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

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