Big Top to Top Brand

It's always nice when doing work is fun. As an intern, this is a rare occurrence - although obviously I love sending almost identical emails to over 300 new designers....

Anyway, enough of my bitterness. Today I spent a large amount of time researching an Australian designer, little known in the UK, but pretty huge down under - Alannah Hill. Her collection is beautiful and inspired from her days of performing with a circus. (I'm very jealous of her CV; tightrope walker to fashion designer seems more like a series of hobbies rather than a career path!) On top of her skills as a designer,the photography of her collection is stunning and exhibited on her fabulously over-designed-but-really-quite-fun website. is an example of a website that has the 'staying power' that digital marketers are constantly striving to achieve. I spent a large percentage of my afternoon navigating around Hill's website, not because I had to, but because I actually wanted to (and could vaguely pass it off as 'research').
I had the same experience when on the Museum of Everything website, particularly liking the fact that when you click on the 'contact' link, an email appears with a pre-prepared opening line:
'Wow, this Museum of Everything sounds AMAZING! You guys are INCREDIBLE! I can't wait to come - here are my details...'

The only downside of these websites is that they can take a while to load, but a website that is a bit different and quirky is far more effective at communicating a brand message than a feeble 'mission statement' or 'about us' option (which I'm sure hardly anyone reads). As faster internet speeds become more widespread, I hope to see more brands putting their money into innovative digital homepages...mainly because it will make my duties far more interesting!

Collar For Your Colleague

It gets worse. The introduction of Puggy means that I have a whole new list of duties. Today I was sent on a mission to a 'collar couturier'. I kid you not, this is a shop where collars are lovingly handmade to the specific measurements and personality (!) of your mutt shaped nightmare.
It is worrying enough when an entire shop can exist on selling puppy fashion, but when it can afford to employ over 20 staff and premises on a prestigious London street, things seem to have got slightly out of hand. Is it cruel to point out that there are more important things to spend your money on than edible dog-treat Christmas cards and diamond encrusted litter trays? And there is nothing more terrifying than overhearing upper-class Sloanes yapping away in the same pitch as their pedigree chums.
Despite this, some of the collar designs are pretty cute...

Pugly Betty

It is official. The fashion office has peaked, and my somewhat disapproving view of this industry has been taken to a new level. Those of you who work in offices will probably be familiar with the term of Office Idiot, or Office Geek. You may even have an Office Mummy (the cuddly and smiley lady who always mops up the tears of those dismissed). Well, the world of fashion had to take it one dainty step further. One of our senior members has introduced an office dog. Not a retired guide dog who sits complacently in a corner and occasionally sniffs at a passing high heel, but a yappy, energetic pug who trots incessantly from desk to desk, jumping up onto delicate silk stockings, sending teetering piles of handbags flying and generally upsetting the quiet murmur of our stylish work.

Because the owner is highly regarded as a trendsetter and member of the fashion Top-Squad, no one can complain and I fear others may follow in her footsteps until our office looks more like a kennels than a headquarters of fashion and design. Is it unreasonable to develop a severe allergy to fur so that the dog has to be left outside? ...Who am I kidding, they'd much rather loose a lowly fashion intern than the Trend Manager's new 'dahhhling'.

Does intelligence match my Prada?

Fashion always comes with the tag of 'stupid'. Choose a career in it and you will forever carry with you the handbag of judgement; the 'I look at dresses for a living' label; the necklace of bimbo.

As a fashion student I gracefully accepted the comments and disappointed looks of my parents who would have preferred an academic genius for a daughter, and now that I have entered the industry, I see those around me struggling to shake the disapproval of their peers.

Although I have not been in fashion for long, I would like to challenge this assumption and suggest that those who succeed to the top of the fashion tree are some of the most intelligent and ambitious people around.

I was fortunate enough to sit in on a meeting where the senior members of my fashion office were discussing the latest catwalks. So yes, this was a four hour slot of, essentially, looking at dresses, and I am aware that I may be shooing my superiors further into their stereotype, but I was amazed at the eye for detail and memory of these women. (Our fashion boy was absent from this meeting - probably too busy being flirted at his stream of adoring fans...) An image of Christopher Bailey's beautiful Spring 2010 collection for Burberry popped up on screen and within seconds was likened to collections as far back as 2004 as someone remembered a similar coat designed by Chanel. Added to this incredible memory of countless catwalks over the seasons is the ability fashionistas have to predict which trends will stick and which ones will fade which is a demonstration of their understanding of humans. They know what women will choose to wear and what they will be too scared to try, and they also know what tempts them to buy - far more convincing psychology than flawed Freudian assumptions based on icebergs and Oedipus!

Chanel Spring 2004

Burberry Spring 2010

(Having read the above I think I notice a change in myself - my first scathing post noting with disgust my unpaid position in what I sarcastically named 'the worlds most stylish industry' seems a far cry from where I am now - defending the intelligence of the fashion elite....)

The Great Intern Escape

In the aftermath of a photoshoot, when there are exhausted models draped elegantly across the desks, clothes hanging from every available fixture and reams of ripped backdrop paper flooding the studio, fashion interns have the perfect excuse to escape the mayhem. It is our job to return the press loan garments to their respective designers.
After a particularly manic afternoon with technical hitches, eyeshadow explosions and high heel breakages, I seized five bulging bags,a hat box and the opportunity to flee the office and went to return what we owed. In my speedy retreat I had only vaguely checked where I was heading - some distant warehouse in the Eastern outskirts of London. Thankfully, I had persuaded a fellow intern to help me carry the bags and together we wandered through unlikely alleyways in an attempt to locate this supposedly 'obvious' warehouse.

A couple of hours later I began to think that the address did not exist. Typically, it had started raining, we were being harassed by tramps and my patience was definitely waning. Eventually however, after begging some passers by to walk us right to the door (my colleague has a very sweet smile) we entered a huge windowless building and dumped our bags by the counter.

We had walked into a massive space filled with rail upon rail of beautiful, expensive and untouchable clothes. My colleague disappeared with shouts of 'you can deal with it, right?' and spent a happy afternoon wrapping herself in silks and chiffons, whilst I was left to deal with the irate manager. WHY was their lipstick on his delicate sheer blouse? WHO had ripped the hem of the (unbelievably tight) bodycon dress? WHERE was the other half of a priceless pair of kid gloves....errrr...
Unsurprisingly I did not manage to blag myself a free dress, but bade a hasty retreat promising to look after the garments better next time. (As if it is within my power to demand such things!) If anyone finds a small baby-pink glove floating around on the streets of Newham - could you let me know?!

The Last Heel Standing

Every morning the building that houses our fashion office welcomes ream upon ream of beautifully dressed girls (and, of course, our one beautifully dressed boy). High heels clatter across the minimalist floorboards, flowing scarves obstruct the CCTV and jeweled fingers tap impatiently on the security pads.
By evening, however, the spick and span attire that adorns these style experts seems to morph into a more casual look and the unaccustomed eye could be forgiven for thinking that parts of the office are no longer home to the fashion elite.

It seems that the higher up you are in the fashion hierarchy, the more acceptable it is to kick off your heels, snuggle into a thick jumper and tuck your feet up on your luxurious leather chair. Bangles and heavy earrings are discarded into the desk-tidy (ah, so that's what they're for) and tight waist-belts are draped over the obligatory garment rails at the ends of the desks.

But as an intern, or a new member of the fashion world, this is absolutely not acceptable behaviour. For us, it is vital that our high heels remain on, our legs are neatly crossed and that our accessorised wrists compete with the sounds of tapping keyboards. While the relatively new girl whose desk is behind me is sitting up straight so that her restrictive clothing doesn't present a breathing hazard, I am slouched with my legs stretched out in front of me hoping to reduce the 'baggy knee' situation that is inevitable with super skinnies.

We rush to the ladies at regular intervals to re-apply makeup and hairspray, while the senior staff scrape their once perfectly coiffed hair into relaxed ponytails and occasionally apply some sweet tasting lip balm. Unjust as this seems, I hope that as I continue to work in this stylish industry I will remain a true fashionista like Carine Roitfeld who, despite her position at the top of the fashion tree, maintains her dazzling style throughout the day. But protecting myself from the savage blasts of the air conditioning with a huge shapeless hoodie is also pretty tempting.....
Carine Roitfeld

Irrelevant, but genius...and a model afterthought

On a Friday afternoon, when the week has dragged and there isn't even the hint of a pay check, some things can really help to cheer you up.

Like this guy, Eli Milchman, who has just described the below as:

Finally, Viagra for your iphone!

Anyway, back to fashion....
This will be quick as I'm supposed to be dressing a couple of models who, incidentally, really are as gorgeous in real life as they are in magazines. I don't understand why the media have to dumb down the beauty of these girls by claiming that airbrushing is the only way to make them look good. The girls I'm dressing today are jaw droppingly elegant. In all of their 6ft tall glory my allocated models tower above me, which makes arranging their headwear rather a struggle. I would attempt a run-up-and-jump to pin some jeweled broaches onto their berets, but if I misjudge it and crash into them I don't think their delicate frames would survive....