Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

A few months ago, I shared my perspective on getting a job in fashion. I had lots of great responses to that blog post but since then Fashed and I have been thinking that I should really let you know what it's actually like once the longed for job is landed.

Virtually everyone I encounter who is unfamiliar with the fashion world assume it is true to its glamorous myth- that everyone spends their days wafting through impeccable fashion cupboards, wearing designer dresses and impossibly high heels, pointing at clothes. Categorically not true.

This is an amazing world to be starting out in - I still have to pinch myself when to think I attended almost 40 shows during London Fashion Week. There are plenty of things I have learnt since last August which have surprised me.

Did you know that it is not a foregone conclusion that because somebody works in fashion they will be obsessed with being uber-thin? Revelation, right? In fact, one of the things that everyone attending London Fashion Week seems to look forward to most is the food served prior to the shows at the Topshop venue. Most of the senior fashion editors I came across made an extra special effort to arrive early so they could chow down.
Anna dello Russo in head to toe Gucci (image from vogue.fr)
I also love the fact that very, very few people who work in fashion feel the need to wear head-to-toe designer looks each and every day. That's why Anna dello Russo is such a photographer's favourite; she is almost unique in her dedication to wearing looks in almost exactly the same way they were shown on the catwalk. More often than not, you will see fashion editors with a fabulous designer handbag or coat, but there are high street and vintage pieces pulling their look together. Some - shock, horror - don't care at all and slop around in jeans and boots.

Mrs Burstein of Browns (image from vogue.co.uk)
When I was a wannabe fashion journalist, many of the most revered members of the industry seemed gilded and untouchable. Some still are, but in the short space of time that I've worked with the Fashed I've met some people I never dreamt I'd have the pleasure of encountering. One highlight has to be Joan Burstein who founded Browns on South Molton Street. She is credited with introducing some of the greatest designers of our time to London- John Galliano, Jil Sander and Donna Karan amongst them. At the store's press day back in November, she was happily chatting away and greeting everyone as they arrived. To my mind, that is amazing because with a reputation like hers, she could easily eschew anything like that.

Kristen McMenamy in the heart stopping finale of McQ's
 first LFW show (image from mydaily.co.uk)

The Fashion Show holds a kind of legendary status in the public eye. Back when I was merely a super fan, I would watch Youtube videos of some of the shows I'd read about as being particularly amazing. So when I found myself last Monday, walking across a crunching bed of autumn leaves to my seat at the McQ Alexander McQueen show it felt a little like I'd been transported into one of those videos. There was Anna Wintour chatting to Samantha Cameron and, oh look, Salma Hayek just walked in too. Later, as Kristen McMenamy in her white, full skirted creation, froze on the catwalk and was showered with leaves before collapsing to the ground, I got to experience first hand the feeling which had been described by fashion editors when asked, 'What's your greatest fashion moment?'. Their answers invariably referred to the spectacles put on by Lee McQueen and now Sarah Burton had given that chance to a new generation. It was unforgettable.

I'm amazed to think how quickly you can be assimilated into the fashion world. Of course, I'm still right at the start of my working life, but this weekend I delivered two talks- one about SS12 trends, the other about how fashion designers use wool in their work- to audiences who actually listened and valued my views. That's astonishing to me but it's also showed me that once you do get a job in fashion, your learning curve is absolutely massive. Fashion is always changing so every day there's a new development, a new way of thinking about things or a new trend that's starting to emerge. That pace really keeps you on your toes. For me, that's infinitely more exciting than the prospect of a free outfit.


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