Friday, October 17, 2014

Growing Pains

    Despite only working one day at the FHCC this week, I’m exhausted.

    To sum things up, I volunteered at an event on Sunday, didn’t have work on Monday, and was sick at home on Tuesday. And, you know, other stuff.

    Wednesday was the day of the Ciao Bella event for DesignPhiladelphia. Earlier in the day, we finalized what shoes would be included in the viewing. One of the last additions was a donation from one of the graduate students in Westphal – a pair of Emilio Pucci wedges. Because we didn’t know much about them, I was given the task of finding a date to put with them.

    The best way for me to go about this would have been to check the Vogue archives or archives. Unfortunately, my eye is not “calibrated” to date anything, not even remotely (This is something that one develops with time.) So, I just had to input descriptors into Google and see what I got. I was able to find an image of the shoes very quickly, but not so much link them to a specific year or season. Eventually, with a few more tweaks in keywords, I found a video of the Emilio Pucci 2007 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear show. Coming down the catwalk were the shoes I had right next to me! Honestly, how cool is that?

    Once all the decisions were made about Ciao Bella, I went to work looking at accessories – hat pins, hair accessories, and hats. They had been taken out and examined to find possibilities for the exhibition, but many of them didn’t have updated tags. As usual, tagging became my job and I got to look at every pretty, shiny piece up close. My favorite items were a set of two hat pins with real beetle shells on the ends. While I do feel a little bad for the beetles, they were absolutely gorgeous.

    I didn’t take any photos of the hats or hair accessories, but seeing the fancy hair combs made me think of my 90-something-year-old great-grandmother. She, from what I know, has worn her hair the same way every day for many, many years. This hairstyle, naturally, involves multiple combs inserted into the hair. I think it’s so interesting that an item as random as a hair comb can evoke such strong feeling and/or memory.

    Later in the evening, after work, I came back to hear the Ciao Bella lecture and help with crowd control at the viewing. I really did enjoy the lecture and appreciated that a small number of people in attendance meant less pressure on us to make sure nothing happened to the objects in the collection.

    I failed to mention my other job in my past posts, though, and feel that I should probably mention it now to give you the whole picture of my life as a Co-Op student. Thursday-Saturday I work at a gift-shop in Old City all day. So in a normal week, I work 6 days and have Sunday off. The transition isn’t exactly rough, but it hasn’t been easy, either. From looking at the posts from my peers, it looks they’re all experiencing this same “grown-up” exhaustion as I am, and realizing how different the college lifestyle is than that of someone who’s working full time.

    At the moment, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ll keep you all posted. This might get deeper than I thought it would.

Never Growing Up

Cleary I have been very busy and behind on my work this week, since this post is a little late. I have been swamped at co-op! We are very busy with a certain clients opening events. I had to stuff over a 1000 gift bags with a variety of things. Some of the gift bags included a $1,000 gift-card. I obviously wanted a gift-card, but that didn't happen. Most of Michelle's clients need their reports done by the 15th of each month so I was very busy this week getting them all done. This type of work is very meticulous, but doesn't take much brain power, which makes it hard to keep interested. I try my best to stay focused. 

Today in the office, we had a music jam session that included NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, and 98 Degrees. There were only a few people in the office because one of the executives is getting married today. So the few that were left in the office had fun. Even though it was a fun Friday, I still had a ton of work to do today. Michelle left at noon, so the other executives thought that I had nothing to do and gave me their stuff too. I thought I would at least get out early today, but that was the opposite of what happened. I stayed in the office past when I usually do. I am not trying to complain, just a long work week. I am exhausted. Is this how grown-ups feel? I don't want to be a grown-up...ever. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fabrics and Friends

My third week of work provided many more opportunities that were much different from the weeks before. While some responsibilities remained the same such as answering the phones and sending out garments for the PR department, the jobs I experienced in between these mundane jobs have become more exciting.
Perhaps my favorite of all jobs was when I was sent out to color match swatches of fabric for the fall 2015 collection. (I always knew companies starting designing and planning far in advance I had no idea it was this early!) I was given six or seven colors and I had to go to stores such as Mood Fabrics, which is featured on Project Runway, and find fabrics that were the exact color. As I was leaving the office, two of the other interns I work with said that they had both been given the same task the day before and had returned with many samples, none of which the design team had deemed appropriate. By the time I got back to the office almost three hours later I had seen everything from the lightest chiffons to the heaviest wools and understood why they had so much trouble. I went to all three stores recommended by the design team and had approximately 30 samples to show them. However once back in the office I saw that the lighting in the office was much better then those in the stores and saw the error in so many colors that I had picked out. I ended up only showing the design about 20 of the samples I picked out and out of them they only picked 5 to be sample colors. Taking all morning to choose colors for the new line was exhausting but it showed me just a small part of the design process and everything it took to get the proper colors for the line.

 While it was a great week at work and I am beginning to get to do more interesting tasks, the whole time I was looking forward to the weekend and getting to go back to Philly. It was the first time I got to see my friends since I had started working and while it was great to see everyone it made me realize how much I miss Drexel and everyone there. I can’t wait to go back but I’m glad that working at Shoshanna makes being away from everyone worthwhile.
Entrance to Mood Fabrics- So fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So Many People, So Little Time.

Although sometimes I may complain about being so busy/ tired with my hectic schedule in New York, it seems to be somewhat of a blessing and a curse. This past weekend my roommate and I both went back to Philly to assist our sorority with their annual recruitment activities. Seeing all of my friends in Philly really made me realize how lonely living in New York can be. I'm not sure what I would do without my roommate, I would probably go crazy living alone. Thankfully, due to my three jobs, the only time I really have time to be bored or lonely is on the weekends (much of which is spent sleeping). Yet, I still do have some newfound motivation to reach out to strangers and co-workers in attempts to make some more friends. Besides, isn't this industry all about networking?

Unfortunately, working at Michael Kors has remained pretty uneventful. One of my supervisors said that this would be the last week that we aren't busy, which I am thankful for. The creative directors at Galore have flown to L.A. this week to shoot their new cover girl for the December issue (a celebrity that I am very fond of). They're taking vacation in Asia afterwards, so I won't be seeing them for a bit. With the job being almost all writing though, it won't be hard to communicate what needs to be done. 

Most of my weekdays are spent looking forward to the weekend unfortunately, but I feel like that's how most fully employed people view life. I want to change that. And maybe make some more friends while I'm at it. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flash Tattoos

This past weekend I went back to Philly for my sorority's recruitment. It was so great to be back on Drexel's campus and to see my sisters and friends. The weekend flew by and it was hard to say my goodbyes. Luckily I'll be back this weekend for my best friend's birthday. Being back realized how much I really do miss my friends.

These past few days at work have been so busy. Monday we got to come in a half hour late because of the holiday. I was busy running errands around the city, ordering merchandise online for events, submitting sample requests and on the phone trying to figure out shipments. Customer service representatives really are the absolute worst. I was on hold for fifteen minutes then talked to a representative who had no idea what he was talking about. It was extremely frustrating, especially when there's a deadline.

On Tuesday, we had an event in our showroom for one of our clients. Different editors came in and looked at the merchandise and took pictures. It's crazy because editors are three months ahead, so they're already writing for January. I always love observing editors style. They always look so effortlessly chic and are so daring. I feel like some of the garments they wear I could never pull off. Some editors definitely take risks and wear bold statement pieces. At the event, I was applying Flash Tattoos to the editors. I did one myself and I'm absolutely obsessed with it. I've never had a Flash Tattoo but I love it and want more. The event continues tomorrow so I hope to get another Flash Tattoo.

Life of an Unpaid Intern

Just four weeks into my internship and I am coming to remember the downfalls of being an unpaid intern that I experienced just a short year ago while on co-op. As a person that has been holding a job since age sixteen, it is extremely frustrating to not have the extra spending money that I am accustomed to. Sure, I might work at my retail job on day per week, but my income cannot keep up with the amount of spending that my previous 15-20 hours working a week could withstand.

After much thinking and analyzing my bank statements, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to cut down on my spending before my wallet runs empty. It’s funny how interning not only prepares you with experience for working in your field, but also for living in the real world after graduation. I know that money will be tight when I am completely on my own and that even more sacrifices will need to be made. Thankfully, I have found finance apps to download onto my phone to help manage my money and see which categories I need to lessen my spending on. For the first time in my life, I need to plan out how to balance my spending while enjoying being a college student. I am so thankful now for the fact that I have held a paying job all these years, and it has made me all that more appreciative! Unpaid internships are common to come by in the fashion industry, and although they may be hard for the time being, I know the reward in the end will be priceless. I look forward to having an income again, but for now, I am learning as much as I can interning, balancing my time, and managing my money.

Friday, October 10, 2014

3 Days of Hats & Shoes

    It’s hard for me not to internally chuckle when I look back to the years where I didn’t understand what the big deal was about shoes and accessories. Maybe it had something to do with the tomboyish (read: shopping in the boy’s section of Old Navy) phase I went through, but I can’t imagine being like that now. With the way I have ogled and practically drooled over the things I’ve seen this week, I don’t think anyone would be able to imagine it, either.

    Backtracking a bit, the FHCC is having an exhibition in Fall 2015 featuring the highlights of the collection. While this is fantastic for the collection in terms of visibility, it also creates the sticky situation of actually having to pick out said “highlights”. Another Co-Op student, Virginia, is working a higher position than I and has been compiling a list for quite awhile now, but this week I actually got to help.

    On Monday we began our odyssey through the world of hats, a journey which will not be finished for who-knows-how-long. While unboxing, looking for information, tagging, reboxing, etc. may not be the most riveting of activities, I have seen so many beautiful things. Because the URBN Center has only been around for a couple of years, there is still much that needs to be re-identified and labeled - and in a way, it makes my work something akin to a treasure hunt. I absolutely love that aspect of this internship. Here are photos of some of my favorites:

     I will admit, though, I am easily distracted by pretty things – especially when they’re “exotic-looking”. Another student was looking through a box of Chinese garments and I just about died. (I can’t imagine how irritating it must have been with my constant rubbernecking to see what she was pulling out next. Sorry, Mimi!) There were so many pieces that I cooed over, but this plum robe was just too lovely for me to not take a photo of.

    The shoes may be the most important part of my week, however - we took a break from hats for a while and began looking through shoes as well. We also looked for shoes that would be featured in a separate event. Taking part in the annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival, the FHCC is hosting a lecture called Ciao Bella: Eight Decades of Italian Shoe Design and will be followed by a private viewing of select pieces from the collection.

    If you’re interested in attending, check out the DesignPhiladelphia website. Ciao Bella is Wed. Oct. 15 at 6pm. Tickets are $25.