Having always been influenced by fashion and currently working in retail, when the opportunity arose to become a stylist for ELLE magazine – my manager at NEXT was quick to recommend I enter. Shop Girl To Stylist aims to discover untapped talent working in high street retailers and see if they have what it takes to work at ELLE magazine. For me, having always wanted to work at a fashion magazine – this seemed an incredibly exciting prospect. I swiftly entered a picture of an outfit I’d styled along with a comprehensive application.
There were only 25 semi-finalist positions and out of hundreds of hopefuls, I was lucky enough to be chosen. There was no time to celebrate however as each semi-finalist was sent a briefing pack detailing the next task. I was to choose an Autumn/Winter 2010 trend of my choice for a photoshoot and using it, create a moodboard and photographer’s brief to present to a judging panel. I studied the current trends and decided to take an unconvential approach – creating a narrative. What I found prominent was this notion of ‘the woman‘, pragmatic, utilitarian and above all – outdoorsy. So I called upon trends that complimented this – capes, aviator jackets, faux fur and fair isle knits and subsequently organised them into micro trends – Cape Crusader, Spirited Shearling, Intrepid Imitation and Alpine Adventurer. The name of my presentation? ‘Woman On A Mission’.
I produced a moodboard full of location shots, catwalk images and my own sketches. These conveyed the ‘look and feel’ of the potential shoot. On the reverse I compiled fabric swatches alongside products and accessories that complimented the overall style.
On the day of the presentation, I was really nervous. Not only did I have the ELLE team to impress and the glaring eyes of four fellow contestants on me – Susie Bubble, blogger and style guru was also there to bear witness! Myself and the other four were the first of a week’s worth of presentations and it could have gone either way. Thankfully, I experienced a wild bout of nerve-induced verbal diarrhea and my presentation went much better than I’d expected.
Just over a month later, I received the phonecall. I had secured my position in the final top ten! Very soon I will be completing my final task – a live styling challenge in front of super-stylist Arianne Phillips, model and ELLE contributing editor Ben Grimes, accessories designer Katie Hillier and fashion designer Giles Deacon! For added pressure, Lily Allen is also set to make an appearance as the twist in the competition unfolds. Not only does the winner get to work as a stylist for ELLE magazine, they also get to lend their retail expertise to Lily Allen’s vintage line – Lucy In Disguise.
I’ll let you know how it goes!