I wore a galaxy skirt I made myself, with Jeffery Campbell platforms.
Every year I make my way over to Times Square to attend Teen Vogue's Fashion U.
It's an intensive weekend-long crash course on the fashion industry. They hire the best
of the best to talk to young adults about breaking in and staying into this crazy world
of fashion, while still throwing us parties, and showing us how fun it can be. This year
was no exception as I got to see Grace Coddington discuss her career as a model and
stylist for Vogue, Olivier Theyskins talk about his work with Theory, Kate Phelan
offer valuable advice to anyone interested in fashion, and so much more.
Grace Coddington (whose autobiography Grace is coming out soon) achieved global recognition when the documentary The September Issue came out a few years ago. However, she has been working in front of, and behind the camera since she was a model in the 1960's, and is now one of the most influential stylists in the world, working for American Vogue. Grace has an eye for clothes that most people will never relate to. She talked about the emotional rollercoaster that is seeing a new collection go down the runway.
Her advice for any budding designers:
- Do something unique and not derivitive of other designers.
- Have your garments be well made inside and out.
- Make sure your brand is ready before you have a runway show.
Olivier Theyskins talked to Teen Vogue's editor-in-chief Amy Astley about his rise in the fashion industry. After working in Belgium and Paris, he quit school to sew every day. He used all the resources he could, and made one item per day. He believes in the integrity of design, having an open mind, and making logical decisions from the start. He advises young designers to get a knowledge of clothes, and the history of how they're made in order to become an excellent creator.
At the GQ offices, I participated in a group styling challenge, and learned
how to customize denim with Guess jeans and some help from Denim Refinery.
Up until a few years ago, Kate Phelan was the head stylist at British Vogue, before leaving that life behind to become the creative director of Topshop. As a huge fan of both British Vogue and Topshop, I clung onto her every word. She had great advice for anyone looking to break into this industry, designer or not. Her main points were these:
- Find mentors. If you meet someone that you think could help you, make them talk to you for 10 minutes, because everyone has 10 minutes.
- Prove to companies why your view is valuable. Everyone has their own unique perspective from where they're from and how they view things, so show them why yours is important.