I have recently returned from a week long fashion internship in Paris and have had the greatest time. I don’t remember the last time I felt so happy in all honesty. This experience has confirmed to me that fashion is what I want to do and that it is the place for me.
It was for market week with an American designer so basically it consisted of setting up the showroom (racks and lights et al), hanging and steaming the clothing, merchandising the collection (well, we were told where everything was to go but pretty much memorise it and make sure everything looked PERFECT), dressing the models (who eat constantly and do not puke it up afterwards, for all of those who believe that lies) and general tidying, drink making etc, you know the usual stuff to expect from an internship.
What I loved most, beside the clothes and the super friendly models – one of whom was the child of a 70s supermodel and fashion queen – was getting to meet people who had the same interests as I do. I have very few friends at home who give a shit about fashion, like real fashion (not just clothes). None of them care about models, designers, magazines or whatnot, just like to buy clothes to wear at the weekend. I don’t blame them for this and they are all good to have as friends in other ways (like a hell of a good time!!) but to finally meet people who did care about and appreciate fashion was wonderful.
The dresses that we worked with were so beautifully crafted, all made in the USA. The construction of them was insane. For the big gowns there was an inside hook (similar to a bra strap), an inner corset with a long zip, an outer zip and a clasp at the top to keep it all together. Underneath the skirt of the dresses were layers and layers of tulle and taffeta and some of the dresses weighed about as much as me. To get in and out of them required help from 2 interns at once. The gowns looked impossible to walk in but I am reliably informed by one of the models who is also on the design team that they are easy enough once you’re in them and that the layers underneath are designed so you don’t trip up.
The days were super long and not all of the interns lasted the full time; I did though as there was no way in hell that I would be leaving. They did however buy us pizza which went down a treat with us interns and models alike. The internship was unpaid, as most are, but the work we were doing was essential to the running of market. If it weren’t for us, nothing would’ve run smoothly. However, I don’t grudge the lack of pay as the knowledge that I have learnt the past week is enough to compensate. Not just knowledge on clothing and how to handle it, but more than that, more like life skills.
There were so many girls there who had went to uni/college and done degrees in the wrong subject (when I say wrong I mean not fashion) and were having to start from scratch aged 24/25. I wouldn’t like to be working unpaid at that age so it helped me realise that I need to do the right thing from the start and that I also cannot be work-shy. There’s no point in having multiple degrees under your belt if you don’t have the experience to back it up.
This has turned into a sort-of life lesson post, its initial aim was to just include some pretty pictures of Paris and the clothes.
As I have said, this experience was invaluable to me and learning from others’ mistakes has helped me decide on the path which I want my life to follow. I now have it confirmed that fashion is for me and it is where I plan to stay.
Perhaps one day we could be working together?