As I finish up another month at FLARE it seems that my summer has glamourously rushed by (and I have the blisters to prove it). Organizing clothes, helping on photo shoots, assisting editors; my experience at FLARE has been invaluable, fun and I truly feel like part of the team.
When I started at FLARE I had no idea what to expect, but here’s what got me in the door. I’m a third year Ryerson fashion communications student and in my second year I had taken on as many challenges as I could, so I was glad to have lots of experience to draw from. I was president of the Ryerson Fashion Union and I wanted to do something unique and rewarding with my peers so I suggested a trip to New York. The response was overwhelming. Over 50 people wanted to come with us! It was nerve-wracking as I was in charge of arranging transportation, accommodations, meeting times and the itinerary. This included trips to the fashion exhibit at the Met and browsing designer boutiques in Soho, all on a small budget. It was a daunting task but empowering as everyone got there and back safely and had a great time.
Around the same time I was project manager of production and logistics for our second year fashion show entitled, ‘Original Sin’. I was to keep track of my group, organize meetings, design sets and take care of all the tiny little mundane things you would never think about when putting on a show, like who takes out the garbage and who feeds the crew! The show had to be set up in a very short time and through setbacks and hardships we put on a spectacular performance (if I do say so myself). I have never been more proud of my team members and myself.
I had to put a lot of faith in my team and vice versa and it is exactly the same at FLARE. Ten interns on varying schedules can get very confusing, but all my experience has taught me that being dependable is an enormous asset that can only be expected from others if you offer it yourself.
My experiences at school gave me the confidence to apply at FLARE and to take on any task assigned to me here. Being meticulous, paying attention to details, and being very organized are key traits to have and these skills transferred to my internship at FLARE and will help me succeed beyond. Interning at FLARE has given me the chance to put my university experience into practice in the real world – and to see first hand how much effort, teamwork and hard work is involved in creating a successful fashion magazine.
I came to FLARE with internship experience under my belt. However, this is my first exposure to editorial, as my previous involvement has all been with design houses such as Michael Kors and Proenza Schouler in NYC, where I went to school at Parsons. Upon graduation, I was always curious as to how the editorial side of fashion worked. As it turns out, there are many similarities, except in reverse—you are constantly working with the outside world to bring in clothes, and then sending them back. Working as a design house intern, we were sending clothes out to be publicized, and as an editorial fashion intern it is amazing to see how each piece is chosen and why. One very different aspect about editorial, from a designer’s point of view, was that you were always looking at the fashion world as a whole, instead of being a separate entity. It is very inspiring to constantly be working with a new designer every day, hour, and minute!
There’s nothing quite like the exciting frenzy and organized chaos of being a fashion intern. So when the opportunity arose to assist at FLARE’s Fall 2008 Fashion & Beauty Trend Presentation, I was eager to help out and catch a preview of what to expect for the upcoming season.
Most of my evening was spent clutching a clipboard, arranging gift bags, preparing seating, and monitoring the guest list. The hardest part was making it all look effortless after a hectic day requesting samples and organizing merchandise in the closet for an upcoming shoot! I was amazed at how quickly Birks on Bloor Street filled up with representatives from agencies, retail stores, and even law firms. Luckily, during any downtime, I was able to join them in watching Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Tant’s discussion of the inspiring looks for fall. Her detailed review of everything from fur coats to fringed boots (keeping in mind this was the middle of May!) emphasized FLARE’s knack for consistently staying one step ahead of the game. The event was definitely an eye-opening experience showcasing the great measures and efforts it takes to prepare for an upcoming season when you’re involved in fashion editorial.
I’ve imagined working at a fashion magazine since as far back as I can remember and my first day was nothing short of my high expectations. Thrown immediately into the whirlwind of the fashion closet, I was overwhelmed by the amount of amazing designer pieces. Platforms, pumps, gowns, camis, denim and endless amounts of jewelry graced the space within the room and created an atmosphere like no other. I quickly learned that, as an intern, my task in the fashion closet was straightforward; I was to keep track of incoming and outgoing merchandise borrowed for upcoming photo shoots. What I later learned on that memorable first day was the greatest upside of the job; assisting on the photo shoots we spent weeks preparing for. I was lucky enough to tag along with our market editor, Tammy Palmer, as she coordinated and styled a “She’s Got Flare” shoot. I watched as outfits were created and quickly learned that it’s not necessarily what you wear but more so how you wear it. It was amazing to see the way everything came together and to be on set for the shoot for a magazine I had spent so many years reading. Needless to say, I pinched myself a few times that day.
The past four months at Flare have produced, for me, way more highs than lows. It’s always great to get an advanced peek at upcoming trends and looks long before they come out in stores. I’ve also had the advantage of becoming familiar with up-and-coming Canadian designers, like Jeremy Laing and Arthur Mendonça, not to mention another major highlight of my internship; meeting and chatting with Project Runway Canada’s winner Evan Biddell.
Though, at times, it has been hard work, my time at FLARE has proven to be the opportunity of a lifetime and an experience I truly believe I could find nowhere else. To hopeful fashionistas looking to break into this industry, I recommend three personality ingredients: passion, patience and persistence.
Until next time…
As I enter my fourth month at FLARE (wow, time flies when you’re immersed in designer duds all day!), I have two celebrity photo shoots, one thousand paper cuts, and an ever-expanding wish list of unattainable fashion must-haves under my belt. Recently, I was able to add to my duties, or shall I say, perks, of being a fashion intern when I was asked to do an accessories “pull” at Over the Rainbow in Yorkville for an upcoming photo shoot.
This was the point in my internship where everything came full circle for me. I went from magazine reader to playing a role in its production, from flare.com obsessed to seeing my face splashed on its homepage. Instead of taking fashion advice from the magazine, I earned the chance to put my own fashion flavour into an issue of FLARE. As I paced the shop searching for the perfect items to match the “Behind-the-scenes: Old Hollywood” theme, I laid eyes on a fabulous silk rosette headband and plum Hunter boots, which were actually used on the shoot! So everyone, there’s more to being a fashion intern than slaving over beautiful couture all day long ;)… I’ve had the opportunity to share my own fashion taste with all of you. Who can complain about that? Lauren Michaels
As a senior fashion intern this past June I received the opportunity to go on a location shoot with FLARE in Alberta. I was incredibly excited to be given the opportunity and wondered what would be in store for me on this fashion journey. Working on set in studio here in Toronto can be challenging, however Alberta posed an entirely new set of obstacles. As we were shooting entirely outside our biggest problem even though it was the middle of June, was rain. Shooting outside while working out of a Winnebago means the entire outcome of the shoot is contingent on the cooperation of the weather. Responding to unpredicted Alberta rain turned out to be quite the adventure. Despite this natural obstacle the shots look incredible! All of our hard work and determination can be seen in the September issue in the fashion spread, Brave New World. Erin O’Brien
Introducing our fabulous FLARE fashion interns! Fashion interns work hard. It may seem glamourous (and occasionally it is) to intern for a fashion magazine. The truth is it’s a lot of grunt work. Long hours are spent logging in and out merchandise, long hours are spent assisting on set. The upside? Seeing high end designer frocks up close and months before they hit the stores, seeing how a magazine is put together and actually being an integral part of this process. These guys and gals accomplish their tasks with smiles and grace. My advice for those aspiring towards a fashion internship? A positive, helpful can-do attitude goes far. I am so proud and happy of the work our fashion interns do. Check back for their stories each week. Raquel Lowe
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