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Elevate yourself in the fashion industry

I have now wrote a book on fashion interning, containing  75 pages of my top tips and insider advice for aspiring fashion interns!
As your manicured helping hand, The Fashion Internship Guide offers all the advice on how you can gain valuable experience to build your CV, cultivate your USP, create a fantastic application, and excel in an interview; propelling yourself towards the working woman or man you wish to be. 

Download it here now!

image from flyingsaucer.typepad.com

I went to a career networking event on Tuesday and have some great tips if you're interested in working in fashion or journalism. I was invited through my blog but you could apply as a student to go as it was hosted by Elevation Networks, a charity that gives people a hand in getting on the career ladder and meeting members of top, relevant organisations. I'm not aiming to be a journalist but I would like to work in publishing and marketing, and the event was at NatMag's HQ so I had to check it out! Among the speakers were Sir Terry Mansfield, Doreen Adusei MBE of Fashionworks (an agency that also helps foster talent in the fashion industry), and Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. Also, Richard Bradbury, the former Chief Exec. of River Island, was the guest speaker, so it seemed fateful that I should go as I work there! I always turn down press events as they're in London but this was a careers event, so nothing promotional, just all useful. I hope you find these tips helpful if you're hoping to work in the industry, as I know many of you are.

So I hopped on the train to London after my Tuesday lectures and almost nearly got scammed as an innocent tourist-type when a random man behind me in the tube ticket queue offered me his day ticket for a few pounds as he'd bought one for the wrong zones by mistake. Just before I went through the barriers I thought, 'oh no, this could just be a fake ticket and I'm on The Real Hustle or something!' but it was a real ticket, which shows I am very naive or nicely trustworthy, haha!

The reception of the building was full of keen looking students, quite obvious that they were all into fashion, some dressed up to the nines in huge heels. The event took a while to get started as the waiting room was too small to fit every attendee in, of which there were only about 50! I was expecting a large lecture theatre but the venue was a very small room, and I was sat three rows from the front, with only four chairs in each row. You may have seen my internship guide from some placements I had last year, and I noted a girl behind me in the queue have a conversation on the phone that went something like, 'Well I'm meant to be doing a six month internship for *** company but I've quit after two months, I thought: I'm not doing your admin work anymore, I want to be a fashion editor, not an office worker.' That's not the attitude to have, as many of the speakers said!

After some of the members of Elevation Networks introduced the event (and we had to do a cringy task where you found someone in the room who you had something in common with), Sir Terry Mansfield, the former president of the National Magazine Company (Cosmopolitan, Company, Harpers, etc), gave a talk. He stressed the importance of being multiskilled, and how photography, editing and admin (note to the girl mentioned above!) skills are crucial to a role in media, and your CV should reflect that. At NatMag, they look for people who can translate their creativity into skills they can bring to the workplace, so on your CV, rather than stating you're a team player or you have an eye for style, give evidence of this by naming times you worked in a group and projects you have created. Sir Terry said that design is the centre of technology and the gravity of the fashion world, and that without talent and style, we would "just have buildings, chairs, and a bit of technology", which I think is a great quote. Sometimes it's hard to show a degree involving textiles lives up to other degrees, despite mine being a Bachelors of Science.

Then Louise Court was introduced, and she gave some fabulously friendly tips, and further confirmed in everyone's mind that working on a fashion magazine would be an amazing job. And one of the first things she said was about interns who refused to do work like copying up a transcript for a meeting because it was 'below' them or because they 'had a degree', which again made me think of that phone conversation I overheard when queueing at the entrance! You must realise there is so much to learn and be humble that you have the internship in the first place. The best view of the industry is from the base level of it. I don't know why people would complain as I felt extremely lucky and excited to be interning at fashion companies, even if I was just ironing or addressing envelopes! And I'm not under the impression that internships are readily available or easy to get either; surely you're very lucky if you are getting experience like that. I had to pay to stay and live in London while doing my voluntary placements for over a month- that's how happy I felt to be there! If you already live in/near London and are lucky enough to score an internship, be grateful!

Anyway, Louise also spoke a little about Cosmo on Campus, the free mag they're distributing around Unis. A girl in front of me nodded her head when she mentioned it, and Louise asked her what she thought! If I was put on the spot like that, my mind would have probably gone blank, but the girl gave a great answer and Louise was really keen to get the feedback. They know that the market is so segmented nowadays and a special mag targeting Uni students is a great idea, although some of the tips like 'Don't use Wikipedia as a reference in essays' are hopefully known by all already! And apparently they got the idea for Cosmo on Campus from Korean Cosmo at a global Cosmopolitan event, how cool! Louise discussed how blogs were relevant to magazines too and that the staff write blogs now, which made me smile!

The next speaker was from T.M.Lewin (I'm afraid the lady wasn't in the programme so I don't know her name!) and she was the best public speaker ever. T.M.Lewin is a smart clothing brand selling shirts and suits, so the talk was about making an impression at an interview. The lady herself was a great example of her point as she was dressed in a simple shirt and skirt suit, with her hair tied back and minimal makeup, yet she really stood out because her personality shone right through. She stressed how you should be making the impression at an interview, not your outfit, and said how we would have all thought 'ooh check her heels, check her earrings' if she'd rocked up in designer labels, but at that moment we were simply concentrating on her. She said it was better to eliminate negativity, such as accessories or shoes that could be a bit distracting or brash, rather than try to add loads of quirky things and go a bit wrong. I felt most of us at the event cringe a little as we must have all put a fair bit of thought into our outfits that morning, and many people had flashy bags and lots of makeup.

More tips came from Doreen Adusei of Fashionworks, who showed there are always ways to foster your ambitions, and Nanette Gibb, the head of human resources (recruitment!) at NatMag. She spoke about getting your CV into shape by highlighting your USP (unique selling point)- we all have one! If you're at Uni, utilise your careers centre as I know the one at Manchester is really great. She gave four other points for your CV; to match what you list in your CV with the requirements of the job role, to do your homework on the company you're applying to and know where you'd fit in, to not be afraid to be creative with your application, especially if you're applying for a design or styling role (submit work or make a magazine cover mock up), and ensure your CV is transparent, with no sweeping statements and inaccurate spelling or grammar.

Then Richard Bradbury chatted about his time at River Island and how the fashion industry is so changeable and even volatile, and that people buy certain magazines because they believe in the brand. You must be aware of external market changes for each industry as they can make an impact, so wise up on current affairs when you go for an interview, or better yet, be constantly in the know!

After the event was a Q&A session where some people put great questions to the speakers, like how they managed their stressful work load and how you should apply for work without being annoyingly keen, and others asked confusing questions about things like social fluidity (?) that no one really understood! As soon as the event finished, most people rushed to the front to talk to the speakers but I had to get back on the last train to Manchester. All in all, it was the sort of event that you leave with ideas and inspiration buzzing in your head, and it really spurred me on in my own applications for when I graduate soon. I'm not going out this weekend in hope I'll complete the research for my dissertation, so wish me luck! I went to Sainsbury's earlier and stocked up on treats for this hibernation indoors so I'm very prepared! Hope these tips helped someone out there and you too have a nice weekend xx


More mary jane perfection

Ohhh today I did a silly thing! I've gone to book tickets to get to London tomorrow a million times but when I booked a coach to get back to Manchester today, I booked it for tomorrow too by mistake! So I rocked up to the coach and the driver was like, 'this ticket is for tomorrow' and I was like ohhhh. My bad! However this turned into a good thing as I had a browse round the shops before hopping on a train, and spotted these looovely Topshop mary janes. The online pictures are, as per usual, a bit off but in real life they are perfection! A super high platform, super straight heels, and the strap in the perfect place. They're reeeally high, about 6 inches, but that's OK! They're out of my price range (erm I have no price range- my price range is £0 atm!) at £68, or £61.20 with student discount, and of course I already have mary jane perfection in my Forever21 heels, which touch wood are holding up well. Sadly they do have the centimetre of unremovable dirt along the bottom that is inevitable when you go clubbing, but you can't notice. Still, I can dream about these lovelies and maybe try them on just for fun. I went shopping on Friday as I was going out for drinks and my whole wardrobe is either super casual or super dressed up to the max, but again I didn't find anything. Everything in Topshop is sleeveless!! I have a bag, some new flats and a few soft tees on my shopping list for now anyway, so I'd better focus on those!


The Week Ahead

I came home for the weekend for my brothers' and sister's birthdays (all three in the space of four days!) so right now there is a cat on my lap! This makes it quite hard to type! And my sis couldn't come home anyway because she lost her bag in a club so I've mostly been working on my dissertation and eating a million Creme Eggs my Nan gave me!

I am definitely doing project 10 pan still, although I haven't ran out of anything and I just saw MAC have brought out N18 in the Studio Fix Fluid, and I've been mixing the last of my NC15 and NW15s for the past few weeks! That is first on my shopping list. I also still cannot find that coral H&M skirt in my size, but I'll look in the Birmingham Bullring store tomorrow morning before I leave and they might have one in. I did anticipate the MAC Wonder Woman collection but it came out surprisingly early in Selfridges so I went on down on Friday and picked up three Marquise D' lipsticks and the matching Emancipation gloss, which is huge! Maybe if it sells out quickly enough, they'll put the lipstick in the permanent line?

I made a lil video of what I bought! This week I need to make strides with my dissertation and get up to speed with my other classes, which will be hard work as I'm going to a networking event in London on Tuesday and have work on Weds and Thurs as usual, and then there's possibly another event on Friday and on Friday night I know I'm going out with my housemate! I haven't been out in weeks as I've been just out for drinks or been indoors studying instead so I'll get to wear a new Motel dress, the total amount of which I have lost track of. I think I have seven! It's a really long term too with still six weeks to go until the Easter break, so I am just savouring this moment being at home in my nice bed! The one thing I don't like in Manchester is still our house, as my bedroom walls are still all damp and nothing I do makes it feel nice!

Also I'm looking for some new flat pumps and I need to assess the shoes I have now to wear with my flared jeans. It's still quite cold so you can't go out without a coat yet which is a bit annoying as I want to start wearing spring stuff! I bought a load of nail stuff of eBay from HK but it didn't arriveso I only half-heartedly did one hand of nails- I'll have to match up the other tomorrow! Let's hope this week is a good one xx


Consciously Cute

I haven't bought anything special from H&M in ages but sooo much of my wardrobe is from there! I looove H&M! I'm still thinking about that coral skirt which *fingers crossed* I will find in store on Friday, but I was just browsing the H&M news on Nitrolicious and they're bringing out the loveliest dress! It's part of a Conscious Collection which apparently uses 'greener' materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester. Recycled polyester is one of the most sustainable fabrics to use but organic cotton isn't that sustainable! Processing cotton uses looots of water, and also the collection is all white, which actually means your clothes won't be as fresh or pristine for as long! But aside from that, this dress is gorgeous! I bet it will be reasonably priced too, and maybe Natasha Poly just looks insanely good in this dress, but it looks like the perfect summery day dress to wear with cute gladiator sandals and super tanned legs. The collection is in all stores on 14th April apparently so hopefully they'll be easy to get hold of xx


Blue powder

Hiya! So the new term has well and truly started and I'm getting into the swing of seminars and main campus classes and group work galore, and trying to get to grips with my dissertation. My worry levels are at a constant high because I always have a project on the go and am nearly graduating, and I don't think I did the greatest in the January exams because of the burglary and all that stuff. But right now, rather than my usual routine of 'little bit of work, little net browsing, little shopping', my new schedule is 'workworkworkworkworkwork, ahhh a break for shopping, lovely, lovely shopping!' After the last few weeks of rubbish things in the shops, I am seeing great signs of fab spring stuff! There's a bright coral high waisted skirt I want in H&M but they didn't have my size when I was in there, so hopefully on Friday they will have it! I also want to stock up on maybe some really lovely basic tops like soft tees with rolled up sleeves and pocket vests.

One thing I really need at the moment is a uni/work/everything bag as I haven't bought a new one as I could wait for my last one to come back from the police station! But then again, do I really want to use that?! It was serving me just fine but I had used it for over 6 months so it wasn't exactly looking brand new. I haven't seen anything that I like; that was until these powder blue Miu Miu beauties came into my inbox. I don't know why I subscribe to alerts for new Miu Miu stuff on Net-a-porter, I just like to lightly torture myself! Both bags are nearly £1000 so I might just bite the bullet tomorrow and get a bag I have sort of had my eye on at work.

 

I was just browsing the River Island site and saw this almost powder blue satchel, but I think it's more grey in real life. This lace bag looks bad in this website pic but it's totally different in real life, and I've been on-off admiring it for a while, and I'll get staff discount. I bought a purse a few weeks ago though and we've suddenly had some really nice ones in, so I'm worried I'll plump for a bag and then some great ones will arrive in store! I really wanted some BRIGHT shoes and a BRIGHT bag for this season but I can't see any anywhere! Topshop have a nice coral satchel bag but it's £55 and not really that big. I'll just have to be satisfied with the H&M coral skirt that I will hopefully get my hands on in the right size!

However I am still obsessing over powder blue, especially as I've been hunting the perfect copy of Rihanna's blue nails in the What's My Name video, which some quick googling just revealed is quite possibly Essie's 'Lapis of Luxury'. I am tempted to buy the shade but the cheapest I can find it for online is around £9 when you include postage, and I'm meant to be doing a Project 10 Pan across the board! I'm not buying any new cosmetics or beauty products until I use up ten things. With an exception of the MAC x Wonder Woman collection, I just won't go into Superdrug or Boots or Selfridges for a while! But maybe I could buy a cheeky nail polish? I nearly bought this Model's Own 'Beth's Blue' shade at work as I thought it was a similar colour, but looking at the video again, this blue is much lighter.

 

Hmmm it was both my brothers' and my sister's birthdays in the past four days, and is my Dad's next week, so I might remind myself to stick strictly to Project 10 Pan. My sister's birthday was yesterday on Valentines Day and she had an Only Way is Essex theme for her night out where apparently all her friends covered themselves in instant tan and wore everything bling! Haha I'll be looking out for those facebook photos!


Chalet Chic with Ed Westwick

Hi guys! First off- I did not meet/touch Ed Westwick! Noooo! Saaad times. However, I was very close to him and can confirm, he is even hotter in real life than on screen! You didn't think that is possible? It is! Omg his voice and cheekbones and everything, ohmagod he remains superbly hot, and now thanks to a Chalet Girl goodie bag, a big poster of him graces the living room wall of my student house, along with Ricky Whittle, JLS, some random naked mexican men on horses, and a very suggestive Ann Summers calender. 

So here's some eye candy and gossip from the event; I started the day glueing my Miu Miu shoes on the train! Remember the gold bits on the back are actually rubbish plastic and snapped off again at London Fashion Week FW10? All good with superglue though!

I took my long time BFF Melissa so rushed across London and got ready super quick in  her halls. I didn't have time for lashes but I did wear a full face of makeup and wore tights in the end as I didn't tan my legs enough. We got a taxi across London to Westfield and met the Dare and Clean and Clear ladies at a posh bar, and had a cocktail with Amy of Wolf Whistle! Melissa and I had to strut through Westfield in the middle of the day in our insanley high heels and teeny dresses to get there, too funny! We saw on the invitation (or 'ski pass') that the dress code was 'Chalet Chic', looool! Cocktail dress with ski boots? Platforms with a puffy all-in-one?!

The premiere wasn't a strictly red carpet affair as it is a very teen-appeal movie, so first was a performance from a band that no one knew, Livingston. They were OK? I didn't exactly listen because Melissa and I were too busy trying to secure a spot on the bar alongside the red carpet. We asked a man if we could slot in beside him and he said,' Umm I'm saving this space for my sister...' Haha he totally didn't have a sister!

The place was rammed with girls obviously all there for Ed. Who could blame them?! The red carpet ended in a circle infront of the stage so some hardcore fans could stand in the barriers right in the middle.

After Livingston (?) performed, the celebs started coming, first with the girlie star of the movie (Felicity Jones) who did an interview on stage with a guy from T4 I think? Liked her dress a lot!

That was all well and nice but oh ma lordy, next out was Ed! The nearby photographers started going mental and suddenly I could actually see Ed's face in the flesh!!

I may have shouted 'Eddd please marry meee!' as he walked sooo coolly to the stage and did his Q&A. I can honestly say I don't remember anything he said! I was just thinking 'omggg it's him!!'

However in this photo it is clear he saw me and thought 'That girl! I must find her, incredible!' Well Ed, it is I, feel free to contact me! Don't worry, I will send you lots of unsolicited fan mail just in case you have trouble tracking me down.

Then shock horror, he started signing autographs that were nowhere near our barrier, oh the horror! He did quite a good run of most barriers but we went down the red carpet before then, and he didn't visit the barrier we were along so phew!

But yes, we did get to walk the red carpet!! Here's Melissa and I with the lovely Grace from Dare, and I am thinking 'Omggg on a red carpet!' All the girls along the barriers were looking at us with major envy as we strutted down attempting to look important. Ed was off doing press interviews so we couldn't have sidled over and asked for a photo, but we did oggle! 

OK I'll leave off the Ed worship for a bit. As we went upstairs, half of the cinema was roped off for the premiere so we got to watch the rest of the stars go down the red carpet and do their Q&As.

Tamsin Egerton's hair was soooo lush! Obviously a bunch of extensions but it looks incredible! [Edit- it's ALL her real hair, my mistake! It is unbelievably gorgeous!!] She is sooo gorgeous it's untrue! Someone needs to give her a big part in a movie pronto.

Soon it was time for the movie, and Melissa and I were about to stock up on sweets and popcorn when we discovered every seat in the theatre had a goody bag with some Clean & Clear stuff, vitamin water, a Sugar magazine (I love teen 'zines!), the above-mentioned Ed Westwick poster, and, some popcorn! Turns out that it was certainly the first viewing for most of the film production team and cast as they did some speeches at the front of the cinema and brought out the stars.

As Ed walked to his seat before the movie started, he was approximately two sets of shoulders away from me, omg!! Throughout the whole film I was thinking 'OMG, he's on the screen yet he's up there!' It made it very hard to concentrate!! But Chalet girl is so cute, very predictable and definitely not a film for adults, but my teen self laughed all the way through!

I wore the coral dress in the end but it actually ripped a little at the hem where my hand is!! It was £48 and I contacted Rare who were happy to give me a refund when I send it back, which is all good. I think Melissa is wearing a H&M dress and the most amazing Kurt Geiger shoes. After the film we hung around outside for aaaaages but as Ed entered in a secret door, he also left in a secret door so we did not get to talk to him. A girl we sat next to told us he talked to a few people in the cinema but blanked the rest and hurried on! Come on Ed, how do you expect to meet the girl of your dreams if you don't meet your fans and therefore eventually me!? We thanked the lovely Dare and Clean & Clear ladies and then went to Nandos, where we spotted the band from the film. I said hi and of course that I loooved the film haha; I think the band were Austrian though and there were no signs of an after party so we went on home!

 

All in all not a successful Ed meeting night but we felt super spesh at a real premiere on a real red carpet, and I got to see Ed in the flesh! You know I love an excuse to dress up too, even if I got ready in under an hour!xx


Ohmagoddd!

Oh ma goddddd!!! If you haven't seen my tweets or video, I was very kindly invited by Dare to go along with them to the Chalet Girl premiere!!!!! They are repping Clean and Clear who are sponsoring the movie so C&C I loooove you because who is the star of the film?! Ed Westwick!!!!!!! Aka Chuck Bass!!!! Aka my all time boy crush!!! I even have the Yatt Chuck Bass tshirt!! It's at Westfield so no scariness of Leicester Square but I'm hoping I get to at least talk to Ed! Also other celebs in the film like Tamsin Egerton, Bill Bailey, Sophia Bush, etc! And maybe there will other celebs too! Eeee!

I will definitely take an outfit photo, and my bessie Melissa is coming too so we will try to take as many as possible! I had NO idea what to wear and ordered three Rare dresses in different sizes, I think I'm going to wear the coral although it's a 6! They're all quite tight though and at least it is less likely to fall down! My dress falling down infront of any celebs is most likely to happen, as is me falling over or babbling rubbish! I'm also wearing my Miu Miu shoes! Why not! Ahhh I'll keep you updated on Twitter, wish me luck! I need to prepare a possible script although so far it will go 'Ed! Hi! Can I marry you?' Might have to rethink that!!


Work Wishlist 3

How fast has this week gone?! I can't believe it's Friday tomorrow. Usually the first week of term goes really slowly as you have new classes, but I'm only in three days a week, but I work the other two weekdays. I can't believe this is my last term, sob! The last term of being a student. Work hard, play hard? My classes have way more seminars than usual and a lot of group work, and I have my dissertation in soon, so I'm really busy! Not too busy to check out the shops though, as I did after I had my hair cut on Tuesday. There is absolutely nothing I like! I'm really fed up of camel and anything forest green/burgundy/mustard. So like most Spring/Summers, you just have to do your own thing! There are some trends that I like though and I've got my eye out for a few things, but I'm trying to save for maybe a summer holiday. I picked up Elle Collections in WHSmith and put it straight back down because this season is so varied, it's hard to group major trends and really invest in them. I'm looking out for the high street supplements of all the mags though!

I'm not sure how much I'll be paid tomorrow but if I get my tax back, I might buy a few things I've been admiring this week! I was off work over exams but actually I do really love my job and it's almost therapeutic to tidy or stand at the fitting room for a few hours. I would probably value the days off if I had them free for uni work, but I think working in a store is key if you want to get a job in retail or fashion! The main thing I've got my eye on at the moment is shoes. I want some with a sliiight heel so you can wear maxi dresses that aren't dragging along the floor. These suede wedges are pretty perfect but around 4 inches, which is a bit too high for daytime. I'll have to try them on and see as we don't have them in our store yet! Remember I had these flat studded shoes in a previous wishlist but in black? The nude/lilac pair is online now, the original pair I wanted, and they're sooo nice in real life. They'd be amazing with bare legs. The extra studded lilac pair are tooo fabulous haha! You remember the grey heels I have with the bows on from Miss Selfridge? They're too scuffed to clean now but I might try to spray paint them black, have any of you had any joy with anything like that?

I also need some new jeans/leggings/jeggings whatever you want to call them! I haven't worn a short skirt in ages and ages! I don't have any I really love anymore. That reminds me that I haven't shown you my new coat! Will try and do an outfit post tomorrow. The ankle zipper jeggings are reallllly soft and the light blue pair just look comfy. That's what I like wearing nowadays, just cute shoes/boots and concentrate more on hair and makeup rather than a crazy outfit. I need a new uni bag since I haven't got mine back yet and I'm not sure I want to use it now even if I do! I like this lace covered bag as it's quite chunky, but I don't love it enough to buy it yet. I'm terrible at shopping for bags as I just see them as purely functional and never find the 'perfect' bag. I need a new going-out bag but can't find anything! I've never used a clutch and I don't want to risk it in case I put it down and dance off! And lastly, this maxi dress is so pretty in real life, the print is like the sky! It's so light that it would be amazing over a bikini on a beach. And it's only £5 in the sale! I seriously need a holiday to look forward to!!