Saturday, 30 August 2008

Katlin asks...

The following question came from Katlin:
"Is it okay to put your blog address on a resume, what are your thoughts on this? I've felt the urge to because I do think that it shows my knowledge of fashion and it's related parts and also shows what type of work I can produce, visually and written. It does have some semi-private things (like drinking, eek), but I try to keep most of that stuff off since everyone reads blogs these days!"

This is a really valid question and one we've been asked before. But the answer isn't straightforward. Blogs are personal and even the ones that are heavily fashion-centric usually have a bit of personal stuff in the mix, after all, that's what makes us relate to them. The problem is that resumes tend to be general and a bit of a shot in the dark - we rarely know the person who is going to read it, and so how do we know if they'll like or *get* our blog? Some people see it as a risk putting their blog on a resume as it's almost like letting someone see the real 'you' and of course, in a professional capacity, we don't always want people to see the real 'us'! And yet, having a blog is such a plus point, it's a shame not to share it.

I guess the happy medium is to treat each case separately. Think about who you're sending your resume to and if you're happy with your blog at that point in time. Really, you should be proud of your blog and if you're not maybe you need to snazz it up, update it more frequently or ask yourself if you're still committed to it. On the other hand, if you have no doubt that your blog is the best thing since Fashionista, then by all means make it public. At the end of the day, if you can't big yourself up on your resume, where can you?

Monday, 25 August 2008

Back to Black

Admittedly, when we first saw the new YSL black lip we gulped, ew, who's gonna wear that? But give it a few months and we're getting used to the idea. And we reckon it will become the cult look of the new season. Not surprisingly, YSL thinks so too, hence it's releasing its limited edition YSL Gloss Pur Black, a thick syrupy onyx-hued gloss without the merest hint of sparkle. Believe it, this is serious make-up. Pre-order it now or regret it forever.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

What's on our radar this week: Monogramming

Much has been made of Miu Miu's leather initial pins that the models wore on the a/w catwalk. We want to wear our initials too! So we're thinking monogramming -sweaters, underwear, pyjamas. And while we're at it, why not luggage, notepaper and pillowcases? Towels! Wallets! Or a monogrammed hankie. Would it be cool to wear one in a T-shirt pocket? Or just wrong?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

At last!

Just as the preppie-punk look reaches its tipping point we bring you the news that Urban Outfitters will be selling the original and best Bass Weejun loafers for autumn/winter. Perfect for teaming with plaid kilts, woolly tights and a boyfriend-sized stripy mohair sweater.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

How to get started as a fashion journalist/editor

This comment came from 'Meagan' after Discotheque Confusion posted an interview with Navaz:

"As a regular reader of Discotheque Confusion, and a hopeful future editor, I was very excited to read your post. I'm 16, and living in Toronto. I currently volunteer at a local newspaper, blog, write for The Fashion Spot, and am applying to Ryerson University's journalism program (one of the best in North America, and the best in Canada). I was wondering if you could help me out with some questions I have?"

Meagan: I know you talked about this briefly in the interview, but what matters more, when it really comes down to it: Creative directing abilites, or writing skills? I haven't taken any art courses, but I certainly have an eye for styling, but I'm unable to design myself. However, my writing skills are very strong - but are they that relevant? I feel like without the art school cred, I'll go nowhere!

Navaz: Hi Meagan! Personally, I wouldn't get hung up on 'art school cred'. Experience is all when it comes to breaking into this industry and as you've no doubt heard, at the beginning it's who you know, not what you know, although skill and knowledge come into play once you're through that door. Is your blog nicely laid out? Brush up on your Photoshop skills to show off your talents. Even making a physical scrapbook can show that you have 'the eye', otherwise what do people go on? Having said that, your letter/email of introduction is your calling card and for that you need writing skills. The great thing about being a good writer is that you can use that skill to write an engaging first email to whoever you want to work for. That gives you the edge over the person who writes a bog standard email/letter (please don't forget to Spellcheck it).

I've realised over the years that the creative part of styling can actually be learnt although I'd never have thought so. But I've seen people who didn't have much of a clue learn to be creative almost by soaking up their surroundings. This isn't relevant to you as you're already creative but don't rest on those laurels as others can sneak up behind you! Also, until you've actually worked in a fashion closet you don't know if you'd really like the job of a stylist. You may in fact decide to be a fashion writer instead. A fashion writer still works on a magazine/newspaper but is based in the office all day researching and writing instead of schlepping suitcases around and attending PR showrooms. It sounds like you're doing everything right. Volunteering and blogging show passion, while The Fashion Spot is useful for making contacts. You're only 16, I think you've made a great start!

Meagan: Do you know of any other online resources that I could write for? I'm unconcerned with being paid, I just want to get published more!

Navaz: is a UK online publication worth investigating but it's better to find local ones as you can get more involved. Try some underground Canadian magazines, they're sure to have websites that will need contributors.

Meagan: FASHION Magazine, one of the biggest fashion magazines in Canada, offers an unpaid internship program, with one term in the summer. Would it be wise to participate/apply for it, for next summer, before I go off to University? Do you have any other advice to offer as to how to impress someone at a big fashion magazine, and how to stand out from other applicants?

Navaz: It would definitely make sense to apply to Fashion Magazine. I always think it's worth calling up and speaking to a real live person before you email. That way you can ask all your questions and in your email you can mention the fact that you spoke to them. This makes you more memorable, plus it's human nature to want to reply to someone that sends you a personal email. I think it's worth calling now to ask when is the best time to apply for next summer. Timing can be crucial as some editors like to book people way in advance whereas others like to wait til nearer the time. If you know their preference you can apply accordingly. Don't forget to call a couple of days later to check the application was received. If you refer to a specific reason why you like their magazine ('I always read your 'spy' section'/ 'I love the denim feature you wrote in the current issue' etc) it shows you genuinely like that magazine as opposed to giving an 'I just need a job' vibe. Don't be afraid to suck up a bit, just don't sound fake!

Meagan: How important is a knowledge of the fashion industry? I've heard of Devil Wears Prada situations where people with no passion for fashion get dream positions in the industry... I mean, obviously a passion for the field helps, but is it that important? I'm not sure if this is a dumb question or not...

Navaz: At 16 I don't think you'll be expected to know all the jargon and industry stuff straight off but you'll be expected to listen and learn and pick things up quickly. Fashion people are impatient and haven't got time to babysit interns so pay attention to whatever you're doing. That is the best way to learn. There are well-connected types who get great fashion jobs because they're somebody's daughter or whatever but there's no point worrying about that. Show your passion and work hard, that's all you need to do.

Meagan: How could I better my knowledge of fashion? For my age, I'd consider myself extremely informed of the industry, history and current trends (not to toot my own horn or anything....) But I'd love to really feel more confident in my knowledge of the industry.

Navaz: Read blogs like a Fashionista and Jezebel. Also check out the blog regularly. These are full of industry gossip and are a great way to pick up knowledge while keeping it fun. The Business of Fashion blog is good if you want to know more about the business side because it's written in a very engaging and non-fusty way and talks about fashion and the industry all over the world.

Meagan: How do you make important connections with industry professionals at a young age?

Navaz: I suggest calling a few senior fashion assistants or junior fashion editors and asking if you can have fifteen minutes of their time for a chat. Out of ten people you approach, you might get a yes from one of them. In your chat you can ask them how they got their job, what advice they have for you and crucially, if they know anyone else you can see. You then see that person and go through the routine again. Each time you'll make a further contact. It's then up to you to keep in touch with them!

Meagan: Any help you could offer would mean the world to me! I've heard every single sort of 'million girls would die for this' cliche when it comes to the fashion industry, but I am really willing to work myself to the bone for my dream!

Navaz: You've got a great attitude. If you can be prepared for a few obstacles and moments of self-doubt along the way then you're already on the road to success. Best of luck!


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Jethro Cave

New model alert! Yep, another one from the 'offspring of famous people' school of modelling, it's Jethro Cave...son of Nick. Cool, no?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Henry hearts Alexa

Having seen Henry Holland's presenting efforts on, it was only a matter of time before he nabbed a TV slot of his own. And whaddaya know, he's hooked up with lady Alexa of Chung to front a weekly fashion programme for T4. Frock Me promises to 'take a tongue-in-cheek insider's look at a different youth culture trend each week, with comment and advice on everything from club chic to sportswear.' Let's hope it's better than Gok's Fashion Fix, eh?

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Rachel Zoe Project

Only two days to go before The Rachel Zoe Project airs on Bravo. People, it's a goodie! You can watch a preview here.
How annoying are those assistants! And does anyone else think RZ sounds like a robot?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

How to wear statement accessories

The new season is just around the corner and the big news is that clothes are out and accessories are in! Actually, please take that with a pinch of salt 'cause we loathe those 'what's hot, what's not' directives. But it's kind of true, statement accessories are the things to invest in. It makes sense if you think about it. While the world is suffering financially, we're practicing chic-onomics which means spending more on clothes that will last more than one season and getting our fashion hits from fun statement accessories. Here's our rundown.

A lot of the clothing trends can be recycled from last autumn so fish out those mini sweater dresses but give them a rethink with some fierce footwear. Peep-toe boots are the 'who's gonna wear that' red herring of the season - trust us, you'll be loving them by November. As trousers hover around the ankle so statement heels are more on show than ever. Patent fetish shoes are numero uno on the trend-o-meter, with lace-up shoe-boots a close second.

We love kitsch when it comes to bags so let's forget reality for a moment and focus on impractical bags. Small, red and doll-like is on our radar - try the Lulu Guinness perspex lips clutch or the heart-shaped minaudiere from Faith.

Who knew the humble headscarf would become the accessory biggie for autumn? Certainly not us but we salute Domenico and Stefano for taking the risk with their silken headwear for D&G. Of course, not many of us will be rocking the Queen Liz look. But that's the beauty of the silk scarf, it doesn't need to be tied under the chin, it can be worn in a bow atop the head a la Amy Winehouse, as a neckerchief Agyness stylee or tied bourgeois-babe style around the strap of your (wish it was) Hermes handbag. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Another fabulous trend to try in the face of financial reining-in. Coloured opaques kicked off last autumn but this year they go mainstream. Which means more choice and cheaper prices. Bingo! Swap your safe black opaques for purple or magenta to add a power-packed punch to this year's grey marl and stealth black outfits. Or do your own version of paint mixing with yellow tights layered over red to make orange - a new take on the old two-for-the-price-of-one deal. Not creative enough? You can always try DIY laddered tights over contrasting opaques for your own spin on the haute-punk trend.

Statement jewellery has become, like make-up before it, something you wear to celebrate feeling good about yourself. It also works as a pick-me-up when you're feeling blah (try it, it works). Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy went overboard with his many-strand gold chain necklaces but you can make an equally strong statement with an heirloom necklace worn with a £5 Breton tee a la Alexa Chung. Don't stop there though, load up on multiple bangles (on both arms!) and a handful of Lagerfeld-style rings.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

How To Get Ahead In Fashion

Our blogging buddy Stevie at Discotheque Confusion has put up an interview with Navaz on how to get on the first rung of the fashion industry ladder. She's going to be interviewing other industry insiders too so keep checking in.

To read Navaz's tips, check here and if you have any more questions or want to ask Donna how to become a beauty editor, leave your questions in the comment box.
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