Aamina Siddiqi discusses the difficulty of achieving the perfect look perpetuated by the celebrity-focused media, especially for women of colour, as the makeup industry caters for lighter skin tones and pushes up prices for all.Written by Redbrick on 28th March 2015
The Times Fashion Desk: What I Learnt
After being lucky enough to have recently completed a work experience placement on the Fashion section at The Times, I found myself surprised by a number of not-what-I-expected moments
After being lucky enough to have recently completed a work experience placement on the Fashion section at The Times, I found myself surprised by a number of not-what-I-expected moments. In fact, nearly everything that really contradicted the Devil Wears Prada stereotype of fashion-journalism internships. So, rather than listing what I did (there’s a million and one blogs that will tell you that), here’s what didn’t happen:
1) I met no ‘fashion-daahling’ types. In fact, everyone was down-to-earth and very hard workers. Nobody sneered when I didn’t know the answer to something, but they were grateful and gracious when I asked questions (no matter how small or silly). Yes, they were well dressed – what do you expect? – but people rarely clopped about in heels and diamonds. Friendly and practical was the general air, which made for a healthy, hard-working mentality.
2) I didn’t make one cup of tea. I offered, many times. In fact, probably too many times (as it turns out, the drinks machine at The Times was free-for-all, and had the best hot chocolate. I could barely keep myself at my desk when I knew free, unlimited hot chocolate was a mere twenty paces away). However, any maid-like duties were kindly refused. Whilst this was only a small detail, it meant a lot to be treated as a fellow worker when I was very aware of my inferior status. I would have come in early to hand-polish their desks if they’d asked (reeking of desperation) but thankfully this never transpired.
3) I found out that money does not make the world go round. As a student with a well-exercised overdraft limit, I was very aware of handling items of clothing in the fashion cupboard that cost more than a year’s rent. But amongst these rarities, there was a plentiful supply of high street gear, and an attitude to mula that I found, frankly, a relief. A particular revelation was the Editor (the big dawg) asking for my views on particular high street stores – had their OTT prices gone too far to make them viable options for normal shoppers? ‘YES!’ I thought. It’s what I spend most of my time thinking about when I walk around the bullring. Unfortunately, my shock at being asked for an actual opinion meant that my answer was less than eloquent. But hopefully she got the gist.
TOP TIP: To secure this work experience, I bit the bullet and rang The Times directly - they are inundated with emails of wok experience request, so a phone call makes all the difference when trying to get yourself noticed.
Written by Sarah Musgrove