The following is the story of Shir Dor – the young fashion graduate, about her post graduate fashion industry experience in the exciting city of London.
It is the middle of February, London, on the edge of fulfilling my dream, a 3 1/2 months internship in Alexander McQueen! My heart is beating like a drum machine, I’m AT the building.
It was a long and twisted road to get to this point. I had started evening studies at Central Saint Martin’s in London, and at the same time searched for an internship for a luxury fashion brand.
My first work experience in London had been as an assistant intern for the all-mighty British brand: Philip Treacy, the creator of divine hat wear. I had assisted the Public Relations creative team, which meant that I was dealing with: Brand portfolio and identity, press coverage, press releases/packs/books, management of events, weekly update reports, social media, and look books. I packed inventory for photo sessions for magazines such as Elle, Glamour, Vogue, The Daily Telegraph, Citizen K. Worked in the showroom presenting exclusive items to high profile and famous clientele, which entailed identifying their specific needs and suggesting appropriate wear for any occasion. While I enjoyed my time there, learned a great deal and was inspired by the Philip Treacy archive: with fashion history from Princess Diana to Kate Moss, hats are not my cup of tea… (and my direct boss thought herself to be Miranda Priestly). So it was time to search for my dream internship in women’s evening wear.
Back to February, London, the building – it’s time to focus, grab the bull by the horns, and make my way to my own personal holy grail – Alexander McQueen.
So here I am at of one of the most influential fashion label’s in the world. Out of the thousands of applicants I had been invited! I already had one intensive trial day at the women’s wear design department: I had been thrown into deep waters without a life vest, doing research, fabric manipulation, sewing, cutting samples – it was boot camp! And at the end of all that – the interview! I was exhausted – Why do I deserve this chance? – Because I have beautiful eyes, is this a good reason? I had to kick it into high gear, in the end my instincts or was it ‘Hutzpa’? kicked in, and then my final project closed the deal- I was in!
The first work day was the most overwhelming 14 hours of my life, I learned so much and by the end of it my brain shut down, boot camp had been easier.
The keyword at McQueen is ‘precision’, god (McQueen) is in the details, one can not grasp the number of people that are involved in the creation of one sample sleeve. To experience the process of producing a collection is a dream: the inspiration boards, fabric selection, construction, fittings, model selection for a show, preparations for Paris Fashion Week. It was amazing to be exposed to the techniques and the design process that drive that kind of a high scale luxury fashion house, something that is lacking here in the small middle east. Working for an established designer is a MUST educational experience for anyone who wants to become a Fashion Designer. The things you learn are remarkable, you will never forget how to make 50 meters of “fringe” for a couture dress (that showed in Fall 2013 Paris Fashion Week), the five days you spent fringing day to night will stay with you forever.
Fashion is an amazing and difficult industry, you see things that you would never imagine or dream up much like in “The Devil Wears Prada”, and even though it seems harsh, it was a dream come true for me.
Prior to her London experience Shir Dor finished her B.A in Fashion Design (summer 2012) in Shenkar college. Her final project collection seems to embody an ICE QUEEN, it has an otherworldly feel that evokes planets made of ice that yet feel airy and bright. Looking at her collection – one does not have to wonder why she was chosen at McQueen!
This month Shir started her trainee position at Marc Jacobs Women’s Wear Design department.
We are looking forward to hearing about her New York experience – stay tuned!