will influence my decision to buy a magazine, hold on to it or even to walk right by. Along with Jennifer Lopez on my list of must-buys is Anne Hathaway. My little library includes her current Vogue issue, the last one she did and an older issue of InStyle (a magazine I don't read regularly). Here's a roundup of who makes the cut. Some of the following relate back to a favourite film, song or iconic outfit, while others, I can barely explain.
The Must-Buys: Favourites Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Drew Barrymore, The Olsens
The May-Buys: Always intriguing Kate Hudson, Lauren Conrad
The Walk-on-Bys: Not interested in Taylor Swift, Blake Lively
Do you breeze past the newsstand waiting for something to catch your eye? Or are you loyal to certain titles?


Night Out Necessities

Night Out Necessities
'Tis the season for social dinners, Christmas dates, girls' nights and traditional family gatherings. The holidays are a wonderful time to catch up and reunite, but they can also be a little exhausting. Why not make sure to pick up these beauty essentials while you're out looking for the perfect stocking stuffers? While I may not have my very own Dolce & Gabbana bag (centre) to reach for, here are a few of my favourite things. 

Clockwise from top left: Vintage compact mirror, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Marc Jacobs roll on fragrance, C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve, Boscia oil-blotting sheets, Altoids Smalls


Meet DG

With her creative look and sharp fashion instincts, Daniela Ghazalian stands out from the crowd. After years of sitting alongside her in class and cheering her on in her pursuit of a design career, I thought it was about time I introduce you to this bright, young thing. She dishes on her dream job, what every intern should have and the one thing she wouldn't be caught dead wearing.
I’m a Bright Young Thing named: Daniela Ghazalian

Current position/employer: Design Intern for Erin Kleinberg

How would you describe your style? Quite eclectic - I experiment with a lot of different looks and trends.  However, black clothing has always remained consistent, which gives more of an edgy vibe to my style.

What inspires you? I am very inspired by vintage clothing.  Everything in fashion comes back eventually. So it’s really cool to see some original pieces, especially from the 1970’s glam rock era.  The style was so androgynous. Gender had essentially vanished when it came to fashion. Editorial photo shoots also inspire me, especially if Grace Coddington directs them.  The story portrayed in the shoot, the setting and the outfits chosen are all captivating.

What are your favourite sources for fashion news? British and American Vogue, Nylon, Harper’s Bazaar, Flare, The Sartorialist, The Blonde Salad, Style.com, The Cut.

Who is your style crush? Olivia Palermo.  Her style is always very polished. It's a little structured, yet remains so versatile.  She plays around with different prints, colours, styles, eras...It’s really fascinating to witness someone have the fun they should be having with clothing and accessories.

What do you think of the fashion scene in Toronto?
The issue with the fashion scene in Toronto is not that it is necessarily subdued, it’s that it’s scattered.  If you go to areas such as Ossington, Kensington, Yorkville, or Queen West, people are dressed quite impressively.  Whether it’s high-end luxury, 1960’s vintage, or a Kate Moss grunge look, these areas are composed of people with a distinctive style that make them unique.  However, if you travel to the Richmond and John area or King Street West past 11:00pm, you’re going to witness something far more tragic.  I do strongly believe that Toronto has a lot of potential to become influential in the fashion industry, it just needs more time to evolve and unite. 

What’s the best advice you’ve received as an intern thus far? Expand your network, always be polite, constantly keep yourself informed, and never let failure scare you.

What do you think every intern must have?
Every intern must have confidence. Without it, no one will think you are competent. Don’t complain about doing mundane tasks and always be grateful for the internship you have.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as an intern? Being able to meet other talented Canadian designers has been really exciting.  However, the entire experience of interning is exciting enough.  You learn something new every day, and it’s never boring!

What surprised you the most about working in the fashion industry?  When I was working as a Production Assistant for Preloved, I was shocked by the amount of people who were involved in the process and just how much work it actually is.  The inside of fashion is far from glamourous!

Dream Job? To be the Creative Director of my own fashion line.  If that doesn’t work out, rock star (I’m not joking).

If you could have tea with anyone in fashion who would it be? Why? Karl Lagerfeld.  His designs are amazing and his runway shows are always a spectacle.  His fashion design career is something I aspire to have one day.

What are you most looking forward to wearing this holiday season? I’m looking forward to wearing lots of futuristic colours; gold, silver, metallic gray.  Anything that has sequins will also be making several appearances this holiday.

Which trend do you wish would fade forever? Kitten Heels.  I cringe at the thought of them.  I find them incredibly unflattering for a woman’s body and rather useless. Wear flats or high heels. It’s that simple.



The door says “Push Gorgeous,” the wall-to-wall white interior is lined with the latest beauty products and the latest international fashion magazines are strewn about the plush, black banquettes. Gee Beauty, a beauty bar in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, is the perfect escape for city-dwellers looking for a luxe retreat. Owned by former beauty editor, Miriam Gee and her daughter Natalie, Gee Beauty offers skin treatments, makeup applications, and threading among their list of services. The first priority at Gee Beauty is treating busy, urban sophisticates to time-sensitive treatments. 

Since my first visit to Gee Beauty, I have made a point of celebrating any special occasion (whether it's a friend's birthday or a day out with my sisters) there. When you don't live in the city, a manicure at Gee becomes a treat, rather than a regular habit. AG knows what I like. So when she proposed we go get manicures to celebrate my belated birthday, I couldn't have been more excited. After a difficult week I was looking forward to our scheduled time to catch up. With the opening of their new store, 6, Gee was certainly buzzing. We went Down Below (the lower level) to choose our colours, before being seated upstairs to have our nails done. She chose OPI's Overexposed in South Beach, while I went straight for OPI's Bring on the Bling. Then we sat back and chatted about what we'd recently missed in each other's lives. It was almost aspirational. We couldn't help but imagine ourselves years from now, with homes in the city and regular appointments like these. Following our manicures, we perused the selection of lipsticks and glosses. In the case of my friendship with AG, I suppose you could say that opposites attract. She immediately reached for frosty pinks, while I had my eye on darker rose and plum shades. 

An afternoon spent dreaming of city life and brainstorming future vacation destinations was the perfect way to relax after a hectic week. Tomorrow I'll be reminded of what I'm working towards and the life I'm saving up for every time my sparkly nails catch the light.

Bonjour Paris!

Last Christmas, AG read my mind. My gift was Deirdre Kelly's Paris Times Eight. I've never been to Paris, and couldn't wait to see it through the writer's eyes. The book describes eight trips to Paris, beginning with her first and describing the ways the city impacts her each time she returns. My favourite chapter, Fashionista, reveals Kelly's experiences covering Paris Fashion Week for the first time. Her story is filled with funny observations about the fashion industry, it's major players and the publications they work for (including a few Canadian ones). Despite her appreciation for the world of fashion, I identified with the way that she described herself as a fish out of water in the opulent, extravagant scene. Of all the quotes I could have shared, I decided upon this one because it sums up the feeling I get whenever I hand something in. You finish writing, inhale, hit send and wait. Sometimes you get a pie in the face, and in Miss Kelly's case, you end up with a trip to Paris. 

"But such is the self-delusory world of the writer. You think you have been good, and then an editor tells you you have been bad. You think you have been bad, and then an editor tells you, surprise, not only have you been good, but great, worthy of the expense of sending you to Paris." - Deirdre Kelly, Paris Times Eight


Camel Story

In a world (mine) filled with old Hollywood films, fashion images and photo-driven stories, I couldn't help but think of Grace Kelly when Chloe's FW 2010 camel took over this season. Runway reviews praised the luxe look, and camel coats were promptly promoted as a must-have. Since I've seen High Society countless times, I immediately thought of Kelly's turn as icy bride-to-be, Tracy Lord. While she spends the second half of the movie in stunning gowns, she wears head-to-toe camel in the first bit. I'm always so interested in the ways that editors and critics in the front row interpret runway shows. Here, I'll show you what I saw when I first saw this stand out collection.
Chloe Fall/Winter 2010

Grace Kelly in High Society (1956)
PS. If you have any interest in seeing Grace Kelly's last Hollywood film, her enormous engagement ring from Prince Rainier or swooning for Frank Sinatra, I highly recommend this movie. 



Sometimes the smallest gifts are the most memorable. They may not be items you thought you wanted, but those little gestures often reveal just how well a person knows you. After years of exchanging impressively high-priced gifts, RLB and I decided to treat each other to fun, little things. My birthday gift last year was a copy of the 1960 musical, Bells Are Ringing, starring Dean Martin and Judy Holliday. Seeing 1960s New York made for one perfect birthday. Plus, knowing how to select a classic movie from my favourite era is much more impressive than paying for designer denim. 

On an ordinary school day last year, one of my teacher's reminded me that he had photocopied an article that I might be interested in reading. I figured it would be a designer profile, or a feature on a Canadian magazine editor. After class I collected the required reading for the week, along with the extra article. It was Gay Talese's "VOGUEland." Published in 1961, the article took readers inside the Conde Nast office. Before The Devil Wears Prada, there was "VOGUEland." As I read about the "suave and wrinkle-proof women who call one another 'dear' and 'dahling'" I smiled at this unexpected treat. I was extremely grateful, and pleasantly surprised. 

Both instances may have been results of quick decisions. It's no secret that I read fashion magazines and enjoy old movies. But these two moments reminded me that small gifts can be the most surprising. Maybe such gestures do reflect how well a person knows you, but they're also a reminder of what you've chosen to reveal.

Love/Leave Oct 2010

To celebrate ELLE's 25th birthday, the mag has put out multiple covers of both their US and British versions. On the American covers, the faces change but the rest remains similar. The British versions feature different looks, sets and styles of photography. This ELLE UK cover stars Canadian model Coco Rocha.
LOVE: Coco's bombshell look - complete with leopard print, cleavage and tousled blond locks - may be a little obvious and extremely  overdone (file under LEAVE), but at least the entire shot tells the story of this vintage vixen. The set design makes this cover much more attractive than others I've seen in recent months, which have featured a similarly styled model posed against a stark white background.

LOVE: Since I haven't decided whether or not I'm a fan of Carey Mulligan (her movies or her style), I'm immediately intrigued by this cover. The story alone draws me in because I'd like to learn more about her. I think that her natural hair and makeup was the right choice because the story is about getting to know her, and an overly styled look may have left her unrecognizable to those who are fans of her earlier work.
LEAVE: The outfit. When I first saw this cover I immediately thought about how pretty she looks. Then her outfit left me a little confused. For someone who has already had some lovely red carpet moments, I think they could have had a little more fun. Plus, her hair looks as if it has movement, yet the clothing looks completely stiff and heavy.

LOVE: Yes, it's time again for yet another Drew Barrymore cover. She's been everywhere lately and I'm still a fan. She experimented with retro glam looks while promoting Grey Gardens, but I think this '70s inspired cover and spread really suit her. Also, the lighting here reminds me of Ashley Olsen's recent FASHION cover. It's warm, inviting and calling my name. 
LEAVE: When the cover star looks this good, who reads cover lines? Of course I do. But even Drew's shiny hair couldn't stop me from cringing at the sight of 'Fabulous at Every Age.' I know that some of the best cover lines are recycled over and over, but I've seen this one so many times that the words have become meaningless.

Who wins this round? I'd reach for Harper's Bazaar. How about you?


First Day

People keep asking me if I miss school. I don't. Or they ask if working full time feels like work yet. It is work. I suppose it feels like work. But that doesn't mean it's all part of an awful routine. Today is my sister's first day back at school. I'm happy for her. I hope she's stimulated today, inspired even, and if all goes well I hope her lectures are interesting enough to make getting through another year of university a little easier. I think the first day back is always about hope. You see, UofT will always be in the back of my mind, and I like it there. It's hard to escape. Most of the time I'm walking past campus or through it. At a recent film festival party, I could see UofT from the bar. I remember meeting friends there, finding love there and learning my way around downtown. I remember strolling from class to class with the hope that someday I'd be able to write more than an essay on the history of the English language. Someday I'd find a place that would bring together how I'm feeling and what I'm experiencing. I know what it's like to go from lecture to lecture and wonder what it will all add up to. But I've always known that I wanted to write for a publication that inspires people. Sometimes I have trouble explaining what I see when I look at a magazine, but Sally Singer has done it so well. 

"If all goes well, the magazine I edit will feel emotional. It should feel like a friend or an enemy or an aggravating presence or the most wonderful thing you've ever had. Magazines, when they work, are emotional vehicles. They drive you to places you just didn't know you were going to go on the day you picked them up. And if they don't, they're not working at all."-- Sally Singer, EiC of the New York Times' T Magazine, in an interview with Paper


The Boards

There's a long list of assumptions that can be made about people who consider themselves fans or followers of fashion. I've always thought that one example is that people who love fashion are always on the lookout for new sources of inspiration. Where does there inspiration come from? Oh, the possibilities are endless. But where does it go? One likely spot is the board. Call it a mood board, inspiration board or bulletin board but I've always had one and have taken pride in the collages I've created. 

In high school, my board was a combination of party invites and pop culture. In other words, the mix often included a picture of Britney Spears in something short and sparkly. "Crazy" and "Stronger" were in heavy rotation since I struggled between being lovesick and what I hoped came across as being fiercely independent. Ripped pages from Seventeen and CosmoGIRL! about not needing a boyfriend, being the single friend in a group of attached girls and how to exude confidence also made appearances on that teenage board. 

Though the images I posted always revolved around the young woman I wanted to become, they didn't always focus on fashion. Throughout my university years the board became filled with travel images and increasingly artful photography. I had taken the leap from suburb to city, and hoped to broaden my view of the world. 

These days the board continues to mix tears from all of the different magazines I'm reading. From fitness to fashion, close shots to wide ones and brightly coloured to monochromatic pictures, I arrange what inspires me as I please. Sometimes there are ads, heds or entire articles. Sometimes there are models, starlets or athletes.

Sure, there are two boards in my room (one that frequently changes, one that is a little more permanent), but those can only express a few of the ideas that influence me each day. There are certain things that I'll always be tied to - but here's what's up right now:

The Standard One:
-2010 Calendar of 1960s fashion photography
-An Italian Breakfast at Tiffany's postcard (Colazione da Tiffany) purchased on the Danforth
-Pictures of my cousins and I
-My number from my first 10k race
-An Italian bracelet I purchased on my Siena study abroad trip
-A birthday card from my sister
-A card sent by RB when she lived in Manhattan

The Ever-Changing One:
-Gwyneth Paltrow surrounded by books from Vogue
-A Michael Kors a, posted for it's camel clothes and burnt orange accessories
-Black & white photo of Alexa Chung from L'Officiel
-Black & white photo of Catherine Deneuve reading from FASHION
-Beauty shot (strong brows) from FLARE
-Fashion shot (all in black, leopard print shoes) from FLARE
-An Asics ad to remind me to keep running
-A dancer at the barre from Women's Health to remind me of the years I spent in dance class


Love/Leave Sept 2010

 After weeks of keeping busy I've finally come out from under my pile of magazines to quickly recap what's hit the newsstands for September 2010. With sneak peaks of October covers already popping up, it's certainly about time! What did you love or leave this month? 

LOVE: The gold, and the warmth that this cover exudes. Ashley Olsen is just the fashion powerhouse to encourage readers to look forward to cooler temperatures. 
LEAVE: The cover line labeling this, 'The Trend Issue.' It includes a full round up of fall's biggest hits, however, so much of this season is about minimalistic mainstays so I don't think it conveys the right message. One of the major trends this fall is to pare down and avoid trendy dressing. Plus, A. Olsen is known to avoid trends in favour of her own particularly luxe uniform.

LOVE: Mary-Kate Olsen has always intrigued me. When I saw these covers I thought two things. One, I must read this interview. Two, the cover on the left is much more enticing. From the green military coat to the way the words 'Fall Fashion' appear as if they were scrawled across the page in lipstick, I'd reach for the cover on the left.
LEAVE: The chill of the sea breeze I feel when I look at the cover on the right. Plus, the lines asking where is the better place to meet men and why anger is the new sex aren't exactly drawing me in.

LOVE: FLARE has been creating some very exciting covers lately with some of the world's top models. Though Doutzen Kroes' hair and makeup are subdued, this cover would stand out on the newsstand because of the way she seems to be leaning toward the reader. Also, this entire look is cohesive with the cover lines in setting the tone for this issue. It's all about the bombshell.

LEAVE: When you consider the theme of the issue, the choice of outfit seems like a no-brainer. Personally, I prefer the warmth of autumn colours to this cool-toned cover look.

LOVE: Seeing Halle Berry's beauty on the cover of Vogue's most important issue of the year. The word "sumptuous."
LEAVE: The pose that seems to hide her striking features. That hairstyle.


Screen to Script

Nothing's ever as it appears in the movies. But that doesn't mean it's all fantasy. Perhaps there are still lessons to be learned about the publishing industry from some of my favourite films and television shows.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 
In this rom-com Kate Hudson's service column takes over her personal life. 
Lesson: Sometimes you have to take your work outside the office. When I met Teen Vogue's Jane Keltner de Valle, she also mentioned this particular lesson. Going out is part of the job, meeting people and finding new sources of inspiration. 

The Devil Wears Prada
This story about an editor-in-chief's assistant involves both highs (trip to Paris) and lows (picking up dry cleaning) that I've never experienced. 
Lesson: No day is ever quite the same. I was once asked to walk to the nearby dollar stores in search of a gold medal to present to an editor.

The Hills
Is this even work mentioning? When I started my first internship I was frequently asked, "Is it just like The Hills?" For me, two lessons stood out during those early seasons at Teen Vogue.
Lesson #1: Lauren learned that Paris, with it's galas and vespas, will always trump Malibu with it's jail-bound heartbreaker. A trip to Paris should be a no-brainer.
Lesson #2:  Whitney presented her ideas for the Young Hollywood party in a strapless dress that would've probably looked more appropriate in the club, rather than the office. Dress for the job you want, and save certain stand-out pieces for the weekend.

The City
When Whitney made the move to New York, she learned the differences between the uptown crowd and the downtown gang. But more importantly, viewers met Olivia Palermo. The impeccably-dressed "social" taught us week after week what it means to not work.
Lesson: Follow through when you agree to complete an assignment. Also, storming out is only for entertainment value. 

Running in Heels
This docu-series followed three Marie Claire interns, all vying for a position at the magazine.
Lesson: When Talita (the eventual winner) contacted Rihanna's people before speaking with her editor, she taught aspiring magazing contributors a simple lesson. Pitch to the editors before making promises on behalf of the magazine.

Cover Girl
This 1944 classic is about the search for the brand new Vanity cover girl. 
Lesson: When "Stonewall" (my favourite character) is frustrated with the search for a new face, she has to anticipate what her editor's looking for. His only instruction? "I want a girl with a story in her eyes!"

Shattered Glass
Hayden Christensen stars in this film based on the true story about Stephen Glass.
Lesson: Glass fabricated stories, quotes and sources - teaching readers and writers that fact-checking is golden.

Funny Face
Think pink! Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire star in this musical love story between a fashion photographer and his model. But the most memorable lines about working at a women's magazine come from the Quality's editor, Maggie Prescott (played by Kay Thompson).
Lesson: Prescott believes the magazine has to speak to the reader, and so do I.


European Classic

In case you haven't been paying attention, it's time to stash your studs and store your edgy accessories. The ladylike look is back and placing former plain janes in the spotlight for F/W 2010. Spanish luxury brand Loewe has got the look and a perfectly polished ad campaign to match. Models Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley look anything but on trend. Instead the gallery hopping and window gazing appears to be a natural part of the Loewe woman's lifestyle. It's a luxurious world, and they're just living in it. 
Images from RduJour.com


What's Your Story?

Working at a magazine that doesn't primarily focus on fashion is a change for me (after my internships). Sure, fashion's always part of the mix, but I've realized in these past months at work just how much I adore writing about the world of clothes. As I've gotten to know my coworkers, they've begun to tell that I'm one of the girls who gets excited when designers are in town or when new lines are launched. It seems that jumping in on conversations and sharing my thoughts has paid off, because today I was invited to accompany another editor to an upcoming Holt Renfrew event in Toronto. I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that it all works out, that I have the chance to meet editors/bloggers and that I don't end up spending too much on an outfit. I may not be working at a fashion magazine (yet!) but you all know how much I love to read about what it's like behind the scenes. I am endlessly intrigued by stories about what it took to reach a dream job, what people did to stand out and how their risks paid off along the way. That's why I've always responded to readers who email me with questions and written posts based on what they'd like to know. Although I've made the jump from intern to editorial assistant, I consider my story to have just begun. Looking for more? Here are a few treats from my most recent list of must-read links.

FLARE's Guide to Jobs in the Fashion Industry
Time Out New York takes a look inside the ELLE offices
Vogue Italia EiC Franca Sozzani blogs about designing the perfect cover


Happy Sunday

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy." 
- Lucille Ball


Ongoing Obsession: Sweatshirt Dressing

CMX. Tommy Hilfiger. Gap. Alexander Wang. I won't say that I'm "currently obsessed," because I've always had a thing for sweatshirts. Oversized on top and skinny on the bottom has always been my silhouette of choice. I recently skipped purchasing a vintage Club Monaco sweater in favour of a replica from Pink (plus, I was able to pick up another off-the-shoulder nautical version on sale at Aritzia with the money I'd saved). When I found the Dries Van Noten FW10 outfit for the post below, I decided it was time to speak up about this look that I've loved for years on end. You can bet that this fall, my sweatshirts will be for more than just nights in. Below: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, 3.1 Phillip Lim FW10 and Ashley Olsen


In My Dries

Wake up, get washed, check email, workout, eat breakfast while watching Fashion Television, get dressed, pack bags, frantically search for parking money and run out the door...That's what things are like Monday through Friday. Although the days of enjoying breakfast while watching MTV's The After Show are over, tuning in to Jeanne Beker is a treat I look forward to every day. Besides, being removed from the fashion scene at work has me wanting more and more. Fashion Television in the morning and fashion blogs (first stop's New York Mag's The Cut) in the evening. I just can't get enough.

Having said that, it should come as no surprise that I'm excited to start dressing for fall. Yes, it's the middle of the summer. But I've always looked forward to fall as a time for tweaking old pieces, shopping for new ones and truly embracing my personal style. I don't think I'm alone either, since the fall fashion magazines are the year's biggest. But I could be wrong. Anyone crave swinging summer dresses like I crave cozy knits? Anyone into winter's coats like I am into fall's light layers?

For so many years, September's arrival meant back-to-school shopping. A new year, a new me. Or a new year, the same me, just wearing something brand new. As much as I love strolling in the sunshine after work, as the day's get shorter I'll be lusting after looks like these from Dries Van Noten.

Images from Style.com



Because I feel like I've been talking too much. 
More illustrations at www.rachaelmeckling.tumblr.com

Let's Get Lost

It was my day off. It was the day my 16-year-old sister and I had been planning for weeks. I’ve often referred to her here as OC or “the coolest girl in the world.” She’s confident and for a tiny girl, she has big dreams for herself. We thought about what we might cram into the perfect day, and here’s what we came up with.

Manicures at Gee Beauty – My absolute favourite nail spot in Toronto. The space is lovely, the people are charming and the couches are always covered with the latest magazines.

Caffe Doria – Next door to Gee is Caffe Doria. I’m not one to boast about espresso bars in Toronto (except for Fresh Start of course), but when OC was craving some caffeine, this hit the spot. The fridges were loaded with a variety of panini and the small patio was buzzing. Next time we’ll have to try Doria for lunch.

Ramsden Parkette – Just a few steps south on Yonge is Ramsden Parkette. Despite our desire for a day in the city, we couldn’t help but park ourselves on a bench here for a moment in the sun.

Maison de la Presse – Whenever we are downtown, we make a point of stopping here to browse the latest issues from around the globe, debate our favourite covers and vow to become bilingual. (I’m always partial to Italian mags, while she decided to practice her French with Glamour’s latest featuring Leighton Meester)

Kensington Market – Have a favourite Kensington stop? We simply breezed through.

Type & Trinity Bellwoods – Since reviewing Type for a Toronto website, I fell in love with this bookshop. Plus, it’s across the street from Trinity Bellwoods, a perfect place to take a break from our lengthy trek.

When I got home I came across a post on my friend Amanda’s blog, Not A Model. She wrote about her chat with a group of teen girls about beauty, body image and self-esteem. In it, she expressed her passion when it comes to spreading this important message: there is no certain definition of beauty. I have always held this idea close to my heart, especially how it affects teens. My attachment to magazines began with CosmoGIRL!’s Atoosa Rubenstein, and her message about being yourself. I was struck by Amanda’s effort to take action, get out there and have a discussion with this stylish bunch. With that in mind, I called her up, just to let her know how much I appreciated being reminded of the things I felt at 16. My heart was filled with first love and my head was filled with big city dreams. 

It's Hard to Interview a Comic

because I couldn't stop laughing. I get nervous before interviews and my stammering only made this phone call more comedic. Enjoy my profile on motivational speaker and MTV personality Sabrina Jalees, originally from Ryerson's Folio.

The audience took their seats. The lights dimmed. A sole performer stepped onto the stage with one thing separating him from the crowd, a microphone. He scanned the group for inspiration and hoped his material would impress. At the comedy club, the spotlight can be an intimidating place. Toronto-born teen, Sabrina Jalees didn’t see it that way. From her place in the crowd Jalees saw her future, and she wanted it to start immediately. “I wanted to tackle the comic and say what was on my mind,” she says.

At 25, Jalees has made a name for herself in the Canadian comedy scene with her brand of cultural humour. This former Ryerson University student has worked in print, radio and television. Though much of her material is informed by her experiences growing up half Pakistani and half Swiss, Jalees has recently found one more way to share her story. Armed with creativity and unfailing ambition, she’s now telling audiences what it took to land her dream gig.

Motivational speaking is Jalees’ latest venture. Her mix of humour and advice makes the experience that much sweeter for the audience. “It’s like having a vitamin with a milkshake, something good for you along with something you’ll enjoy,” she describes. After writing a story for the Impact Entrepreneurship Conference, Jalees was recruited by Speakers’ Spotlight (www.speakers.ca). In her talks she encourages people to find out what they love, take action and embrace diversity. She also wants audience members to be empowered by what makes each of them different, a point that hits close to home for the radio and television personality.

Since her first stand-up performance as a Yuk Yuk’s amateur at age 16, Jalees has dealt with being embarrassed by her heritage, Muslim post-9/11 and discovering her sexuality. “I realized I was gay while I was doing stand-up,” she reveals. “Now I can speak about it and empower other people.” Most importantly Jalees is excited about what she does for a living, and she wants her young following to feel the same.

Currently Jalees is touring American colleges and doing stand-up. She describes her decision to relocate to New York as a natural progression for any creative type. In New York she is able to reach a larger market and strengthen the work ethic that got her recognized on the streets of Toronto.

Being on the go in New York City reminds her of her days as a Ryerson student. She was studying Radio and Television, and working relentlessly toward her goal. Between classes she performed her stand-up act, penned a column for The Toronto Star and hosted a television show on CBC called Smart Ask. “I wanted it all,” she says. She remembers it as being one of the busiest and most fulfilling points in her life. Now her weekend visits home are filled with tapings of CBC Radio’s LOL!, MuchMusic’s Video On Trial and Slice’s Plastic Makes Perfect.

Up next for Jalees is season 2 of YTV’s In Real Life, a reality series in which contestants aged twelve to fourteen compete to win four years’ college tuition and a family vacation. Jalees was a writer and host of the first season. In the future she hopes to write and host a television show for MTV, a move that would reach viewers similar to those of MuchMusic. She’s also taking a course on Advanced Sketch/Improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade. It’s clear that Jalees hasn’t stopped learning or dreaming. Surely her determination keeps her going, but it also might be the voice of that had-to-be-heard fifteen year-old inside.


Love/Leave Aug 2010

One of Life is Glossy's biggest fans and critics is my sister, OC. I often ask her opinion, especially when it comes to these cover comparisons. Yesterday at the newsstand I lined up Dakota Fanning's Marie Claire and Flare covers for her. At first she didn't even realize it was the same person. That got me thinking about the way that stars are treated when being showcased by different mags/brands. I can just hear the voices of editors discussing how to bring out (insert star's name)'s personal style while keeping it (insert magazine title here). This month I'm looking at Drew Barrymore. 

Nylon's Denim Issue calls Barrymore "our kind of icon," and frankly, I'm more intrigued by what the interview inside might be like rather than hearing anything more about jeans. This issue has me thinking about the way a brand like Nylon would tackle a personality like Barrymore. As a former subscriber and now occasional reader, I think that this story might reveal something that another fashion publication might leave out. But that's all speculation. When it comes to the cover, the only thing really grabbing me is Barrymore herself. The only things the cover lines are saying are, "JEANS" and "DREW BARRYMORE." So if she weren't on another cover this month, I might have chosen this one. 

I'm not the most dedicated ELLE reader, but I was recently tempted by this issue at the newsstand because of the cover star. With a similar pose and hairstyle as the Nylon cover, Barrymore's ELLE cover steps it up by dressing her in a much more flattering way. Also, I like the way that ELLE's covers aren't always featuring a star on a white background. As for the cover lines, at least a reader can get a sense of some other stories by looking at this one. Besides the feature interview, I'd like to read Fashion Editors' (the real ones, not stars of The City) Secrets. The bottom right corner calls out to Ashley Greene. I've been seeing more of her lately in magazines, but I'm still waiting to read something interesting about Twilight's Alice Cullen. If it came down to these two, this month I'd choose ELLE. Based on covers alone, it looks like ELLE readers are getting a lot more. 

Things I've Been Meaning to Say

Writing display copy makes me tense and nervous. At work I fill it in and expect an editor to immediately re-write it. Recently I was so anxious about writing display copy for a small assignment I had, that I spent time after work flipping through back issues (of any magazine in my collection) in search of snappy titles. My Service Journalism instructor often mentioned the value of 'stealing' display. Also, my Feature Writing teacher told us stories in which he used display copy he'd seen in European publications on his query letters. In the end I actually received an email complimenting me on my titles and sub-heads, which certainly made my day. 

So when starting a blog post I often blurt something out as a title and then go back and think it hardly captures what I'm trying to say. Other options for this post? Things I like, I'm Likin' It, In My Head, Without a Hed...See what I mean? 

Bottom Line - You know when something catches your eye and you think, 'I've gotta tell (insert BFF's name here) about this later!' I've had a bunch of moments like that lately and I've been meaning to tell you about them. Here's what's been on my mind:

Last Summer 
I had the most incredible, life-changing vacation in Italy. From the very first time I went when I was 12, I feel like I discover something new about myself every single time I'm there. Last summer I experience the Amalfi Coast for the first time. This summer I'm at home. Naturally, my cubicle is decorated with photos from that August adventure. So seeing la Costiera through a vintage lens felt like a love letter from Vogue Italia to me. 

The Miu Miu Covers
By now I'm sure you've all seen the Miu Miu dress that ended up on three August covers. This month Dakota Fanning's on Marie Claire and Flare (sporting quite different looks, might I add), but clearly having an outfit on more than one cover causes much more of a stir. My pick? Elle UK.  

Current Polish
First off, I must announce that my search for the perfect mint green polish ended last weekend when OC and I had the most successful trip to Vaughan Mills, EVER. That's when I found China Glaze in Re-Fresh Mint. After a quick stint I ditched the mint for a coral that seemed a little out of character (I'm usually sporting a neutral or dark colour) -- Tart Deco. Not sure what my next colour choice will be, but the next thing I'm searching for is OPI Done Out in Deco.

My Two Lefts
Once upon a tweet, I mentioned my incessant search for the perfect pair of Zara pumps, how I found them and then how the last pair in my size ended up being two lefts. The store was messy, I was frustrated and the salesgirl couldn't have cared less. These were the ones. 

Glad we could catch up. xo


Birthday Wish

I spent my 21st birthday at 4 Times Square in NYC for Teen Vogue Fashion University. It was especially perfect because Proenza Schouler and Rachel Roy were there. I knew it was somehow meant to be. For my 22nd birthday I had the chance to review runway shows at Toronto's LG Fashion Week - another dream come true. Though 23 is still fairly far off, I've been doing some dreaming lately. 

Recently Vogue Italia EiC Franca Sozzani started a contest to attract more followers on Twitter. Follow her, retweet and you may just win a day at her head office in Milan. 

The prize is strictly access. The winner has to pay for their trip and hotel themselves. However I am willing to do that should I actually get the chance. I don't think there are words to describe how I would react if I could turn 23 in Milan. Naturally I've already entered the contest and received my confirmation. So I humbly ask you, dear readers, if you'd be so kind as to tweet, "@francasozzani choose @ericaec to join you at Vogue!"

What can I offer you in return? Some absolute must-read blog posts, the chance that I'll track down and interview Chiara Ferragni of www.theblondsalad.com and of course the most insider-y info I can offer. 

ps. I can't wait to pick up my August issues! Next week I have time off so I'll be enjoying a little stay-cation the best way I know how, with more time for sun, reading and blogging!


Lined with Inspiration

Since I've started working in the city, I've spent my time strolling to and from the subway station thinking about what it might be like to live downtown. I've fantasized about location, views, roommates and design. But whether it's my first place or my future home, one thing is absolutely essential. 
I take pride in my growing library and cherish the books I've picked up while traveling or as gifts. Aside from my large bookshelf, my room is constantly filled with piles of books and magazines, divided and stacked in a way that only I can completely understand. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I recently became a little too excited about Gwyneth Paltrow's upcoming Vogue cover. Yes, she's been featured several times and yes, she's been horribly photoshopped in the past. But the reason I'm looking forward to it? This picture. 
Images from now defunct design mag Domino, and Vogue

Miss Not So Perfect

This week I finally made my very first presentation at work. Although I was completely panic-stricken walking into that meeting, it felt like a form of initiation for me. I think that having my chance to speak up and express myself really made me feel like a part of the team. One of my editors at Internship No. 2 said that I was quiet in the beginning, and that I should try to open up right away. In those early days, she  knew little about my interests, passions and had no idea I had a blog. She encouraged me to share those kinds of things more often, because they can help shape story ideas. I've tried to keep that in mind, but this scheduled presentation was just what I needed to force me to step up. I feel like sometimes part of me enjoys being not so perfect. I mean, I haven't been working for too long and I've already forgotten my umbrella twice. Arriving at work soaking wet isn't the best way to make an impression. And having major anxiety when it comes to presentations isn't always the best thing either. Once it was over I felt like I could breathe again. It's always been that way, and I doubt that will change. If that rush of nervousness can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, then I'd say it's worthwhile. But that's just me. 


Coming to a Newsstand Near You

Trailers. Do you need one for your favourite magazine? Are they to excite loyal readers, or entice new ones? In recent months my must-read glossies have been getting the feature film treatment with online videos previewing what's coming up in future issues. While some choose to showcase certain pages along with a dance song, others actually list the Table of Contents online before the issue comes out. I think that the videos are a fun way to introduce the month's features. I have been watching them for the past couple of months to find out what I have to look forward to on newsstands. Seeing the Table of Contents puzzled me because it doesn't give much insight into an article's perspective or take on a certain topic. Do you check out magazine previews? 

ps. It's that time of year again, time to update my magazine subscriptions. So far FLARE, FASHION and Toronto Life are on the list. Are there any others you think I should regularly keep my eye on?

I've got questions and I'd love to hear your answers. Have your say by commenting, tweeting @ericaec or emailing erica.cupido@hotmail.com.