Friday, 20 April 2012

The Vogue Festival

Back down to reality as I sit in my room with the rain beating across the windows, miles away from the world I was just in. This morning's Vogue Festival has thankfully secured my dream of being involved in such a creative, passionate and wondrous industry. Though I've read Vogue for about five years now,  along with other fashion publications, I've never really realised that that world is so far from my real world. I see exquisitely dressed people on the webpages of The Sartorialist and in the pages of these fashion magazines but I'm not actually accustomed to seeing people in the flesh wearing Chanel suits, Stella McCartney skirts and Richard Nicholl dresses. Being the only one of my friends and the people around me who wants to work in the industry, I never really saw for my own eyes the competitiveness of this industry that everybody always drones on about. As I sit listening to Christopher Bailey and think to myself "I will work at Burberry when I'm older", I wonder how many other people are thinking the same thing.

First up was Christopher Bailey (the reason why I bought the ticket), introduced by editor Alexandra Shulman, and I was literally just blown away  by this man. It's extremely refreshing when someone so successful who has achieved so much in his career can be so humble and inspiring. You can immediately tell that he is not motivated by profit, but by creativity, collaboration and innovation. He stated that his team is probably what he is most proud of since working at Burberry and it is clearly that positive energy that has made Burberry into more than just a fashion brand, it's a British gem that brings fashion, music, film and much more together.
I'm about to write a piece on him for my student paper which I'll post on here so I won't go on too much, but I think I will remember how that talk and how his passion spurred me to be involved in the industry. I sincerely hope that if I'm lucky enough to work at Burberry in the future, that man is still at the helm.

Even though I would have had happily listened to Bailey for the whole 4 hour session, the next talk was equally enlightening. Four industry experts, Lucinda Chambers, Matthew Williamson, Marigay McKee and Russell Marsh, spoke about their careers in My Fashion Life. Unfortunately due to the length of the session, Matthew Williamson in particular had to cut his speech short - that was probably the biggest let down of the day. Interestingly, most of the speakers hadn't planned to be in the industry and sort of fell into it - wasn't sure if I was supposed to find that comforting or not. Nigella Lawson's Women and Food talk felt a little bit out of place as fashion clearly isn't her forte. It was interesting nonetheless but I would have preferred the second session to be longer so that the speakers could have finished their speeches - Williamson got cut off just as he was talking about setting up his company.

I was bitterly disappointed that there were no more tickets available for the afternoon session which featured Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and a discussion between Stella McCartney and Kate Hudson - the decision between McCartney and Bailey was excruciating but I am still pretty glad I opted for the latter.

All in all, a pretty fantastic day that has confirmed this is the industry for me. I've recently been considering marketing for the Film Industry, something that I still believe would fascinate me, but fashion has been such a huge part of my life since that first issue of Vogue in June 2007 that I can't really look back now. I'm still slightly worried that I'm doing the wrong course at the wrong university but I guess that's a decision that I just need to stick with now and make the most of internships (my recent 3 month placement at a designer that I was incredibly excited about has just been cancelled (!) so am now frantically rushing to find something else asap), my Life&Style editorial position I have at my student newspaper and all the other experience in which I can get involved.

Apologies for the lack of blogging recently; exam period is looming and it's pretty important that I do well this year to secure a good placement for my year abroad. Anyhow, I'll probably start blogging more to procrastinate...

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