With only one semester left of my journalism degree I can no longer hide in my room binge watching Jane the Virgin every time another uni break rolls along. So this last month I pushed my Mac aside and faced the fact that it’s time to start interning. Read: becoming the real-life Andy Sachs (Devil Wears Prada) of the fashion journalism world.
First up I interned at the features side of NewsCorp across three creative publications: Brisbane News, QWeekend and U on Sunday. What was I most nervous about? No- not meeting the editor or writing to deadlines- it was my corporate wardrobe. I spent the week beforehand pairing outfits together until I reached a blend of style and professionalism. On Monday morning I walked through the office in my nude heels, tailored pants and checkered blazer (checks are on trend right now people!) praying I’d fit in. Thank god I seemed to meet the requirements of dressing for an ACTUAL office (a big change from the uni cafe/my bed).
Outfits aside- I shadowed an art journalist attending a gallery opening, approached people for the fashion segment ‘Street Style’ and wrote a feature article that was printed in QWeekend. I also tagged along to a couple of photoshoots for the fashion side of the mags as an assistant to the photographer & stylist. All in all, my experience wasn’t too shabby compared to the the expected intern coffee run.
Photos from the photoshoots:
These two weeks were a practice run for what I was really dreaming about: flying down to Sydney to spend the week at Marie Claire magazine. Flicking through the latest issue featuring Isla Fisher on the flight down, I almost felt the chic glamour and energy radiating off the pages. Is this what it would be like??
On DAY ONE & TWO I found myself transcribing interviews & researching story ideas- general journo business. The staff were too busy with moving offices, deciding on the August cover photo and well, their jobs, to notice a new intern had popped up. The lady next to me barely raised her head as I sat down, and another skipped over my desk when handing out new copies of the mag. Did I have a case of being invisible? Their indifference was soon explained as throughout the week a different young hopeful arrived every morning with a familiar sense of optimism.
DAY THREE was when things started to look up. After a digital meeting in the morning I was given the opportunity to write a few articles for the online site. After writing a couple of straightforward beauty evolutions, I was tasked with writing a travel guide. Seeing my name on the MC digital site was a truly rewarding and *pinch me* kind of moment.
On DAY FOUR I found myself in a small closet unpacking bags of clothes, lodging invoices and photographing outfits on an ancient digital camera. These are the menial jobs of a fashion assistant, along with picking up designer clothes from the city, returning bags after-hours and steaming dresses. It’s easy to dismiss the tireless days of behind-the-scenes work hidden behind the glossy pages of luxury photographs, but I now have a newfound respect for fashion assistants everywhere.
All of this hard work wasn’t for nothing: DAY FIVE was when the magic came alive. I woke up at an unearthly hour to be at the set location by 7:30am. After setting up a breathtaking array of Bvlgari pouches, Tiffany & Co. earrings, Louboutin stilettos and Gucci dresses in a gorgeous room on the top floor of the house, I was offered yoghurt + granola cups, fruit, muffins, coffee and banana bread for breakfast. While the models were being prepped, I steamed clothes and prepared the 10 looks for the day’s shoot.
All day the sun’s rays shimmered off the torquoise water spread before us in a panoramic view, reminding me of a film set in paradise. Maybe this was paradise. A smooth playlist of disco pop tunes helped me relax and mingle with the other creatives, and I couldn’t think of a more uplifting end to my internship at Marie Claire. As a thank you, they gave me the most beautiful gift at the end of the week (including a Dior Addict lipstick, ECOYA mango-scented candle and a lovely yellow book titled ‘I love you too much’). Maybe I wasn’t so invisible, after all?