Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Diary of a fashion intern - Day number…i've lost count "Bonjour Paris!"

Hi guys! Here we go - Part 4 of my fashion intern diary. Click here to read the Russian version on Look At Me.

One more to come, enjoy xx

p.s. read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Tomorrow we leave for Paris! Half of the interns are going straight from Milan and it is only me and two other girls who will be going from London. Preparation for Paris fashion week is a serious matter but rather than packing fabulous outfits we are stuffing our bags with food - chocolates, biscuits, chips as well as other necessities like pillows and towels. It is going to be a looooong week so you want to be as comfortable as possible - your own pillow is a must! 

I'm catching a 5.25am Eurostar from London which means I get somewhat 3 hours sleep that night. Luckily we have the first day off so after dumping my bags at the hotel, I grab my camera and head straight for the Tuilleries where Paris fashion week shows are starting. During London fashion week I was really sad that I didn't get to shoot street style as I normally absolutely love being in the midst of the fashion week madness. So when the opportunity presented itself to have a day of shooting in Paris, of course I jumped at it. Who cares about sleep anyway… it is so overrated. 

For next 10 hours I am running around from show to show all over Paris, by the end of the day I know the metro map like the back of my hand. Get back to the hotel around 8pm and spend the next 4hours editing photos and catching up on emails. 

The first day at the Paris showroom is quiet and we spend most of the time organising clothes and training up Parisian interns. Since I had already done the London fashion week, I'm all of a sudden the big boss and get to tell other interns what to do and I don't even have to get my own Starbucks anymore… :))

Paris fashion week in the showroom is different from London in two ways - firstly the showroom is bigger so you work harder and secondly you eat A LOT. The morning starts with croissants which are followed by mini macaroon towers and coffee which are followed by lunch then by fruit and then by biscuits in the afternoon. All the girls are worried about gaining weight but everyone continues eating anyway. 

During the day the showroom is an absolute mayhem and you have to adapt to hearing and understanding different languages. There are 10 sales executives who meet clients from all over Europe. As I walk through the showroom with a stack of clothing towards the change room someone asks me for a coffee (in Italian) another table asks for photocopies of something (in French) and the third table throws more clothes my way asking for them to be tried on (in Spanish). By the time you get to the kitchen you need to still remember who asked what and what it means in English and not go crazy.

On the second day, two of the Parisian interns do not turn up - apparently it all got too hard for them. 

Do you remember the scene from the Devil Wears Prada where she is balancing coffees from Starbucks in one hand, documents in the other and her phone doesn't stop ringing the whole time?? Well that's me. I get sent to the photocopy centre to make copies of line sheets, whilst grabbing coffee (soda water, toothbrush, cigarettes) for someone on the way and my phone is going off constantly. 
Many many years ago I used to take French classes. All of a sudden I find myself at the dry cleaners speaking some weird combination of French and sign language trying to explain that my colleague dropped off a dress in the morning (SHOOOORT, BLAAAACK, LACEEEYYY - I tried to speak slowly and loudly .. as if it is going to help!) but we have since lost the ticket and I now need that dress NOW to take back to the showroom before someone gets very angry with me. The queue behind me is trying to contain their laughter as I am acting out my charade. The lady at the counter looks at me and probably (highly likely) thinks I'm crazy. 

The only thing that gets me through the day is the nice dinner at the end of the night. Every night all the interns from London get together and go out for a nice meal and a bottle of red. On the third day to say thank you for all our hard work our manager makes a booking in one of the trendy restaurants in Monmartre. As we finish our entrees, a lady with a blonde crop enters the room and joins a loud (and amazingly stylish) table next to us. Kate Lanphear, editor of US Elle. I literally can't stop staring. Four days ago I photographed her exiting the Balmain show in Paris. I absolutely love her style. And here she is hanging out with her friends looking fabulous as always (and you cant even tell she spent the whole day hopping from one fashion show to another in 30 degree heat). 

Paris is growing on me, that's for sure…

To be continued xx


Fashionistable said...

I have just read parts 1 to 4. And to think I met you the day before all this started. It was great to meet you. And is wonderful to hear how everything went for you during the shows. I look forward to reading more. Xxxx