29 April 2015

Working at The Vogue Festival

In case you're somehow not aware (I say "somehow" because I've plastered it everywhere - from my LinkedIn, to Facebook, to Twitter...), I've been interning at a little title known as Vogue. My internship just so happened to coincide with The Vogue Festival, so I offered up my services and helped out for the weekend. Here's what went down...

The Vogue Festival is kind of like Clothes Show Live, but chicer... and Fashion Week, but with talks instead of shows. This year the festival was split between the Royal College of Art and the Royal Geographical Society.

You purchase a ticket for each talk, and with your ticket you gain access to the foyer. Or, you just opt for a foyer pass. And what a foyer! 

This year you could get your hair primped by Headmasters using Kerastase products; make up by Bobbi Brown make up artists; a snazzy manicure by Topshop; and a mini facial by the lovely ladies at The Organic Pharmacy

New season nail colours from Topshop used for the Vogue manicures (from T-B: Heart of Gold, Adrenaline, Boy Next Door, Parma Violet and Green Room)

You could pay a bit extra and be made over a la Chanel, and pose with oh-my-god-am-I-really-allowed-to-touch-this Chanel jewellery, then take part in your very own Vogue cover shoot.

And if that wasn't enough, there was speed styling, t-shirt customisation by the likes of Bella Freud (below), Vogue "surgeries" by fashion and beauty editors to answer your burning questions, and a Vogue shop, selling books by speakers, makeup and hair products used on the day. If you got thirsty, there were mini bottles of champagne on sale at the Harrods Cafe at £13 a pop (which sold out halfway through Saturday afternoon, naturally).

Bella Freud customising Vogue t-shirts

Harrods Green Man cakepops - too cute!

Just in case you forgot where you were...

So where did I fit in to all this?

Well, I had the honour of acting as (unofficial) Oracle of Knowledge (i.e. working on the information desk) for the entirety of Saturday, and the latter half of Sunday. On Sunday morning I was Hydration Manager (handing out bottles of Fiji water to guests as they went into talks).

It doesn't sound like the most exciting role compared to say, VIP usher, or whatever, but I've always been happy in a customer facing role, pointing people in the right direction and giving them tips and suggestions.

Not to mention that being next to the entrance, the info desk was fantastic for a spot of people-watching!

Saturday's programme of events

When you go into a magazine office on a daily basis, you forget how important it is to some people; how much they adore the brand. To see people walk into the foyer and look genuinely excited but also slightly intimidated made me feel quite fuzzy inside. Because *I* was a part of this, albeit a seemingly insignificant part.

Saturday was pretty full on, but on Sunday I started my duties a little later, so I sat in on the beginning of Speed Styling hosted by Emily Sheffield (deputy editor), with Naomi Smart (junior style associate) and Julia Hobbs (junior fashion features associate). 

But not before I got a few all-important snaps...

In the Vogue shop - note the make up and hair products on display

I so wanted to take this home! Unfortunately it wasn't available to buy...

Aaand back to Speed Styling! Members of the audience volunteered to take part, and were given 3 minutes - hence the "speed" part of the activity - to style 2 looks from Office, Bohemian or City Weekend. At the end of the session, Emily, Naomi and Julia judged who's styling they thought was the most creative, and the winner received a Monica Vinader bracelet - not too shabby. To break the ice, Naomi and Julia went head-to-head first, and the audience judged (it was a draw!).

All of the clothes were brand-spanking new, so it was a sneak-peak into what will be coming into (admittedly, mostly high end) stores over the coming months. Eep!

 Emily Sheffield hosting Speed Styling

Naomi with Emily talking through her look, with Julia on the sidelines

I then assumed the important role of Hydration Manager with two other interns. We took the responsibility very seriously. In fact, the water was so beautifully displayed (#humblebrag) that no one wanted to disrupt the layout. That can only be a good thing, right?

Behold, the immaculately presented Fiji water!

The weekend had a few celeb appearances, too. On Saturday I papped designer Henry Holland, and managed to miss out on Jean Paul Gaultier, who casually strutted through the foyer like it was no big deal (!)

And on Sunday after her talk, Bobbi Brown made a visit to the Bobbi Brown make up counter and was utterly mobbed... She was tiny, so the crowd must have been pretty suffocating. However, she handled it like a complete trooper, with a little help from her (much needed) bodyguard.

I'm in denial about this, guys, but I missed Kate Upton, face of Bobbi Brown and who also happened to be in the talk. I KNOW. She visited the make up area a little while after and I was totally oblivious to it happening and then she was gone. A few people reported back to me that she is as curvaceous, lovely and smiley as she seems in all the magazines. Which is good, but, y'know, a selfie wouldn't have hurt.

#shamelessselfie, minus Kate Upton (s

I was oh-so fortunate to be offered a ticket to the last talk of the festival, with John Galliano, no less. Zoe, who had worked with me on the information desk (from the Conde Nast College) had a spare ticket, and she wanted me to experience a talk from the weekend.

IT WAS FANTASTIC. The audience gave a round of applause as he stepped on stage. Everyone was completely gripped by his softly spoken words and fascinated by his anecdotes, insights and incredible creative vision. Oh, to have an imagination as complex as John Galliano!

Alexandra Shulman introducing John Galliano, with his designs on stage

He was interviewed by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, and they discussed his new role as creative director of Maison Margiela, and his designs at Dior and his self-named label, John Galliano. He told the audience the importance of saying "no" - that you should only commit to the things you really want to. Saying no isn't a sign of weakness - which is what he once thought - but strength. Isn't that brilliant? I was so pleased to be in his presence, listen to his wisdom, and hear about the creative process. He seemed like a genuinely lovely man, and it's safe to say I ended the festival on a high.

And so at half past 7 on Sunday evening, after two 11 hour days, it was all over. Yes, I felt dead on my feet, but oh, it was fun.

*FYI: all pics were taken on my phone, so apologies for the unprofessional quality!


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