Friday, September 30, 2011

Coralie Labat - Paris Fashion Week

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Details from LFW for Look At Me (Russia)

My second set for Look At Me is up and running! Click here to see the post. Here are some of the shots:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Diary of a fashion intern - Day 2 "To Market, To Market"

So having survived my first day I was feeling a bit more comfortable heading into work on Monday. For my second day I decided to go with a more casual look - red jeans and a denim shirt.. casual yet has character, cant go wrong really!

We were asked to get there by 7.30 am, I hadn't been to work that early since… well since I moved to London actually! 

When I got to the showroom that morning I, for the first time in my life, realised what visual merchandising actually meant. The night before we left the clothes hanging on the rails in random order which seemed normal… Our visual merchandiser stayed in the showroom until some ungodly hour to make it look… sellable. It was actually amazing how arranging clothes in various colour combinations made such a difference. 

Anywho… so I get to the showroom that morning to find a bunch of interns having breakfast… dressed in all black with full make-up and hair done. Awkward. I guess my red jeans are no longer a 'cant go wrong' item. I enter a mild state of panic. They all turn around, see my get-up and one of them draws a long 'I'm gueeeesssing no one told you to wear black…" The showroom manager enters, looks me up and down, realises that he forgot to tell me to wear black, quietly walks off [im pretty sure he may have had a tiny heart attack when he saw my bright red jeans in the sea of "all-black" interns]. Im perspiring. A lot. It's 8am so none of the stores are open to go and buy a quick change of outfit. The first appointment is at 9am. I am iiiiinnnn trouble. 

I am sent to photocopy a bunch of stuff - obviously to get me out of sight before the first customer gets here and before the 'head honcho' sees me.

I'm photocopying stuff and literally counting down minutes until 9am when the stores open. Unfortunately the closest store was Next which seemed to stock strictly the ugliest clothes (they should've put a sign up - Normal Clothes Not Allowed). I end up in an ugly black jersey dress (that ugly cheap black colour.. you know what im talking about), which is possibly a size or 2 too big. I make a mental note to burn it when today is over.

Head back to the showroom and see the manager breath a sigh of relief. Crisis averted. Then the craziness starts. The buyers start arriving one by one. There are four models in the backroom trying on clothes and modelling it for the buyers. The interns are running around like crazy. All of them red in the face… by this stage we need to know and remember if not all then a lot of the pattern names and style names of this season's collection. 

As an intern you are expected to do whatever is required to ensure the smooth running of the showroom - dress the models, greet the clients, make coffee, do a mountain of photocopying, get the clothes requested by the sales team, chat to the buyers and make them feel warm and fuzzy and most importantly remember the order that the clothes, bags and shoes were in this morning (as the visual merchandiser intended it to look). 

After a quick lunch break we are all back on the floor. By night time you literally can't feel your feet. Thankfully coffee is in unlimited supply so everyone is on a constant caffeine buzz. Throughout the day interns rotate in their duties. I am now following a girl from the sales team around. She is showing the new collection to a buyer, explaining the inspiration and the stories behind the collection. I am carrying a tonne of clothes to and from the change room every 2 minutes. My favourite part is putting outfits together - a member of the sales team passes you an item of clothing (like a shirt or a top) and you have to find bottoms, jackets etc to form a presentable and cool outfit in the right colour scheme. And you have about 30 seconds to pull the outfit together and drop it at the change rooms - I feel like I'm in an episode of America's Next Top Model (you know the ones where they need to demonstrate their personal style?! except obviously i'm not a model… obviously).

In between appointments I'm running to the backroom to have a quick coffee. Everyone only drinks espressos because you don't have time for a normal cup of coffee. Then back on the floor to listen (for the 50th time) the story about the inspiration behind the collection. Every time a new appointment starts the sales guys look like this is the first time they've ever told the story - full of excitement, big smile, sky-high heels. The buyers don't need to know that most of them haven't had a chance to eat lunch and have had about 30 cups of coffee and take their heels off for 2 minutes in between appointments. You can hear snippets of Italian, Spanish and French being spoken around the room, the whole team including the interns is bilingual (trilingual in some cases) so everyone is comfortably switching between languages.     

The day ends around 10pm and we literally crawl out of the showroom. Everyone is excited because we don't start until 8am tomorrow… extra half an hour of sleep! Yay! : /

We have another 3 weeks of this between London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks. Oh. My.God.

To be continued… xx

p.s. you can read the Russian version on Look At Me

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diary of a fashion intern - Day 1 "The Scary Sunday"

Since I'm not hanging out at London Fashion Week this season and hence don't really have anything to show you, I thought I might share with you about what I am doing instead of LFW.

The truth is, I am doing LFW but from the inside… the less glamorous inside that does not involve hanging out at Somerset House or dressing up. In fact, my official 'uniform' these days is all black. Here is why…

Do you remember a few months back I wrote about quitting my job and bla bla?
Well after I did that, I spent the following weeks applying for every single internship under the sun. Luckily, my timing was good and I started the process as the brands were heading into the SS2012 season.

So I scored myself an internship with a pretty-big-deal brand and was absolutely over the moon about it. The first (official) day was set for Sunday the 18th - smack bang in the middle of LFW… 

As it generally happens with me, I over-committed myself and promised Look At Me 'x' number of street style shots from Day 2 of LFW. So the day before my big internship I was hanging out at Somerset House snapping away the fashionistas… after spending a good 8 hours running after people and chasing celebrities from venue to venue, my feet were killing me and I spent the night feeling sorry for myself whilst editing the photos so that I could meet my deadlines.

When I finally got to bed, I couldn't sleep.. guess what was bothering me??!! WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TOMORROW?????? I mean think about it.. I'm an accountant.. going into fashion.. whilst being slightly older, shorter and less savvy than my potential co-interners. Intimidated? Me? Noooo…. ok, may be a little.

So the next day, I got up early, got ready and headed for the showroom - I felt like it was the first day of school! I also felt terrible about missing the hoo-hah at the Mulberry presentation which was happening literally down the street from my new 'job'.

The first thing I saw when I arrived at the destination is a huge bright room full of stuff! I was like a fat kid in a candy store - bags, shoes, scarves, wallets - you name it! I felt like I had just discovered Narnia… except I was finally 'out of the closet' and loud and proud legit fashionista.. interning in fashion'n'all…

It would be an understatement to say I was delusional about what a fashion internship involves. I thought I would head in for a couple of hours, hang out with the cool kids, look at some clothes and then head to the afternoon LFW shows (even brought my SLR camera in the bag). 

Errrm think again! 

The first thing that I saw when the initial shock had worn off were three massive bags that had just arrived from NYC… hot off the press so to say. The bags contained samples of the new collection… so the next 3 hours were spent steaming, labelling and hanging the clothes in the correct order etc etc. 

There were 6 other interns working in the showroom, all had been with the label for  different length of time.. mostly fashion students. Some were there just for the couple of weeks to help out with fashion weeks, whilst others had been there for a number of months.

The first thing I noticed about the interns is that they weren't at all glamourously dressed as I had expected them to be (based on my extenssive knowledge of The City and The Devil Wears Prada). Most of them were dressed in jeans and converse shoes… obviously because it was a Sunday and because we had to unpack, steam and sort the clothes. Obviously.. I didn't get the memo.

At first I was picking up every sample and admiring the beauty, appreciating the fabric and thinking how lucky I was to be surrounded by all these beautiful clothes. By the third hour every other dress was just a piece of fabric that had to be dealt with and I stopped noticing all the wonderful things about them.

By about lunch time it became clear that it was highly unlikely that I would see any of the shows that afternoon or even make it to Somerset House. The rest of the day was spent studying the new collection and listening to the 'head honcho' of the office talk about each of the pieces and how they fit in with the rest of the collection and how best to market it to different clients etc. It was like being back at uni… but amazingly interesting… I was mostly fascinated by the fact that the poor 'head honcho' probably hadn't slept for a number of days during NYFW and yet was so with it and spoke for hours non-stop and knew so much about so much.

Every now and again the team shared their opinions on the pieces and there was a lively discussion. The interns were mostly quiet.. taking all of the information in and trying not to interrupt the flow of the evening with stupid questions. 

I'm not even going to pretend that giving up a big fat corporate job and becoming the newest kid on the block is easy. It was crap. I am used to being listened to and knowing what I am talking about, to people respecting my opinion and being interested in what I have to say. There in that showroom no one cares if you are a doctor or a lawyer or whatever… if you don't know about fashion then you are at the bottom of the food chain. So I pretended to be mute and spent the rest of the day trying to absorb as much as I could about everything that was happening around me.

The day finished at about 9 or 10pm.. Im not even sure.. I was delirious by the end of it and was only capable of dragging myself to the nearest McDonald's to celebrate my survival of the first day.. well almost survival if you don't count me stabbing myself in the eye with the corner of one of the sheets in the lookbook. My eye went all red and started watering and mascara was running down my cheek as I was frantically trying to 'blink myself better'. Since no one saw what had actually happened, a few people seemed perplexed when they saw me 'crying' - they exchanged inquisitive looks but decided not to ask the obvious question as (judging by the looks on their faces) they'd decided that they couldn't have possibly upset me that much since no one really spoke to me much that day in the first place. I'm pretty sure that almost 90% of the people in the room didn't even know my name which was quite obvious because they referred to you as 'daahling' or 'hun' or 'lovely' if they need to speak to you or get your attention. I thought that was actually quite endearing since thinking back to my corporate job, it would be days before I would actually start properly speaking to the new interns at all…mostly because i didn't know their names and partly because they all looked quite scared. At least I got called 'nice' names :)

To be continued ...xx

Monday, September 19, 2011

LFW Street style for Look At Me (Russia)

This season the lovely guys from Look At Me asked me to shoot street style for them at LFW. Here are a few of my favourite looks of the day. To see the whole line up click here

p.s. Apologies in advance for the lack of LFW coverage this season on my blog. I just started my super exciting fashion internship and trying really hard to do a good job and "keep my head above water" (read: loooong days and aching legs). Hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) I get to go to Paris for PFW and sneak some time for street style shooting!

 Matthew Zorpas in Vivienne Westwood

Karina Vilas Boras


Christopher Kane clutch... Love

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Sunday at the Tate

Not proud to admit that a lot of my Sundays are accompanied by either lack of sleep or slight hangover... which naturally means that I am slightly more relaxed about what I wear... especially if it's raining! Last Sunday as I was playing 'couch potato' at home, my lovely friend J convinced me (despite the rain) to get off my backside and do something exciting. So off we went to Tate Modern to catch the last couple of days of the Miro exhibition. 

If you do have a chance and you are even remotely interested in surrealism you should most definitely go and see it for yourself - 13 rooms of breathtaking and extremely varied art. Joan MirĂ³'s work was influenced by his political views (in a BIG way) and his work reflects that - at times you feel like you are looking at the work of 3-4 different artists and his style changes dramatically as you travel through his career in paintings and reach the most dramatic point - the Spanish Civil War. Surrealism is not my favourite type of art but I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition and would strongly recommend it. If not for the art, go for the colour.. Miro's use of colour to express emotion is beyond belief! I'm no art connoisseuse but this man made a white canvas with a line across it look like magic. No wonder AndrĂ© Breton, the leader of Surrealists, called him 'the most surreal of us all' (ok, I confess that last sentence I may have borrowed from the exhibition booklet!).

So back to the clothes.. I'm always a bit conscious when meeting J as she is what I would call a closet fashionista (a person with a serious corporate job who is secretly obsessed with fashion). This time was no exception - as I was miserably licking my ice-cream in the rain, I saw J floating towards me and looking fabulous.. correction - I heard her floating.. more specifically I heard the jingle (the chime, call it whatever you want really) of her Burberry necklace (I looooved that necklace - it is such a statement!). I didn't have my big camera with me but happened to have my Fuji point-and-shoot in the bag from the party the night before, so I thought I would take a couple of shots to share the love with you. Hope you like it xx