It has been a week since fashion week and it was probably my most favourite yet! I went down with the fab Motel girls as always and the sun was most definitely shining, making for a really cheerful atmosphere! I love spotting the celebs and saw so many reality stars; my favourite moment being metres away from Mollie King of The Saturdays at a show! I love The Sats so I felt like a super fangirl!
I wasn't too sure what to wear so I fitted in with what the other Motel girls wore by not choosing the same, and settled on my new Serena skirt. It doesn't seem to photograph so well unless you smooth it out, but it's a really cute little bodycon skirt with an almighty, ruffled peplum! This sparked a new peplum obsession so watch this space. I wore it with a new cropped sweater that isn't out yet but there are a few items in the print online, and I think I'll wear the Jolene dress to see Girls Aloud this week! I also wore my small Zara heels, shunning the traditional mega heels. Most bloggers always wear sunglasses like Ray Bans too which might make it easier to pose! It is very hard to do that natural street style pose so I was just smiling for every photo as it was genuinely such a fun fashion week!
I had a busy week last week and for once was struck down with a terrible cold! I have a suspicion it was freshers flu somehow, which is quite ironic as the memory of being a student is fading fast!
I sometimes head to London to visit the Motel Showroom if we have events or meetings, and last week we were filming for a special video *eeeek* and also it was the Motel Bloggers Night Out! We wanted to treat a few bloggers as the season changes and so we had a pamper session at the showroom with nails and hair, and then we were whisked away to Mahiki for cocktails and a karaoke sesh' in their aptly named No-Tell Motel! It was a miniature vintage faux hotel room with screens everywhere so you could sing in the shower and jump on the bed - it was like stepping into a museum set! You can read a little more about it here but thank you to bloggers Kim, Michelle, Fritha, Aisling, Rosie and Sammi for making it such a fun night! It was a true test for me as I was feeling so ill but I am a grafter and just got on with it; I love doing events!
H&M hat, Motel Rocks Jude Dress, Jeffrey Campbell Taupe Litas, Forever 21 stud double finger ring
I wore my Litas of course and borrowed the sample of the Jude Dress last minute! I love wearing blue now my hair is more of a deeper red and it really pops under the inky black lace of this dress, which we have in a few other styles too. I wore a dark berry lip but it would be fab with a Hollywood red pout I think! Psst we have free next day shipping and 25% off for students too this week at Motel so now is the time to place your order!
As our office for the Motel Rocks website (which has had an incredibleee makeover!) is in Bristol, we only went up to London for one day to get as much coverage as possible, and along with fellow office babes Lora, Sophie and Fran, there was a host of street teamers wearing Motel and style snapping too! I always recruit a big team so we have a little Motel army everywhere at Somerset House ready to capture everything!
We plan things MONTHS in advance at work (Christmas is under way already!) and so I've been thinking towards fashion week for ages, but only decided on my outfit the night before. As the Motel warehouse is in the Midlands, we excitedly order our favourites that we want to buy in the post too so I got a few things sent and settled on this matching crop top and skirt! The Carie Crop has straps that cross at the back so it's quite a unique shape from the from, and Kadie Skirts are super flattering circle skirts - I have the black too and there's a really cute one with stud crosses on!
I am a lover of crop tops and skirts, especially with Litas/any lace up boots, but I think I did subconsciously get this outfit idea because Tulisa wore it on an Alan Carr show! She's been wearing a tonne of Motel recently, but I love the New World print anyway as it mixes the cool lilac pastels with warmer orange and yellow. I borrowed this outfit as samples but I might keep it!
I also wore my new River Island leopard rucksack to clash prints - I got it as my pay day treat as I've been using my faux leather Topshop one for about 6 months! I of course wore my Litas too for comfort and I put on the H&M hat throughout the day as it got so sunny!
The first day always starts off quite calmly and I'd say this year there were fewer extreme outfits where people might showcase an insane hat of their own design or crazy shoes. There seemed to be a lot of random people who may have just stumbled across Somerset House and came in to have a look (including the best looking homeless guy we've ever seen who started talking to us), but of course there were also the masses of photographers, show go-ers and general fashionable people.
I also hung out with great bloggers Lily, Stella, Camille, Laura, Dina, Natalie, Rosie (are there any bloggers I haven't met yet?!), and a special shout out to Anouska (and her bf photographer!) who it was amazing to finally meet - one of the best bloggers to work with and such a friendly, humble girl!!
And here are a few little snaps of the day! I'd tell anyone to just get dressed up, go down and see who you meet and who you spot! It's also a great opportunity to hopefully get some professional photos of yourself, especially if like me you are not talented at taking good blog photos! Just make sure you ask for the details or a card of everyone who snaps you. I wish we were there for more days but it was hard enough to decide on one outfit!
I hope you had a fantastic Jubilee weekend! Mine was cut short as I volunteered to hit London on Tuesday for the final Jubilee procession! The Motel interns Katie, Taz and Sarah, student ambassadors Julie and Victoria, and myself were a mini Motel army of patriotic fun! We went armed with stickers, discount cards and only flags to keep us warm, and trooped down to Buckingham palace! Haha yes working in retail can take you to extremes.
We started at the showroom just off Oxford Street so going past Topshop and down Regent Street got a lot of looks and cheers from shoppers! I wanted to make sure Motel was at the Jubilee and what better way than to do a fashion flash mob-style stunt with us all in the famous Zoe Dress that we made in a neon or pastel union jack. A few of us were debating whether we actually would wear the dress over the weekend, but I thought if I saw a girl in the dress in a normal club, I would definitely look! But seeing the photos now, the colours are so lovely and the Zoe Dress is such a great shape that I half wish I did wear it on the weekend! We will definitely get them out for the Olympics!
At one point we were totally swarmed by about 50 tourists who wanted a million photos and we couldn't get away haha! We couldn't get into The Mall at the palace as it was full so we went to Hyde Park and got slightly drenched in the rain! But my favourite part was bumping into the Hollister boys and them calling over to us for photos (like we hadn't noticed them already!); I may need to frame them on my wall! Hellooooo! I definitely pressed those stickers firmly on their chests haha! Can you believe all these guys are from right here in England?
22nd. A piece of clothing or jewelry that was a gift
Evening all! This weekend has had loads of great happenings for me which is a bit out of the ordinary as usually I have zero plans unless I'm at home! Yesterday I was working at the Bloggers Boutique event in London, amazingly created and hosted by bloggers Shore, Shope and Amy. It was the perfect mix of a huge, airy, glass bar/restaurant with lots of seating and a host of fantastic brands to browse, including Motel! Motel girls Becky, Taz and I popped to the London showroom (with the most amazing stock of hundreds of Motel things!!) and crammed a rail, press board and collection into a black cab to be there with all the spring trends, and a sneak peek at the coming items and prints. I did a little talk on the prints and key items, but kept it short and sweet as it was great chatting to so many bloggers and seeing old blogging friends of years like Kristabel! Also congratulations to Aisling who won our little competition for a Motel goody bag; very pleased Taz picked her name out of the tote as she is awesome! A huge thank you to Shore, Amy and Shope for being amazing hosts, extremely welcoming and accommodating, and even giving us an incredible goody bag - we were happy girls!
Ahh aren't Becky and Taz total babes to the max!!! Thank you to Camilla for the lovely photo, check out her blog for utter loveliness!
I wore the new Rowena Dress in Fiji Print, which cheekily is my most-loved Zoe Dress but with cut outs at the back! I also wore my Litas and they were absolute comfort for the whole day and journey back, where I finally went into Monki on Carnaby Street (and died of a broken heart that it's not payday yet!) and to The Diner - tattoo and hard milkshake heaven!! Shout out to seeing Hayley on the train too! We had had a great time and the event was such a success, so we went out in Bristol to celebrate straight after to a super humid club with So Solid Crew and Artful Dodger hahaha! It was uncomfirmed where the people on stage ever actually were part of those groups but it was hilarious! Also when we got to my house to throw on some lashes and new outfits, my housemate was back getting changed too and her friend said 'oh my god, I have your shoes too!' about my Litas. She asked me how much mine were (£100) she started boasting about how I must be so gutted as hers were only £30 from Boohoo, and she had no idea what Jeffrey Campbells were but hers were totally the same. Haha! Welllll my friend: they are totally not the same (fake pink plastic with a lower heel and wrong looking platform) and I would much rather walk round in the real deal even if they cost more, which I was happy to pay!! Each to their own I guess, I hope your fashion senses would be tingling if that happened to you about your most beloved items haha!
I spent the day reading magazines in the park, not feeling very hungover at all, and have been sorting my washing and bedroom this afternoon. I left the said park when a baby bird pooed on my arm though - I hope that is good luck as I broke a mirror this week too!!! Don't sit under trees is the new rule! Sharing is caring.
I am sooo excited for the bank holiday this weekend and then it's a month until Wireless, which sadly means I can't see some great Midlands bloggers - of which in the last blogger meet up, I won this Lulu Guinness necklace for being best dressed! That was unexpected! I don't often get bought jewellery or clothing as I have a set thing I'm always looking for, so this is my answer to the question as it's such a lovely prize. It's perfect with my Motel lipstick print body!
I feel like the most rushed around girl in the world at the moment but the absolute whirlwind highlight of my week so far was the amazing Company Style Blogger Awards! I only headed to London to literally hit the awards and head back but it was the most perfectly polished event on in a long time that had no agenda but to have fun and celebrate blogging. I have to pick and choose any blog events carefully as I don't have a lot of my own free time now I'm in full time work, but I had time for a quick spruce up before hopping on the train to debut my new Litas and my newest Motel dress! Of course I generally would pick out Motel to wear to any event hehe but I think I am in true love with this dress! It's the Goldie and there are a few more colours too, and it's so damn flattering with the long sleeves and curved paneling to sneakily emphasise a smaller waist. We've called the colour periwinkle blue but it could almost be dubbed a lilac or mauve (and I was extra swayed by Kendall Jenner wearing it too!!!). There's not many colours that look great with red hair but I think this is one! I did have a bra drama as you can slightly see it at the side so I opted for a new seamless H&M nude one I just got - very handy. By the way I do actually buy all my own Motel things with my own money (haha I can't blog gift myself!) so if I wear it and haven't got bored of seeing it for months before the collections hit the shops, it's definitely love! We currently have up to the June collection samples in the office and I am dying for summer!
And the Litas! I can confirm they are SO easy to walk in and comfortable, it's unreal. Your foot is very flat so they don't feel like heels at all, and they are very light so you don't actually notice them on your feet! The only thing is that the front is slightly curved upwards so sometimes you do rock forwards, which is a bit dangerous when dashing up or down tube escalators. I need to get some suede spray before I wear them next just in case and I'm not quite sure if I like them with socks or not. The ones I wore are coral lace but they look a bit like school socks in the photo haha!
I saw so many of my blogger favourites that I'd be afraid to mention them all and leave someone out! It was like fashion blogger soup, with a familiar face and smile at every turn. I had a lovely chat and browse of the New Look collection with Florrie and Pearl, and I didn't realise how beautifully coordinated our outfit shades were until seeing the above photo!
Congratulations to all the night's winners! I had a hold of one of the awards and they were serious glass jobbies, practically Oscar worthy! Company had some really lovely touches to the event and I know how hard it is to event plan and make everything works together! Even the lighting down to the Pink Pigeon Mauritian Mule cocktails were seamlessly chic.
I had a good ruffle through the New Look SS12 collection showcased downstairs and spurred by my recent New Look splurge below, I saw many a thing I liked! I might go and hunt these neon skinnies as, true to my lifelong habits, in spring for some reason I start wearing jeans and trousers. No idea why but it's always the same! I really fancy this neon peach/orange pair but an also eyeing lilac and neon green! I'll have to try them on and hope for a dream fit. Give me everything candy this spring!! I had a lovely chat with their press team too as it's always great to talk to other fashion industry peeps - I feel quite far away from it all in Bristol!
And so it was a dash across the tube where I bumped into Milly who helped steer me in the right direction (and wore Motel too woo!) and then off home! I went to the (superbly hot) dentist today and turns out my wisdom teeth were getting infected so now I'm in on antibiotics instead of out partying, sob!! It felt like the weirdest day and has been a long week so I'm going home to Birmingham tomorrow yay. Have a great weekend all!x
Hi everyone! I currently have very straight hair as I finally used a Groupon voucher today for a keratin treatment on my day off! I was toying between just having the afternoon off but I've been so busy recently that I really need a break!! Hopefully there will be a 2012 holiday for my friends and I!
Last Saturday I spoke at The Only Way Is Blogging on the PR panel! My job is not strictly PR as in-house marketing really differs in the way that I have to be more sales focused than brand focused, and I'm the blogger lady at Motel. If you are considering a marketing career, it's an interesting thought to really home in your applications as, if you like figures, analytics and strategy then I'd look towards marketing but if you're more brand value/image/ethics related then I'd look towards PR.
I had no idea what to expect and was really worried I'd say something silly but answering all the questions was really fun! I hope people don't feel blogging is scary as really your blog is yours so you should do whatever you fancy! My favourite blogs are about people, not retail/products/brands/sponsors, but that's just what's on my reader. I love reading new blogs and the more down to earth and personal, the better in my eyes!
I was in London again for Social Media Week, which had mostly free talks and seminars held by Google, Nokia, and all sorts of companies in the industry. Students were welcome too so if you're career savvy right now, you should look out for events like these! I ideally would have gone to many but as I live in Bristol, I could only really pop over for one day. I met loads of people and put forward lots of comments which is something I would never have done in lectures in the past. As I'm with Motel for longer, I'm really growing in confidence with representing myself and feeling the fear but doing it anyway! Talking in front of 100 or so bloggers at TOWIB was nothing but rewarding!
I was on Twitter on the train that morning and spotted a tweet about the more! Media Network event from Lauren of The Cosmetics Kitten who had a spare ticket. The event sold out really quickly and Lauren kindly gave it me so I attended that in the evening, thank you Lauren!! About 30 girls (funny how there were no boys) 'speed dated' every member of the more! magazine team, from the editor to the intern, chatting for two minutes about absolutely anything, although of course a lot was career related. It was great to meet other people within the fashion industry and they seemed like the tightest knit team! I asked about how they all balanced their creative inputs and it seems they all know the more! voice so it flows perfectly. There were also jobs in sectors you wouldn't necessarily know of that are worth exploring such as advertising and sales, which I know there are lots of graduate jobs for in publishing. From chatting to the girls around me it seemed everyone thought the event was so valuable and we all got a really fantastic goody bag too. No random perfume samples here! The nu: notebook was a lovely touch as the event was aimed towards journalism.
Then there was fashion week! Oh wait no, first there was the Motel Sample Sale! Often as Motel is such a small team, we all chip into adhoc events and I helped at the sample sale in our London showroom on the Thursday. If you're thinking 'What sample sale?!?! Why wasn't I there!' then you are not following Motel on Facebook or Twitter, which are both run by me! I am the one sitting there writing all the blurb and running the competitions and Fiver Friday. Yes, on a Friday we make a few items only £5! They typically sell out in about 15 minutes so keep your eyes peeled.
Ok enough about Facebook, but the sample sale had hundreds of things from £3, including things online right now for £50+, so it's totally worth the visit next time! If you're wondering what a sample sale exactly is, although you may know this, a few months before each collection launches (we have eight a year at Motel) we get to see the first 'draft' of every item (usually around 50). Then the buyers choose what's in, what's out, what needs to be changed, or what needs to be added in a different print/colour (usually prints at Motel!) and then they go into full production. We then have time to plan how we are going to show them to Motel fans! As samples aren't always the final finished garment, we cannot sell them along with all the stock, so we hold a sample sale! That's why there are unique, exclusive items that never went into production.
I don't mind mucking in and was flyering on Oxford Street at one point and basically saw everyone I've ever met in my whole life!!! How embarrassing haha! Some dude even offered me a job flyering for his club and I was like 'I have a job!!' Still, the next day chic points had to be high as we hit fashion week! I had lots of help from my babelicious interns and a few of Motel's student ambassadors, who flaunted Motel like a dream team all across Somerset House! These lovely girlies have blogs too so from left to right is Laura, Melita, Sarah and Katie, and shout out to unpictured Taz who had ah-mazing American flag Litas!
We went to a few shows (Felder Felder above - yay for earthy rust colours, they definitely suit my hair!!) and had lots of celeb spots, the best being Pixie Lott who said she loved Motel! I was a total lurker and asked for a picture too, mostly to show my brother who has one of her more leggy snaps as his iPod background. She is gorge!
And this is what I wore, photographed by Motel's photographer and web team-er Lora and above student ambassador Melita! The dress is Motel but it's er, not actually online yet! The print is of a clouded poppy field with a scuba neckline, so cool, with the Freya Fur Coat (<< that's Motel's outlet shop). I also wore my Miu Miu tea cup shoes of course! I was going to go for creepers but when else am I going to wear these shoes?!
Hi all! I didn't think I'd be doing so many posts today but all this free time is really boring! I've emptied my GoogleReader, watched all my YouTube subscriptions, and sorted my whole room! What else is there to do?! Actually I have three issues worth of my Elle subscription to catch up on and I'm thinking the July cover will go straight up on my wall right next to Rosie for LOVE magazine and Britney on POP. I've been wanting to write the post about my mini trip to Spain for the past WEEKS but any motivation to blog had to be channelled right back into revision. Thank you for all the lovely and helpful comments on my last post already, I'm looking forward to Bristol so much!
So the event was around two weeks ago and just before, I got an email from the Pull & Bear team asking if I wanted to be part of their party at the store in Plaza de Lugon in A Coruña, Spain. My housemate studies Spanish and was like go for it, and I was like hmmm I have exams the week after, but you can't say no to an opportunity like that as there would never be a similar one again! Many people wonder how bloggers get to go to events but usually I think 'ooo I haven't had a crazy cool blog email recently' and then some kind of amazing opportunity will pop up in my inbox, it's just very random. I think the P&B team were looking for a very 'English' blogger, which sounds a bit funny but I think with my hair colour and the sort of thing I usually wear would contrast against cool Spanish style. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound strange!
I'd never been to a Pull & Bear store in my life, I only knew they belonged to Inditex who also own ZARA, and judging by their website I knew the party would be super cool and very fashion, darling! There were various famous bloggers DJing (more on that later!!) and my task was to dress a male (!) model in the window in a style challenge against an Italian blogger. I, of course, know nothing of male style but I know how I'd like a guy to dress and thought it would be fun! When I was checking out the blogs of the other guests, they are all very much party bloggers who do appearances at events and work with brands a lot, so very different to my style but I thought if I went with loads of enthusiasm and confidence then it would be a great night!
I got two planes there in the end and wore some palazzo trousers from New Look and my Wildfox white t-shirt. The palazzo trousers were super comfy to fly in though I tripped once up a step, doh! I recorded my outfits in the video at the very bottom of this post. I travelled back and forth to Sweden when I studied there sooo many times so I am very used to flying by myself, and my housemate and I were discussing how we feel like international women of mystery when we do! I had to avoid all the airport makeup concessions like my life depended on it and soon enough I was in Spain where I had a driver to take me to the hotel! I felt like a total celeb!
I had a little think before the trip of which shops would be there that aren't in the UK, and I hoped there would be a Sephora in town! I got to the hotel but the internet in the room was super slow and I needed some food so I took a little walk around the town. It was about 9pm and I spotted a few people with Sephora bags, so I asked in a few places for directions and found it right next door! As I walked in, a lady started talking to me in Spanish and I was like 'Ahhh I don't speak Spanish I'm afraid!' She said it was a private party and true to form, the place was heaving and there were drinks and nibbles hovering around. I made my way to leave but then a man told me it was a discount party and I could shop away! I'm thinking it was for Sephora club members but it worked out great for me as I had my eye on the Make Up For Ever HD foundation that Kim Kardashian uses. I talk about the foundation in a video of all the clothes and products I picked up over there here, as sadly I'm not too fussed with the foundation, but I was very excited to get it.
After browsing around the store, I wandered around looking for any supermarket open that late. These huge bugs were in the Zara window! When I asked people, I kept being pointed in the direction of the supermarket Open Cor, but to me it looked like a car shop from the outside so I didn't go in until the fifth time I passed it, haha!
I saw this shop when it was shut and couldn't find it again the next day, damn!! I cannot quit my hair-bow addiction I'm afraid! Also as I was walking around, I spotted the Pull & Bear store right by my hotel. I did an extreme double take because in the window was my name and my blog!!!
Now that was weird! So the next day I went down to the Pull & Bear store to pick out my three men's outfits for the window dressing competition later that night. The Pull & Bear team were the loveliest and most hard working I've ever met!! Haha they said they liked the way I always started videos by saying 'Hi guys'! and everyone at home found that hilarious as my housemates totally make fun of me for saying hi guys! and say I should say 'guys, hi' one time, haha!
See the pink dress on the right? I bought that, it's in my haul video! On the day I wore a new Wildfox ouija board t-shirt from the Doll Boutique sale and my French Connection flared jeans, which I got two years ago! Reminds me, I am definitely breaking them out tomorrow, I love flared jeans. I wore my Weekday leopard wedges with them too as they are so comfy.
The Italian blogger I was up against in the challenge hadn't arrived yet so I got my pick of the store! It was difficult to choose men's outfits but I love all the bright striped stuff out at the moment. I got a candy striped dress from ASOS and it didn't fit, but I saw one by Red Herring in Debenhams of all places so I might go check that out!
As soon as I got to the store, Diego of the P&B team took me to meet the models we were dressing in the window. I was imagining some Spanish man (omg!) and I met one model at the changing rooms. Now if you've ever seen or spoke to a real model in real life, you'll know that looking at them is almost hypnotising! I said hi to the model (it's all kisses on both cheeks in Spain) and he said 'ah, my brother', pointing towards the changing rooms, and I was like oh, the other model is your brother, cool! But turns out they were identical twins! I was like wow, it's like double beautiful vision! I was meant to pick between them but I couldn't, how could I?! They flipped a coin in the end and I got Daniel. Check out their Facebook!
Then the P&B team said I could pick out an outfit from the store to wear to the party! I'd spent some time thinking of an outfit before I travelled (it was going to be a lace River Island dress) but it almost made it easier to pick out an outfit from there as I could choose something I was totally in the mood for that night. P&B is like the TRF range in Zara as it's all bright colours, cute dresses, and summer essentials. In Spain, it makes so much sense, it's all clothes ready for a beach party! I picked out a little summer dress, a little bit Katy Perry style I thought, with wedges and loads of jewellery. It's in the video! I popped back to the hotel, loaded up on huge lashes, and it was time for the party!
I got to the party in good time and didn't know what to do with myself yet so I went and sat with the twins. I made a little video of them, it's in the video at the end of this post. They couldn't speak much English and I speak no Spanish so communication was so funny all night, haha! Turns out they were from Cuba and only 17, aww! They sort of seemed like a cute Jedward! Soon enough the party started filling up and everyone was hitting the mojito bar; that's the long queue in the photo! I started talking to another person making an appearance at the event, illustrator Brianda Fitz-James Stuart, who commissioned illustrations for the Pull and Bear bags, and had some for sale in-store that night; they're in the photo below. She is lovely and so talented, do check out her site! We had breakfast together the next day at the hotel, she has such cool style.
I soon met my 'rival', Andrea Ravieli, who had just came straight from the airport but was ready to party hard! He persuaded me to sample the mojitos! The other bloggers there were Gala Gonzalez and Miranda Makaroff who did a great DJ set, I think many of the people in store came to meet them as they are so famous! Even I was like omg, a bit star struck! I ended up being in a taxi to the airport with Gala the next day and I was just thinking 'omg! it's Gala'. Also there was Gerard Estadella snapping photos, so the high quality photos below were by him! He is one of those cool photography bloggers who take photos just of clubs and parties, I didn't feel cool enough to be in them haha!
I had my studded nails and two members of the lovely Pull and Bear team had fab nail art for the night too! Loving their efforts!
This is Gala and Miranda DJing as 'The Jenifols'; a little later I said hi to Miranda and that I liked her hair colour! She was dancing all night like no one was watching, she totally brought the party! In fact just being in Spain makes you want to party.
Soon enough it was time for me to get into the window (that sounds weird!) with my model! The purpose was for people outside in the street to stick big pink crosses on the window of the look they liked best. In the end there was a big rail of clothes and I just asked Daniel which he liked! We had to get the crowd to vote for us so he was dancing and blowing kisses to all the admiring girls outside and I was waving and smiling, trying to bring more stickers! We won the first round and Andrea won the second, and in the end the final round had about a thousand stickers on the window so we called it a draw! For one outfit I put Daniel in jeans and just stuck the tshirt in the back pocket, haha! The girls outside loved it.
This was when we lost the second round haha!
And this was my job for the evening!
And soon after was the twins trying to get me to salsa dance and many more mojitos, and then party was over! There was the band Mendetz too and some sort of famous motorbike team at the store, so it was a huge event. Here's a video of the night which makes it look amazing, I can't believe I was there! See if you can spot me! Haha this of course isn't my video, it's by Alex Antolino:
So cool! You can check out interviews with all the bloggers on the P&B Pull the Metal blog. The next day I had some time before check out and my flight home so I asked for directions but could literally smell my way to the beach. It was beautiful! I sat there for about half an hour in the sand as the waves were too choppy for a dip and it wasn't really hot enough, but I love beaches. When I went on many family holidays to Weymouth when I was a child, I used to sit in the tide and pretend I was a mermaid!
So all in all a world wind trip! Below is my fellow blogger Andrea and a compare who got the crowd going. The night was a feast for the eyes, I'm sure you'll agree!
Below is the vlogs and outfits I filmed over the weekend, ah I had such a good time! I know there are Pull and Bears in London, Liverpool and Northern Ireland, and now I'll always have a little soft spot for them! Thank you to the whole lovely Pull and Bear team, and I hope you enjoyed the post xx
I went to a career networking event on Tuesday and have some great tips if you're interested in working in fashion or journalism. I was invited through my blog but you could apply as a student to go as it was hosted by Elevation Networks, a charity that gives people a hand in getting on the career ladder and meeting members of top, relevant organisations. I'm not aiming to be a journalist but I would like to work in publishing and marketing, and the event was at NatMag's HQ so I had to check it out! Among the speakers were Sir Terry Mansfield, Doreen Adusei MBE of Fashionworks (an agency that also helps foster talent in the fashion industry), and Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. Also, Richard Bradbury, the former Chief Exec. of River Island, was the guest speaker, so it seemed fateful that I should go as I work there! I always turn down press events as they're in London but this was a careers event, so nothing promotional, just all useful. I hope you find these tips helpful if you're hoping to work in the industry, as I know many of you are.
So I hopped on the train to London after my Tuesday lectures and almost nearly got scammed as an innocent tourist-type when a random man behind me in the tube ticket queue offered me his day ticket for a few pounds as he'd bought one for the wrong zones by mistake. Just before I went through the barriers I thought, 'oh no, this could just be a fake ticket and I'm on The Real Hustle or something!' but it was a real ticket, which shows I am very naive or nicely trustworthy, haha!
The reception of the building was full of keen looking students, quite obvious that they were all into fashion, some dressed up to the nines in huge heels. The event took a while to get started as the waiting room was too small to fit every attendee in, of which there were only about 50! I was expecting a large lecture theatre but the venue was a very small room, and I was sat three rows from the front, with only four chairs in each row. You may have seen my internship guide from some placements I had last year, and I noted a girl behind me in the queue have a conversation on the phone that went something like, 'Well I'm meant to be doing a six month internship for *** company but I've quit after two months, I thought: I'm not doing your admin work anymore, I want to be a fashion editor, not an office worker.' That's not the attitude to have, as many of the speakers said!
After some of the members of Elevation Networks introduced the event (and we had to do a cringy task where you found someone in the room who you had something in common with), Sir Terry Mansfield, the former president of the National Magazine Company (Cosmopolitan, Company, Harpers, etc), gave a talk. He stressed the importance of being multiskilled, and how photography, editing and admin (note to the girl mentioned above!) skills are crucial to a role in media, and your CV should reflect that. At NatMag, they look for people who can translate their creativity into skills they can bring to the workplace, so on your CV, rather than stating you're a team player or you have an eye for style, give evidence of this by naming times you worked in a group and projects you have created. Sir Terry said that design is the centre of technology and the gravity of the fashion world, and that without talent and style, we would "just have buildings, chairs, and a bit of technology", which I think is a great quote. Sometimes it's hard to show a degree involving textiles lives up to other degrees, despite mine being a Bachelors of Science.
Then Louise Court was introduced, and she gave some fabulously friendly tips, and further confirmed in everyone's mind that working on a fashion magazine would be an amazing job. And one of the first things she said was about interns who refused to do work like copying up a transcript for a meeting because it was 'below' them or because they 'had a degree', which again made me think of that phone conversation I overheard when queueing at the entrance! You must realise there is so much to learn and be humble that you have the internship in the first place. The best view of the industry is from the base level of it. I don't know why people would complain as I felt extremely lucky and excited to be interning at fashion companies, even if I was just ironing or addressing envelopes! And I'm not under the impression that internships are readily available or easy to get either; surely you're very lucky if you are getting experience like that. I had to pay to stay and live in London while doing my voluntary placements for over a month- that's how happy I felt to be there! If you already live in/near London and are lucky enough to score an internship, be grateful!
Anyway, Louise also spoke a little about Cosmo on Campus, the free mag they're distributing around Unis. A girl in front of me nodded her head when she mentioned it, and Louise asked her what she thought! If I was put on the spot like that, my mind would have probably gone blank, but the girl gave a great answer and Louise was really keen to get the feedback. They know that the market is so segmented nowadays and a special mag targeting Uni students is a great idea, although some of the tips like 'Don't use Wikipedia as a reference in essays' are hopefully known by all already! And apparently they got the idea for Cosmo on Campus from Korean Cosmo at a global Cosmopolitan event, how cool! Louise discussed how blogs were relevant to magazines too and that the staff write blogs now, which made me smile!
The next speaker was from T.M.Lewin (I'm afraid the lady wasn't in the programme so I don't know her name!) and she was the best public speaker ever. T.M.Lewin is a smart clothing brand selling shirts and suits, so the talk was about making an impression at an interview. The lady herself was a great example of her point as she was dressed in a simple shirt and skirt suit, with her hair tied back and minimal makeup, yet she really stood out because her personality shone right through. She stressed how you should be making the impression at an interview, not your outfit, and said how we would have all thought 'ooh check her heels, check her earrings' if she'd rocked up in designer labels, but at that moment we were simply concentrating on her. She said it was better to eliminate negativity, such as accessories or shoes that could be a bit distracting or brash, rather than try to add loads of quirky things and go a bit wrong. I felt most of us at the event cringe a little as we must have all put a fair bit of thought into our outfits that morning, and many people had flashy bags and lots of makeup.
More tips came from Doreen Adusei of Fashionworks, who showed there are always ways to foster your ambitions, and Nanette Gibb, the head of human resources (recruitment!) at NatMag. She spoke about getting your CV into shape by highlighting your USP (unique selling point)- we all have one! If you're at Uni, utilise your careers centre as I know the one at Manchester is really great. She gave four other points for your CV; to match what you list in your CV with the requirements of the job role, to do your homework on the company you're applying to and know where you'd fit in, to not be afraid to be creative with your application, especially if you're applying for a design or styling role (submit work or make a magazine cover mock up), and ensure your CV is transparent, with no sweeping statements and inaccurate spelling or grammar.
Then Richard Bradbury chatted about his time at River Island and how the fashion industry is so changeable and even volatile, and that people buy certain magazines because they believe in the brand. You must be aware of external market changes for each industry as they can make an impact, so wise up on current affairs when you go for an interview, or better yet, be constantly in the know!
After the event was a Q&A session where some people put great questions to the speakers, like how they managed their stressful work load and how you should apply for work without being annoyingly keen, and others asked confusing questions about things like social fluidity (?) that no one really understood! As soon as the event finished, most people rushed to the front to talk to the speakers but I had to get back on the last train to Manchester. All in all, it was the sort of event that you leave with ideas and inspiration buzzing in your head, and it really spurred me on in my own applications for when I graduate soon. I'm not going out this weekend in hope I'll complete the research for my dissertation, so wish me luck! I went to Sainsbury's earlier and stocked up on treats for this hibernation indoors so I'm very prepared! Hope these tips helped someone out there and you too have a nice weekend xx