I recently spent some time at The Sun newspaper in London working with the fashion desk as their fashion intern. If you were following my little adventure on twitter, you’ll know that being a fashion intern has its perks – but is not without its drama’s! So on my first day I rolled up outside head office (after a rather long winded train journey) with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I stood outside Thomas More Square and can only describe it as like one of those scenes from a movie – looking up at this 12 storey skyscraper in awe wondering with curious fascination what awaited me behind those squeaky-clean mirrored doors.
The Sun was located on the eighth floor and after mastering the modern lift system with the help of a nice, chirpy young man from level 7 (there were no buttons in the lifts which proved confusing at first), I made my way up to meet the fashion team. The Sun spanned two levels, with each team sitting in their own section. Fashion was made up of six lovely ladies who welcomed me with open arms, giving me an outline of what to expect whilst I was interning with them. My main duties included keeping the fashion cupboard presentable and tidy and dealing with returns. I settled into my role quickly, the fashion cupboard becoming my little base for the duration of my stay. Fashion monitor proved useful when looking for the addresses of brands in order to send back samples and contact for high-res images. Whilst keeping the cupboard organised and controlled was my main priority, as is the main task of many fashion interns, it could get a bit tedious from time to time. However I knew what was expected of me before I started and rose to the challenge with an eagerness to learn and determination to always try my best.
If the cupboard was kept tidy, it also meant I was given more exciting tasks to get stuck into. I compiled ‘get the look’ features using IDS picture desk for celebrity information and scoured the web for the best pieces that would mimic that look – who wouldn’t like a bit of window shopping! I was also asked to write columns for micro trends, and loved this part of the job. It was really rewarding seeing my own ideas coming together on screen and I felt a sense of satisfaction once I’d completed a finished piece. I realised I really enjoyed writing about something I have great interest in, and only hope I can push this further and gain more experience in the future. I was extremely lucky to be given tasks and responsibilities like this, proving if you work hard it does pay off. You have to earn the trust and respect from the people you’re working for and at the end of the day you are an intern, and a fashion interns role is not as glamorous as it may seem on paper! If you want a career in fashion however, it is something you have to do at some point. Unless you’re lucky enough to have Stella McCartney, Anna Wintour and Karl Largerfield on speed dial.
One of the best things about my time at The Sun had to be assisting on the photoshoots. I was lucky enough to assist on two, the first with Fashion Assistant Leigh Williams and the second with Fashion Editor Saskia Quirke. Both shoots were very different and really opened my eyes to the industry, networking and building a team of creatives. I saw first hand the importance of planning, organisation and creative balance. The first shoot with Leigh consisted of three stories for the Monday fashion section – floral, leather and utility. I was able to see the effort that goes into planning a shoot from the point of a stylist, from requesting the samples all the way through to the finished product. On the day I met the team at the studios in Shoreditch – a bright, sunny space with a gorgeous rooftop ready for shooting. There was Leigh and myself, two photographers, a make-up artist and the two models. Firstly I was required to hang the clothes and steam them, making sure they were all co-ordinated into outfits and in order of the shoot. Florals was first and we shot on the roof, which meant carrying all required clothes, shoes and accessories up eight flights of stairs. I was glad it was just the one shoot on the roof and think I got my daily work out in the first half an hour! The model was naturally gorgeous and I watched in admiration (and with a little jealousy) as I dressed her in all these glorious outfits and watched her pose and prance her way into the pages of The Sun. The photographer was extremely talented and knew exactly what Leigh wanted, thus making sure each photo was picture-perfect.
The second story we shot was leather. Modelled by the lovely Ghana from Profile Model Management, whom incidentally I got on rather well with, it was a visual journey of pastel perfection with an edge. With her elegant posture and sophisticated presence, it was no wonder Ghana was scouted by Profile four years ago and now works as a model in her spare time whilst studying to become an actress. Learning lines in-between shots was obviously second nature to her. This story was perhaps my favourite as the outcome was something truly spectacular. The photographs oozed a high fashion flair with fun and sexy undertones and it was even more rewarding being a part of the journey from start to finish and knowing how that outcome was secured. The team all worked exceptionally well delivering their individual roles and helping to produce such wonderful work. It really made me see the importance of teamwork and how building creative friendships in industry is key to success.
The final story we shot was utility. A range of neutral and khaki tones, structured pieces and a gorgeous dusty pink Topshop mac that was to-die-for. Pool sliders also made a comeback and were used religiously throughout. What do you think of these behind the scenes shots?!
All in all this shoot was a great example of how stories come together for the likes of newspapers and magazines. Using mainly high-street fashion but shot with a high-fashion edge, it made the shoot really interesting to watch and I loved being a part of the journey from start to finish and seeing the outcome. I hadn’t been on a live shoot for a publication before this one, and it surpassed my expectations. What did you think of the stories? If you bought the paper or saw it from the photos above, I’d love to know your thoughts! Have any of you assisted on any shoots recently?
My experience as a fashion intern was definitely worthwhile and I loved every second of my time at The Sun, so much so I asked to stay another week; and they kindly let me carry on! I really enjoyed all the tasks I was given and it opened my eyes to the fast-paced world of working on the fashion desk at a popular publication. It truly was an incredible experience and one that strengthened my love for fashion and creative writing even more!
Have any of you had a memorable fashion intern experience?