Vogue Festival 2015, in association with Harrods, took place in glamourous Kensington. The Royal College of Art and the Royal Geographical Society played host to an array of events, including interviews with industry panellists such as designer Henry Holland and Vogue’s very own editor-in-chief Alexandra Schulman.
Ticketholders were treated to beauty lessons from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, the lovely make-up artist Laura chose a bright orange lipstick and subtle sheen for my cheeks, and I received a gift card for a complimentary make-up session at Harrods.
Hair advice from Keratest hairstylists gave an inside look into what’s currently on trend and the catwalk looks that can be incorporated into an everyday hair care routine. This summer it’s all about low maintenance texture. Wispy strands of hair and long layers make for a hairstyle that is easy to keep and looks effortlessly chic.
Vogue’s nail bar also offered personalised manicures, with many fashionistas choosing to opt for the classic ‘Vogue’ printed on their nails in a range of summery brights, such as aqua blue and punchy coral.
I attended the masterclass session focussing on everything you need to know about fashion journalism. On arrival we were greeted with tea and coffee and we sat around tables in groups of five or six. Instead of a panel talking at us, each group had twenty minutes with each person, enabling us to get personalised advice and tips for breaking into the industry.
Sarah Harris, fashion features director of Vogue, was the first to chat to my group. Bubbly, yet authoritative, Sarah made us feel comfortable as she explained her role within the magazine and provided us with examples of her work. She offered some valuable advice to aspiring fashion journalists, stating that it’s extremely important to think of a new angle for a story. Instead of going with the obvious angle, she suggested trying to think about it from a different viewpoint, stressing that journalists should be ‘behind the scenes’ and shed light on topics that would not be explored in ordinary life.
Behind the scenes
Next we spoke to Julian Vogel, the owner and creative director of communications agency Modus. He gave us an insight into the world of PR and his 25 years within the industry. His role is to act as a connection between brands and journalists, pitching ideas to both in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships. His key message to aspiring fashion journalists is to think about interesting and fresh questions to ask interviewees. After all no one is going to remember a boring interviewer.
Fashion Features editor for Vogue, Laura Weir, provided some valuable tips on how to create the perfect article, including how to set the scene, when to include quotes and how to inject energy. Her main message in order to stand out from the crowd was to research the company you’re applying for, be proactive in your approach and to persevere.
Scarlett Kilcooley-O’Halloran, Vogue’s resident online news editor, ran through her day-to-day schedule, including researching stories, how to decide what makes a good story and how she monitors progress. Scarlett also highlighted the debate on magazines vs online and made the point that consumers will always want to read different things, with magazines being more explorative, whereas online provides instant news.
It was also interesting to see how newspapers fit into the mix. The Telegraph’s fashion director, Lisa Armstrong, promoted the diversity of newspapers in the fashion industry and how they interpret fashion in new ways. She drew attention to the juxtaposition of stories with politics being situated next to celebrity fashion. Her parting message was to check and double check spelling and grammar.
The last person we spoke to was Susie Forbes. Susie is the principle of Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, which runs courses for people looking to get into the fashion industry. She drew attention to journalists such as Suzy Menkes and Alexander Fury and their unique voice, suggesting we take our inspiration from them and expanding our knowledge of the industry. She gave us some key advice on applying for companies, including playing to our strengths as digital natives. She focused on the fact that as young people we are digitally savvy and have technical skills that the old generation of journalists lack.
Vogue Fashion Festival helped to provide some great tips and advice on how to break into fashion journalism, something that will definitely be shared on Kettle in the near future!