Sunday, 19 September 2010


Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of photographs in this post. I shall explain why later.

Although I have been loving living in London and exploring Bethnal Green, my course doesn't actually start for 2 weeks. Most of the people living here in Cordwainer's Court are studying an art foundation course which started a week ago, and are already into the full swing of lectures, projects and work. I must admit I was slightly jealous - as much as I love mooching around London I came here ultimately to become a fashion journalist. Just as I was beginning to find myself at a loose end, however, magic struck.

I was checking up on facebook on Wednesday night (as you do) when one particular status stopped me in my tracks. It was one of the fashion assistants at Cosmo saying they were in desperate need of an intern for two weeks, starting tomorrow. I couldn't believe my luck - just a few days ago I was walking down Carnaby Street wishing myself back in the Cosmo offices, and now that wish might just come true... I knew I couldn't do a full two weeks, but as I had a bit of time before my course starts I thought I'd reply anyway and see if they needed my help. I was met by an enthusiastic "Yes PLEASE" and "can you start tomorrow?".

And so it came to be that on Thursday morning I was getting ready to go back to Cosmopolitan. Now this is where the lack of photos comes in... The boiler in our flat has officially died. Since I have been here I have had one luke warm shower, the rest have been icy. Stepping into a cold shower first thing in the morning officially feels like death. On Thursday morning I just about managed to wash my hair under the freezing trickle of water, but I just couldn't bring myself to face the pain of washing my whole body. That's when I remembered that there was a shower at the Cosmo offices... The thought of a hot shower in my lunch break, however much like a tramp it might make me seem, was so tempting that when it came to packing my bag and I realised I could either fit my camera OR my towel and shower gel, the shower won and the camera stayed. When later events of the day unfolded, however, I kicked myself for not bring the camera.

Anyway, back to my third first day at Cosmo towers...

As usual I over-estimated my journey time and arrived nearly an hour early. To kill time I made a pilgrimage to Hanover Square, and Vogue House. As city-slickers walked hurriedly passed me and cars drew up outside the doors I stood looking up at the 'Vogue' sign, reminding myself why I'm here and what I want. Perhaps it makes me crazy that standing outside a building can make me so emotional, but this isn't just any building. When I look at Vogue House I see everything I am working for, and everything I am willing to work even harder to achieve. With the image of Vogue House still strongly in my mind, I turned and headed back to Carnaby Street.

Walking through the office doors felt reassuringly familiar, and when the receptionist asked if I knew where I was going I told her not to worry, I've been here before. I arrived on the fourth floor and headed to the fashion department, where I was met by smiling faces. It was so nice to be back and to see everyone again. After hugs and hellos, and meeting Robyn, the intern here at the moment, it was into the fashion cupboard and to work.

Stepping into the cupboard was a little overwhelming, due to the fact that 'climb' into the cupboard would be a more apt description. The team are currently working on their Christmas gift guide, as well as several fashion shoots for the December issue, therefore the cupboard was piled high with not just clothes, bags and shoes, but cushions, candles and a whole array of homeware. The 'returns' pile (the things that are finished with and need to be sorted, bagged up and sent back) was not a pile, but a mountain. Even worse, many of the things were unlabelled so the thought of finding out where they came from and sending them back to their rightful owners made my head ache. I didn't really know where to start but figured starting at the beginning is often a good place, so grabbed the first few bags.

I proceeded to spend the day sorting clothes, and packing and labelling bags. Another of my tasks was to iron the editor of Cosmo's dress for an event that night. Ironing is not my forté to say the least, but there I was with an iron in the fashion cupboard of Cosmopolitan. Luckily I didn't burn the dress.

Lunchtime came and went (I sat and ate my homemade sweet potato soup then DID have my hot shower - it felt like heaven) and then it was 5:30 and time to go home, but the returns mountain didn't seem any smaller.

I was consoled however, when Natasha, one of the fashion assistants, asked me if I was busy this evening or whether I wanted to come to a fashion show for Fearne Cotton's new range for Very. Hmm... go home and sit in my flat eating yet more soup (I managed to make about a gallon of the stuff) or go to a fashion show... Difficult decision...

Unfortunately I wasn't really dressed for a fashion show - I remembered how tiring working at Cosmo is so had worn my trusty flat pumps - but Natasha kindly leant me a pair of heels, I whacked on some red lippy and figured that would have to do.

What an evening. When we arrived at the building we were met by a buzzing crowd of well-dressed fashionistas and gorgeous waiters handing around pink bellinis with rose petals floating on the surface. (Finally seeing some muscly heterosexual males, and even better, males who were serving me alcohol, did I must admit, make my day. I go to fashion college. You get the idea...) I stuck with Robyn and we milled around until she unexpectedly spotted a friend of hers who we bee-lined for through the crowd. Coincidentally this side of the room was also where Craig David was hanging out. Robyn's friend plucked up the courage to ask for a photo with him and he came over and chatted to us and I was overcome with how friendly and nice he was.

Next it was time for the fashion show to start so we all headed for the catwalk. I was sat behind Louise Court (editor of Cosmopolitan) and Alesha Dixon and opposite Reggie Yates (who I think I have actually fallen in love with purely for his smile). As the lights went down and the show started I could feel my blood racing - other than the staged shows at London Fashion Weekend this was my first proper fashion show. I was in my element.

When it came to the clothes themselves, I was pleasantly surprised. Very is a brand I would never usually think to shop from, but I spotted several things I really liked, including a sheer maxi dress with a patterned fabric showing through underneath. However my favourite part of the show was actually the specs the models were wearing, and their hair and make up. They didn't look quite real, the mounds of soft hair bobbing as they walked.

When the show was over Fearne Cotton came onto the catwalk to make a speech and to thank everyone for coming. I never used to be her biggest fan finding her slightly irritating, but I now take back my preconceptions of her; she actually seemed a genuine, lovely person. And, depressingly, absolutely stunning. She was wearing a floor-skimming soft blue dress with a low back, and her light brown hair fell in soft waves around her face. So jealous.

After the show Robyn and I headed to the Reiss flagship store for a fashion week party, whilst Natasha and her friends went to a different do that they couldn't get us tickets for. With Robyn by my side I didn't mind turning up alone, and being met with champagne on the door certainly helped the mood. Inside people milled around the shop with drinks, all arty, fabulously dressed people. Although we didn't know anyone I had a good evening. I spent most of the time people watching and imagining myself as part of this world in 5 or 10 years time.

Then it was back home, and eventually I was in my bed at Bethnal Green, happy as can be.


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