why you should never let Dad help you make a mermaid costume!
And so my epic placement in the ‘big smoke‘ begins…
Armed with a railcard (that has cost my doting parentals so much, we now have shares in London Midland!), and with a belly full of nothing other than butterflies…I caught my first train of the day.
On arriving at Birmingham New Street, (after an unnerving journey sat next to a strange man who had obviously misused his aftershave as a bubble bath and who chose to sit next to me when the whole carriage was empty!) I had a nifty 30 min gap where I nipped into WHSmiths to purchase an extortionately-priced bottle of Volvic and a small notepad (you never know!…journalistic habits die-hard…)
My 8:30 train was arrived right on time, and I scurried along the aisle in search of a lucrative ‘available’ seat.
Having secured a seat next to a very quiet lady (who I think may even have been asleep), I whopped out the ‘Spicy Tomato flavour Crunchies‘! (Needless to say she wasn’t asleep for long…)
An hour and a half later (and I’m sure much to the relief of my fellow passengers), the train pulled into Euston station and I disembarked while phoning my already panicking mother to let her know that I’d made it there alive (although, I’m sure the lady who I was sitting next to was concocting ‘Crunchie murder’..)
I was really nervous about having to use the tube for the first time on my own, and where I wasn’t following around some long-suffering boyfriend or a willing ‘accomplice’ from Uni…But to my surprise I managed to get there without getting lost!
…More than once.
Ok, ok, so I took the Central Line from the platform instead of waiting for a Hammersmith & City…but i’m not renown for my patience.
The only problem with my small error, was that instead of ending up in a station only a short walk away from placement, I was now a BIG walk away from the road my placement was in, let alone the building!
After a brief conversation with a very nice parking warden…I got a sprint on to the road I was meant to be on.
I eventually arrived at the SUPERSUPER office half an hour late, with a face like a beetroot, and sweating like … a person who sweats a lot! … BUT to a surprisingly ‘calm’ Dom, the stylist. He briefed me that everyone else was away in Berlin and so I would meet the rest of the team during my time there.
And with no time like the present, he set me on my first errand (as I was already half an hour behind schedule!)
I had the responsibility of taking a designer bomber jacket back to its rightful owner/creator/lender in return for another ‘short-term loan’ of some more designer clobber.
He’d kindly printed out some maps and gave me an idea of where I needed to be heading. I was to then meet him at the studio where he was shooting for the day with the desired outfit.
It was a big ask.
Especially for someone who has absolutely NO sense of direction…or London for that matter.
I couldn’t find my way down a one way street most of the time, so this was a task and a half…
But none the less, I set off. Again down the seemingly endless Commercial Rd and back to the subway to start my journey.
I took me about an hour of tube changes and stuffy, packed-in train conditions to get to Hackney Central.
(Now I know what a battery chicken feels like…
If they smelt of B.O…
And rode on the tube.)
Anyway…I arrived in Hackney and set off down the road to an old warehouse-like workshop where the designer in question created her masterpieces.
There was a swift exchange, much like the dealings i imagine the likes of the Mafia have…accept this wasn’t crime, it was ‘Cassette Playa‘-a wild and ‘with it’ designer of the 21st century, who sports a huge fan base in Japan.
Having ‘done the deal’, I headed to my next port of call…the studio.
After backing up on my original journey all the way up to ‘Old Street’, I made my way on foot to the prestigious David Parfitt studio, where Dom was already at work.
Having got some rather suspicious looks from the locals as I waited outside the iron gates to be buzzed in, i made my way up a concrete stairway and into the huge studio.
I met who I think was David (although I never did quite catch his name, as he remained very quiet and most likely very busy at his desk)…while I met the photographer, model and make-up artist.
It was exactly as i imaged a fashion shoot to be (albeit a little less glamorous…) I sat down in front of a table groaning with all kinds of antique accessories and vintage vestments. Magpie heaven.
The first shoot had a ‘western’ theme, with the model sporting mini shorts, blouse, waistcoat, stirrups, and cowboy hat in a variety of poses.
The second shoot was by far a lot more … ‘exotic’, with the model donned in Cassette Playa top, fishtail skirt, ruffly denim…’arm thing’ and lots of very pretty-looking necklaces and beads.
It was definitely a girlie haven, but I wouldn’t want to be holding the poses she had to for over 2 hours. I was very comfortable sitting and watching…oh and drinking tea!
Although I did help Dom out when he needed it…
At one point, while the model was being preened she said: ‘do i look like a mermaid?’, at which point the photographer turned around and replied: ‘no, you look like a bohemian fish on a stool!’
It did look very cool though..something like you’d see at London fashion week….where the women come out in all kinds of crazy costumes that you would simply never be able to practically go out in, let alone afford, short of re-mortgaging the house!
An apparent need for ‘music’ was soon aired, and so for the remainder of the shoot i listened to music as colourful as the clothes on display, ranging from Jimmy Hendrix to James Brown.
It all added to a surreal experience I felt like I was ‘spying on’ in a way, as being a journalism student, i don’t usually get to see that ‘behind the scenes’ stuff, being a ‘contributor’, but this was interesting to watch.
On the way back to the office, as me and Dom carted a few grands worth of clobber onto the 135 bus, we set the world to rights to do with all things ‘degree-based’, as we conversed in all the woes of the media world which I am hoping to get my toe in after having bagged a degree next year.
It’s a real shame that there just isn’t the money their used to be in the industry anymore, and everything’s a struggle, but it makes me all the more determined to make sure I get the best possible job I can after graduation.
On arriving back at the office, we were greeted by ‘Super Steve’, the magazine’s Co-founder, along with singer/fashionista ‘Namalee‘.
And soon it was time for me to part in order to make the 30 min journey back to Euston and to a much-needed sit down!