Wednesday, 9 November 2011

the not-so secret diary of a fashion intern:
The Times Magazine

Snapping back to the mundane realities of life as glorified house-wife (to my mother), I return to tell you tales of more prosperous times c/o The Times Magazine and the LUXX lot.

I ain't acquainted with the rules and regs regarding broadcasting this sort of thing but I figure as long as keep the cover star on the down low, I am a perfectly law-abiding citizen.

So I went to the Times and had a real good time - another proverbial notch on the bed post in the chasing of the fashion journo pipe dream. A worthy and enjoyable notch nonetheless. Every internship, placement and work experience I have done have had their house-style and their way of doing things but the resounding foundation of most fashion internships is a tricky one to dodge, not unless your mummy is Alexandra Shulman (if she is- good word ehy ehy). That bursting-at-the-seams-with-thousands-of-pounds-of-exclusive-designer-samples-wardrobe, more commonly known as the fashion cupboard for which a definition along the lines of; a hideously messy, back room filled with ridiculously expensive unorganised chaos is more aptly applied.

Dare you step out of that fashion cupboard mere intern and onto the territory of the real journalists...

To be honest, I have been lucky to avoid such intern / employee hierarchies.

I have spent a lot of time in fashion cupboards though.

As resident fashion assistant, for the week, (Charlie was taken ill. Hence, their priceless offer of work experience): I returned, I courier booked, I rail shuffled, I coffee dutied (only once), I PR pestered, I also tried on a pair of miu mius and was personally invited to a potential cover shoot by LUXX's stylist- literal babe. I didn't however, write the magazine. I think it is a naive view to firstly, have in the first place but to maintain it for the duration of your time at a publication.. the road is going to be a long. Journalists are struggling to keep hold of their own jobs, why would they let someone who is essentially, a stranger, take over their regular DPS?

The curse of the fashion intern:

More often than not, internships are advertised as a potential meal-ticket to pastures new and thriving, in the exact career you're pursuing*. You're lured in with empty promises, vague job descriptions and desperate hope of a paying job, one of these days. However, more often than not, it is, in actual fact, the case that you are doing that internship host the favour - a free pair of extra hands in times of encroaching deadlines - don't be disheartened that you're not guest writing the editor's letter, nar mean?

Breaking the curse:

Keep in contact with everyone you meet. 
Perseverance will pay off.

My eyes have been opened this week. I don't know it all - no-one does.

I also need to refine my pronunciation of Parisian curators' - it's er-mes not her-mees.

Am I sacking it off? Not yet.


*FYI, The Times was far from this - it did exactly what it said on the tin. I am referring to the common perception of fashion internships, in general. Everywhere is different.


  1. Hello!
    I am also perusing the Fashion Journalism (and music) dream and this has been an interesting read! I've done internships at places like this also and had the same sort of experience, I feel like it is so hard to get a foot in the door writing wise! Wish you the best of luck lovely :) x

  2. Anonymous11/09/2011

    A really interesting post, especially as my fashion industry placements were all on the PR side of the fence!
    I've heard a lot about the confinements of the fashion cupboard, and I should imagine it is really tough to break out of it especially in such a short period of time. However, as you say - keep in touch, offer your services free and unpaid and eventually it will pay off :)

  3. Great post! I'm in your position too, it does feel at times a little disheartening knowing that the internship you're flogging your guts out at (for no money, obvs) really don't instil into you a little more experience than organising clothes in a fashion cupboard. But like you say, all contacts made are invaluable at this point, so c'est la vie!

    Charlotte x

  4. Loved this post, I really like reading peoples experiences of interning. Can I bug you with some questions?! Im looking for an internship and I'm really struggling with finding some that will pay travel expenses, I don't mind working for free but as I live a good train journey from London I really can't afford to pay out for my train fare! Where do you look for your internships? I've found a few but would love some new places to look! Here's hoping the struggle for the dream job eventually pays off! xxx

  5. Digging this post! There's always pros and cons with internships. Like fashion week, I'd love to go back and see all the shows again and mingle but I was standing around all day and commuting wasn't that much fun! 5am wake up call isn't ever cool. x

  6. lovely little insight.

    J x

  7. Fashion journalism sure does look interesting, and it's nice to hear about peoples' experiences with it. As a girl who has merely begun her A-levels I have no idea in which direction I'm headed, but it's a direction I've considered.

    Good luck with it! This sounds totally corny and tacky but I do enjoy your writing style, it's something I could happily read in a magazine or paper.


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