With A levels creeping up on the horizon, it doesn't leave much time for some things I love - such as writing on here. But lots has happened. Firstly, (and to me most importantly) my interview at the London College of Fashion. Ever since I went on the open day 2 years ago, I knew it was the place for me. When the course director described what the course entailed, I fell in love. It seemed perfect, a course that would give me all the practical skills to become the best possible journalist, as well as learning about social and historical aspects of fashion that I find fascinating. So for the past two years everything I have done has been geared with LCF in mind - doing things that would gain me as much experience as possible and hopefully set me apart from the other 800 applicants (there are 34 places on the fashion journalism course I applied for).
When I received an email inviting me to an 'Assessment Day' I was shaking for the whole day. The assessment day consists of a written test, a 2 hour wait, and then those applicants that perform well in the test are invited to an interview later in the day. Pretty gruelling was my impression, therefore it was with an almost overwhelming amount of nerves that I headed up to London with my mum. We stayed in London the night before; I had to be at Shepered's Bush at 9:20 the next morning and didn't want to risk the nightmare of train delays.
In the morning I was more quiet than my usual self. I felt a hint more confident after having dressed in my favourite outfit: a black crochet dress from Zara, red heels and a gorgeous red cropped jacket I bought from my favourite shop, Anthropologie, in New York. However, even a confidence boosting outfit couldn't fully improve my mood. At breakfast I could just about manage a bowl of cereal; my stomach churned with anxious nerves. After walking to the Lime Grove site (where the course would mainly take place) I arrived in a room filled with people. Some clutched portfolios, others towered in heels, some had their nervous parents waiting with them. Throughout the whole day, it was the waiting that was the worst.
After a nervous while the fashion journalism applicants were called up to the room where the test would take place. There were about 5o of us. As we all sat down and before the test began, the course director gave a little talk. She said that the course was extremely heavily oversubscribed (I had already worked out that I would have to beat about 23 other people to get a place) and therefore she wanted to make sure it was the right course for us. Some people think it is a styling course, but it is not. It is writing, writing, writing, writing. I felt a renewed rush of determination. I was in the right room, this is what I want.
The test took an hour, and was one of the quickest hours of my life. My pen did not leave the page once. We were presented with a list of interesting and challenging fashion issues which we then had to write a small article about, giving our opinions. Scanning down the list I actually found it strangely exciting that I couldn't have answered all of the questions. If I got through, I would be studying at a place where I would learn about these things that I find so interesting. In the end I chose a question about the role of the politician's wife in the upcoming election, as it is something I have thought a lot about and find a topical and thought provoking question. (The questions were not all about clothes, showing how fashion is not just about frocks, but the society in which we live). After writing my answer to this question I had to write a short description of my favourite fashion website, and why I like it so much. I wrote about style.com, for the catwalk reports that can transport me from my quiet town to the runway, filling me with excitement and determination to one day be sitting there myself, scribbling notes about the clothes that flow onto the catwalk.
Once the test was over, we all had to leave, to return in 2 hours time. With Westfield's just around the corner, my mum and I headed there to waste some time. I was not in a shopping mood. I kept looking at my watch, and at one point became overcome with dizziness. I just wanted to get back and know if I had got through. Eventually, finally, the time passed and I was back in the room where I had taken the test, awaiting the verdict on my future. I got chatting to the two others on my table, both of whom seemed (nearly) as nervous as me. We had been told to get back for 1:15. 1:15 came and went, so did 1:30, 1:45... the course directors and lecturers came back in. They told us that 21 would go through to the interview stage, that they were sorry they couldn't take more and that there were some really talented people in the room.
Then came the most hideous few minutes of my life, as they read out the names of the people going through. It sounds like X factor I know, and it was in fact just like that. As the names were called out I didn't even take them in I was so focused on listening out for mine. Every 'L' name and I imagined it being mine, yet name after name came and it didn't come up. It suddenly dawned on me: I haven't got through. I have worked this hard, tried my absolute best, but in the end it wasn't enough. The tears started coming.
My name was the second to last to be read out.
For a while I just sat where I was, emotionally exhausted. A few deep breaths however, and it was back downstairs to wait for my interview at 3. If the rest of the day had been excruciatingly painful, the interview was as good as the day had been bad. I was incredibly nervous, but for some reason as soon as I walked into the room my nerves disappeared and I felt strangely at ease. I like to talk, so put me in a situation where I have to talk for my place and I feel much more in my comfort zone than in an examination hall. My interview was with the course director, the woman who I had found so inspiring at the open day, and one of the reasons I so wanted to study here. I was asked 6 generic questions, things like what I thought I could bring to the course, what I did in my spare time, which fashion writers, designers etc I found inspiring and why I wanted to study there. As I was talking about the book and the work experience I had done at Cosmo and the Evening Standard, about the fashion show I organised at my school and how I was learning French and Italian to help me as a fashion journalist, I felt for the first time in my life, proud of what I had done. I had 15 minutes to prove I was right for the course, and finally believing myself that I deserved a place helped me, I think, to say exactly what I had wanted to. In the end the interview was over in 8 minutes. I nearly stumbled down the stairs I was so light headed. I hadn't eaten all day I had been so nervous and neither had my mum (she said she was too nervous too) so we bought a picnic to eat on the train. After I had filled my stomach I slept all of the way home. It had been the most exhausting day of my life.
Two days later I got an email saying I had a conditional place at the London College of Fashion. I can't actually describe how happy I was, and how happy I still am. Even now it doesn't feel quite real. In September I will be starting at the London College of Fashion, I have actually got everything I wanted. I need to get 3 Cs to get in, but I worked out the other day that based on my AS results and a new qualification I gained for the fashion show I organised (and Extended Project Qualification) I actually have enough UCAS points not to sit my summer exams. Of course, that is not what I am going to do and I am still working hard (I don't really know how not to, and besides, I want to do well for myself not just to get in to university) but there is an unbelievable relief.
Right now, the sun is shining and I am sat on my bed reading 'Flair' a beautiful Italian magazine my Italian teacher bought me, and making myself a little Italian fashion dictionary. (I do the same for French, reading French Vogue and writing down all the fashion words I learn) I have decided that one day I am going to be a trilingual fashion journalist. I love French and Italian so much, and just think it would be so useful as a fashion journalist travelling to Paris and Milan and interviewing designers, to be fluent in the languages. I know it is a pretty big aim and will take a while, but I don't mind. Before my LCF interview I was overcome by self doubt; now I have the place I so desperately wanted I feel like anything is possible. If I want to be the editor of Vogue there is absolutely nothing to stop me. Of course it would be difficult to say the least, but that doesn't matter. I like a challenge. :)
All in all, I feel extremely grateful, happy and excited.