Saturday, 14 September 2013

A cheeky spot of shopping..

Today I booked the day off work so I could catch up on sleep and relax for the whole weekend. I remembered I still had some of my birthday vouchers left which I hadn't touched, and needed to exchange some stuff, so some retail therapy was needed! Unfortunetly all the train travel in the last few weeks had drained my bank account, so I only popped along to the shops where I knew I had money to spend. Here's what I picked up..


Jumper - £34

Now, I went on a bit of a spree in Topshop. Buying any clothing from there is a HUGE treat for me, as for the last few months I haven't spent over about £15 on an item (being a primark lover and all that) so when I go into Topshop the prices are always a bit of a shock, and put me off. My boyfriend bought me a £50 gift card thought for my birthday, so I was excited that I could spend it on some bits guilt free! I saw this fluffy jumper and I just fell in love with it. It's alot more pink in real life, and is a gorgeous pastel peachy colour. Not to mention it's so fluffy and soft.. what's there not to love?! I was a bit disappointed it's cropped, but with some high waisted bits It'll look great and still be warm. I can imagine i'll be stroking myself in lectures this semester wearing this...

Tunic dress - £29

I don't know why but this just caught my eye.. I really like the simple style and print that will last a good few seasons, making the price tag worth it! Although it's petite, it's still a really good length on me, and the shape means I could dress it up, down, and get alot of wear out of it hopefully! I can imagine it with tights and a chunky jacket for winter, then bare legs and sandals in the summer.

Ring - £2.50

Bargain ring! It looks a lot nicer in real life than on this photo, but it's a pretty pastel iridescent stone. Will be great with all the pastels coming in this season!

Necklace - £5

I wanted a simple long chain necklace as all my other ones have broken, and being in a very girly mood after picking my pink fluffy jumper, I decided on this tiny heart locket one. It's really simple and will go with everything, and be a nice change from all the statement necklaces I've been wearing recently!

(All prices before my student discount, I didn't spend THAT much, sorry mum!!) I managed to spend ALL my vouchers.. oopsy! But hopefully these key bits will all be good additions to my wardrobe this winter! :)


I had a couple of bits to exchange, which I did for these two lovely things:

Skirt - £10
Jumper - £8

I think I'm starting to  have a thing for jumpers.. I love winter pieces so much easier to style, so I'm excited for all this knitwear to come in now the colder weather is here. I'd had my eye on this white long sleeved one for a while. It fits perfectly and is just about long enough to team with some leggings, white is a good colour too for any accessories. I also really loved this skirt, it's not my usual style but it kind of reminded me of an autumn version of aztec/a boho style piece I can wear. I think it'll look great with tights and a plain tee. I was doing VERY well in primark, and put many many items down before I overspent. Then it was my mistake to take a quick look at the coats and found this beauty...

Coat - £25
(a cheeky store shot I sent to my mother for approval!)

I just instantly loved this coat/jacket? I'm not really sure what it is to be honest. It's thick material, but isn't lined, which means it perfect for this inbetween weather before it gets really cold. I love the oversized boyfriend jacket look, and this grey fabric is bang on trend of a/w. I don't think I could have designed a more perfect coat for me! I know £25 is really cheap for any sort of outerwear, but right now it was a bit of cheeky buy, but I fell in love and just could not leave it in the shop. It was also the last in my size so that's kind of fate, right?! Thank goodness student loans are on their way in soon!!

I shouldn't have bought this but it was an impulse buy at a till. I also loved the peachy colour! Ooopsssyy.

Right, no more shopping till loans are in!!

Ted Baker: Week 1

There's no rest for the wicked they say.. If you read my blog you may remember I managed to secure a place working at Ted Baker for two weeks through university, where they actually looked at my management and marketing report, and me and two other girls from the year got placements. The piece of work was one of the biggest I'd done so far, and was very stressful, so to hear that the brand actually liked it made me feel incredibly happy! They wanted me for two weeks, and with only 3 weeks till I went back to uni after LOOK, I knew i'd have to squeeze it in before I head back to uni. I had a weekend to relax before on Monday I started a new venture, with new trains, tubes and routes to 'The Ugly Brown Building' in Camden where TB is based. (Yep, it's really called that, and yes, it is a big ugly brown building!)

I'd been staying with my boyfriend's relatives in London whilst at LOOK, but they couldn't let me stay for these two weeks, so I decided to commute from Southampton. Mad I hear you say.. well not  as mad as the fact I couldn't get ANY accommodation in London for less than a weekly rail card would cost (£150, ouchh!!) But then again, that is all my return journeys and unlimited tube. I have to get the train for an hour and 10 minutes, then it's a 15 minute tube and a short walk. I've discovered it's not actually that bad either, I think my body is getting more used to the early mornings and long train journeys. I get up about 6am and get in at 8pm.. So yeah a very long day but so so worth it! I usually fall asleep on the trains too so that's fine! It just makes it worse now that it's pitch black when I wake up, and getting dark when I get home, and also freezing cold some mornings! Is it just me or has it suddenly turned to autumn overnight in the UK?!

Anyway. The night before I started I was mega excited but also really nervous. As i'd done a while project on TB I knew everything, from their financials, to their customer, to their products, everything, and actually came to really love the brand and what it stands for. I felt as if I was going to Santa's grotto at Christmas, going to their head office to see how everything was run! I was mainly nervous about the travelling, and the fact I was going to be in the buying department, which I'd never experienced before, and I had no idea what a buyer actually did really!?

For the first day I opted for a smart dress, ankle boots and a blazer. I had no idea what the dress code was so I decided to go smart. The traveling actually went fine, I left plenty of time and I'm used to Waterloo and all the tubes now, and the office was really easy to find (very easy to find in fact, it has a giant lobster on the door!)

 It was the weirdest thing entering the building. There was a man at a small table, bright green walls, and bits and bobs everywhere. There was even a moving robotic dog that I actually thought was real!!
A quick snap I took of the reception area when I was leaving one day! :

He told me to head to the 3rd floor reception, so I headed for the lifts. Inside was loads and loads of lit up buttons, each which made a different noise when you pressed them! I was definitely entertained by this!!

At this point I thought wow, I love their head office already!! TB is such a quirky brand and so far I had not been disappointed. As I got the the 3rd floor I was confronted with a huge, open plan office, that was on a balcony to the canteen downstairs. I'd never seen any office like it, there was music playing in the background and it was full of hustle and bustle. I signed a visitors book, and was greeting by Rosie, who is a womenswear buyer. It seemed very manic, I was taken to a row of desks and introduced to alot of people in a short space of time! The first thing I did was drop my stuff off at a spare computer, and then went to the first floor, which is where the production department were based. It seemed like I had dressed a little too smart as everyone was actually dressed quite casual! There's me thinking everyone would be top to toe in TB!

 I was taken to a room FULL of clothes and accessories.. I was very excited to see all these beautiful clothes! TB is an expensive designer brand, but their products are always so gorgeous and beautifully made. I was introduced to a couple of others I would be working with, and was told there was a meeting in a few minutes, so I had to sort out some rails of clothing ASAP. It was all very 'chucked in at the deep end' but I tried my best to be helpful! I was ushered out of the room when the meeting began, and headed back upstairs. It was all very busy and I was slightly overwhelmed! Here are a few snaps of inside the building..

I know this is strange, but the ladies toilets were also really crazy! Including barbies on the walls..

You can see the all the plumbing behind a plastic wall, mad! And there's even a notepad and pen for doodles if you get bored.. 

On my first day I was taught how to use a program called 'cims' which the buyers use to enter products into their system. At first I majorly panicked at numbers are not my strong point, and this program used loads of buttons, codes and typing. After a while though I got the hang of it, and was given a number of design sketches and details to enter for A/W 14. These were basic, mocked up designs, which had been given a name, factory, and description which I had to enter in. (Yes they really do work that far ahead!) I had quite a few to do, so I was just getting the hang of this computer system really. The morning went really quick, and before I knew it about 1pm  they took me for lunch.. this is what I was excited about! It was freeeee!! Yes free food! Can you imagine anything better!? We went down the steps to the canteen (I say 'canteen' but it's a lovely open plan space with beautiful wooden tables and chairs.) and queued up for lunch. I was amazed, they had soup, as well as a meat, fish and vegetarian option, as well as loads of extras you could pile onto your plate. I opted for salmon, rice and some veg! It was lovely to get a proper lunch instead of being sad about your squished, warm sandwich you bought in from home.. Every day lunch has beena  highlight, and I have eaten like a pig this last week with dessert every day! (Hey, i'm commuting two hours each way, I THINK i'm burning it off haha.)They also have free breakfast if you get there early enough every day, so you can make yourself some toast, on friday I even had a sausage sandwich! Another thing I really liked was that all the girls from the department sat together on a big table, but on my first day I was still quite nervous and got on with eating, but its nice to be involved with the others! 

I LOVE these mugs so much!!

I got an hour lunch which I spent the rest of sat at my desk on my phone, there isn't really many places you can go outside of the office as it's on such a random street! My first day on Monday was quite good, because after lunch I got to sit in the 'Best Sales' meeting, where everyone from womenswear over viewed what was selling, what wasn't, and why. I didn't understand most of the financials and numbers being called out very fast, but it was so great to sit back and take it all in, and see how a fashion brand actually works. I'm working till 6 which is a very long day, but my first week has whizzed by!

 For the rest of the week I've been on cims and working on excel to help them out with entering styles and costs, and finding out all about their role in the company. One day I got shown around the showrooms, which are rooms dressed like mini shops, filled with current and next season clothing and accessories that companies can come and visit, and pick what they want to sell. I even got a sneaky peek and the spring/summer 2014 collection that has already been made and being photographed soon. I can't tell you what it was full of though as I signed a confidentiality agreement and it's all very hush hush, but it looks as if their new collection will not disappoint! I've been doing little odd jobs too, such as filing, and towards the end of the week they were running out of jobs for me! I started doing some research on the new spring/summer 14 trends and made a few mood boards for the buying team. 

I've found out that they get 75% off Ted Baker products, (wowee) and can even 'hire' out pieces for an event or just to wear, then give back after, how amazing is that! Sounds like such a great place to work!   

It's been a very tiring week, but I love being in the Ted Baker office, it's such a great atmosphere, all the girls are really lovely, and I'm learning alot about what buyers do. It's surprisingly alot more financials, codes and costings than I expected, but at least I'm getting the experience, and then I can decide weather it's something I'd be interested in doing in the future. I hope you enjoyed my update and all the pics of the Ted Baker HQ, I'll let you know how my second (and last, phew) week of work experience goes..

My final week at LOOK magazine

Hi all! Hope everyone is well, I have abandoned my blog for a while as I have been craaazy busy. I've been doing work experience full time for 4 weeks now (it's crazy tiring!) and my weekends have been crammed packed with all the things I don't have time for in the week, such as shopping, bumming out in front of the telly and seeing my boyfriend! It's been a huge change from the usual student summer life. I've found though it's got me thinking more realistically about my future job and what I'd like to do when I leave uni which is good, and discovering more about what the industry is really like. I'd encourage anyone studying fashion to get as much experience as you can before you graduate as I think it'll help in future!
I've now finished at LOOK magazine, and started at the one and only TED BAKER! More on that later... but I thought I'd do a catch up post about my last week at LOOK.

On Monday morning I had some lovely new girls in the office, and was set the role as 'head intern'(!) by them, as I taught them all the jobs I'd been doing and what was what. They all picked it up real quick, and the fashion cupboards looked really great as we cleared them out during the week. It was lovely to meet a new set of girls all the same age as me with a similar interest in fashion. I never really thought about the fact I'd be meeting so many new people during work experience, but it has been so fab, I have met so many lovely girls who I hope to keep in contact with!

During the week I met up with my friend Beth, who (very luckily!) got a full time job in London as a graphic designer literally weeks after graduating! I say lucky as in she got a job in an area which she loves so fast after leaving uni, I'm sure that's unhaerd of for many! We chose an ASK at London Bridge as she had found a voucher.. even earning a full time wage she's still in student mode of finding vouchers and money off places, London is expensive! I don't think I'd ever actually been there before this week, and turned into a tourist at the sight of the Thames and the amazing view of the London sky line and the bridge.

What a view rightt?! It looks so amazing at night all lit up! We had a great dinner with an amazing veiw, I love that I got to see a different part of London just for the evening!

It definitely tested my boss skills teaching the other girls what to do, and it was a good week working with all of them! I had my usual duties such as writing credits for outfits, sending back returns, sending emails and making phone calls, one of the days I full tidied one of the fashion cupboards for a good hour or so, which was great, you know when sorting and cleaning just makes you feel good?! All in all it was a busy week filled with jobs, on my last day I was given the stressful task of making store appointments for one of the stylists down Oxford street. Easy right? Well, no not really, as I had to made sure she went from one end of the road to the other, which meant making many many many phone calls (and even more to cancel/re arrange appointments) to the stores, and arranging suitable times! It was a bit of a nightmare but it all managed to come together by the time I had to go home!

All my notes and maps on everything.. I tell you what, I was surprised with how much responsibility they gave me to make sure all the stylists appointments were booked for the following Monday! 

 My last day came around crazy fast and I was proud to let the other girls take over for the next few weeks! Although I did treat myself to fish and chips for lunch from the canteen.. to save money I'd been bringing in my own food for all 3 weeks, which did get boring after a while. The canteen did not disappoint!

Yumm :) I felt quite sad leaving as I had really enjoyed my time there and got to know everyone, but I said i'd love to return at some point if they needed anyone!

She even gave me a few beauty bits as a thank you, which I was really touched by! I was mega excited to find some revlon bits in there! Very excited indeed! :) This week on Tuesday I rushed to a local shop as I knew the shoot I assisted on was going to be printed, and I was dead chuffed to find my name printed alongside the images that were printed! It was very strange that I was looking at a photo shoot where I had met the model, dressed her in the clothing, and been there the whole time when they were taking the photos! It looked really great printed up, and they had picked the best images! If you buy this week's LOOK (it's a huge fashion issue for just £1.80, what a bargain!) check out the shoot 'Check Republic', my name is on the last page in the fold! On the first page where you can see a laundry bag in the corner, I even had to run out and buy that. I felt very proud haha.

This will be so great for my portfolio, and I'm really thankful that they mentioned me! I would recommend work experience at LOOK to anyone. It was simple to get, I've met lots of great people that work there, including stylists, fashion writers, and of course not to mention all the other lovely interns! It can be boring and tiring at times, I found that I had to just 'get on' with alot of jobs, at first I was so nervous about making any phone calls, but by the end I was making about 20 a day to different brands and important companies, you just get used to it! I was surprised how stressed I got some days, where I felt like certain jobs were my responsibility, but it has been a great experience that has given me a taste of what working at a fashion magazine is all about! It was not as glamourous and all high heels and freebies, but it's taught me so much about what working at LOOK would be like. I would certainly go back if they'd have me!

Now... off to see what Ted Baker has in store for me! :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

My 2nd week at LOOK magazine

Technically this would have been my 3rd week of interning at LOOK magazine, but last monday evening after a day's work, I fell ill and had to take the week off. I had been feeling iffy for a while, and after a weekend-long headache I ended up throwing up all night for no reason - nice huh?! I think I had had something for a while, and the exhaustion of commuting and stress just knocked me down at a bad time! I spent the week at home with my mum cooking me proper meals, and resting and relaxing over the bank holiday weekend and I felt so much better getting back into things on Tuesday!

On my first day back they asked me if I wanted to go on a shoot, which I jumped at! I was even more excited as it was going to be the main fashion editorial shoot, rather than one of the smaller features in the magazine. In preparation for the shoot, I had to note down all the outfits that had been styled ready for the photo shoot, and where they were from and how much they were if they had prices on. I then had to type these up ready for when the feature was being put together, and told it was my responsibility to note down any outfit/accessory changes and made sure the final list was correct. I also packed all the outfits away in suitcases ready to be taken to the studio the next day.

I was majorly excited, but a bit nervous as I had to meet the stylist Sabrina at the studio at 9am. This involved getting different tubes and walking to somewhere I'd never been in central London! The tube I did get was absolutely crammed pack of commuters and was a bit of a struggle as I squeezed in, I really didn't want to have to wait for another and be late. The tubes took alot longer than I expected, and when I got out of the station it was already 9am, oops! I gave the stylist a text and hoped she really wasn't too mad! I got into such a panic I ended up lost for about 10 minutes before finally finding the studio, and arrived hot and bothered at 9.20 am. 
When I walked into this top floor open plan studio it all felt very surreal! It was an amazing, huge open plan floor with loads of different props, backdrops, windows, dressing room and hair and make up area, and a kitchen/lounge area. There was music playing in the background, people chilling around a table with breakfast bits on, and everyone seemed really relaxed and chilled out. I introduced myself to Sabrina who luckily was really lovely and said it wasn't a problem I was late (thank goodness as I'm usually 100% on time and didn't want to seem unreliable!), and was also introduced to the photographer. Here are a few cheeky snaps I took..

My first task of the day was to unpack the clothes and outfits, as well as a pile of stuff they had bought in that was 'extra' for any last minute changes.

Sabrina then sent me out on a quick errand. I was told to get shoe insoles as the model had small feet, and all the shoes were 6/7's, and also a checked laundry bag. Yep, you heard me right. The theme of the shoot was 'Ladylike Checks' and was an autumn/winter shoot. Bags which looked similar to those cheapy checked bags you get from pound shops had been seen on the catwalks, so she wanted me to get one to use in the shoot! I was unsure where to go, but she handed me cash and directed me to a small town of shops. I luckily found the right things and she was thankful I'd got the right items!

The next hour or so I was there was spent steaming the clothes and making sure everything was crease-free and perfect. The model had her hair and make up done, and I was told to 'help dress her'. I mean, she was a normal girl and could dress herself, but my job was more to get the next outfit ready, help her in and out of the clothes without too much damage to her bouncy hair, and to do any buttons/buckles or fiddly bits. I also helped Sabrina pin the clothes which were too big, and clip belts and things into place to make sure the outfit looked perfect.

After that there wasn't much else to do but to sit back and grab anything the stylist needed to alter anything whilst shooting. I stood back and just watched everyone work. It was so interesting to see how a professional model and photographer worked, and made me think about what I could do different in my own photo shoots at uni! The images taken went straight onto a screen, so I just sat and watched everything happen. 

The model was stunning, and of course, being a little run about work experience girl made me slightly nervous, but amazingly was just a normal girl who chatted with me, and thanked me for helping her with some of the tricky pieces of clothing and shoes. I actually felt quite sorry for her, on a hot day she was being dressed up in layers of jumpers and coats! 

There were 8 people all together, the hair stylist, and make up stylist, the photographer and her assistant, the stylist, me, and a man who viewed and edited the images. and I felt really privileged to be there and see it all happen. It was funny to see the make up and hair stylist run in every 5 minutes or so, touching up her lipstick and combing and fluffing up her hair. They even applied skin make up to her hands and knees.. the photographs looked amazing and so professional. 

At around 2pm we stopped for lunch, and the studio provided us all with an amazing lunch of roast chicken, potatoes, salad and roasted corgettes, along with a cheese cake for afters. After all the running around I wolfed this down as I was starving!

The afternoon was pretty much the same kind of stuff, and I dressed the model after every outfit had been shot. I found everyone was really chilled out and there was a nice atmosphere. She apologized that I was sat there alot of the day on the side lines, but I just found it really exciting to watch!

At the end of the day I packed up all the clothing and accessories, and labelled it all to be sent back to the LOOK office. I thanked Sabrina for letting me be there, and she said she was surprised it was the first time I'd ever done anything like this, as I was really helpful and fast dressing the model, which was really nice to hear. After a long day I finished about 6pm and headed home. I was shattered and fell straight asleep, but I was so thankful and excited about the whole experience.

The rest of the week back at the office involved emailing lots of brands about prices of clothes that hadn't been realized yet, making phone calls, and organizing and sorting returns.

The shoot is due to be printed in LOOK in 3 week's time so keep and eye out for it, hopefully my name will be mentioned somewhere! I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience this week, even though I was running about and doing the smallest of jobs, people really do appreciate it, and in return I got to experience my first professional photo shoot.