What People Do…

If any of you are following me on Twitter, I’m sure you will have read one of my many posts about whatpeopledo.com. They approached me a while back, asking whether I would be able to write a piece about attending my first press days and my life in general. So, a couple of months and many emails down the line, it is finally written and published! I’m really pleased with it. Also, I am off to River Island’s High Summer press day tomorrow which I’m sure will prove to be very exciting!

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This article was originally published by whatpeopledo.com and can be viewed HERE

The First… Press Preview I Attended

 

I will be the first to admit that when I graduated in the June of last year, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I felt like I was surrounded by people who had formulated detailed career plans whilst they were still playing with Lego in Primary School: intimidating to say the least.

However, what I did know, was what I loved and what I was good at. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to write: I still have reams of amazing pieces of creative writing kept from when I was younger. I went on to follow my heart and study English at Durham University when I didn’t really know what else to do (you may notice a running theme of indecisiveness in my life!). This has always been combined with a very healthy passion for art, and fleeting flirtations with fashion since my early teenage years.

For anyone who knows me, it may however come as a surprise that my essays were not the only things I was writing. Locked away in the hard drive of my laptop, I kept a store of features, articles, short stories. Most of which I wrote on my three-hour train journeys back and forth to the North East (anyone who has travelled from London to Durham will know how tedious this train ride is). However I had never really had the courage to share my writing, and assumed it was rubbish.

 

So, after I had graduated and waved goodbye to the dreamy spires of Durham, my writing was naturally something I came back to. I bravely emailed one of my articles to my sister (who is also of the literary kind), asking what she thought. She loved it. All it took was the courage to put myself out there and allow my articles to be read by someone other than myself.

In the last six months I have found this courage, and now write my own blog (alysonlowe.wordpress.com) as well as columns for The Daily Touch and Pillow Magazine. As a result, I was also chosen by Intel to feature in their online campaign for the Ultrabook: something I never dreamed I would do. I’m currently ranked 6th on todayimwearing.com’s Most Loved. I have been given exclusive rights to features on fantastic designers such as Lisa E Moss.

I began amassing copies of Vogue at the tender age of thirteen, which are still housed in chronological piles under my bed. But for some reason I’d always felt slightly ashamed of admitting what I really wanted to do.

So, this now brings me to the crux of this article: my first press preview. Specifically, the River Island Spring/Summer 2013 Menswear Press Day. Kind of a big deal. Essentially, a press day (I’m sure you already know) is where designers display their finished samples for the new season and invite along the press in the hope of some good reviews. I was invited as a result of my work with Pillow Magazine, but was told I could feature my review on my own blog.

As I’m sure my boyfriend will tell you, it took a lot of coaxing to get me through that door. But, as soon as I opened it, it was like entering the world I had always wanted to be in. Without wanting to sound like Cinderella, it is a little bit glamorous: free cocktails and canapés brought to you by smart little waiters, goodie bags filled with generous gift vouchers, press officers just desperate to chat you up. I spent a very happy (and rum fuelled) hour wandering round the room feeling, photographing and lusting after next season’s beautiful clothes. As soon as I left I couldn’t wait to get onto my laptop and write it up.

Since my first press day, I have been invited to some other fantastic events. My highlights include a press preview and conference at the Design Museum, and an evening graduate fashion show where I consumed my own bodyweight in expensive champagne.

Press previews are, however, the glamorous highlight of what is actually a very unglamorous life. Currently I am focusing on building up my writing portfolio and expanding my knowledge of fashion and art writing. Next I start an internship at a magazine. What I would say to sum up my post-graduation experience is not to worry if your wonder job doesn’t bite you on the bum in the first month. It’s all about taking tiny steps, and most importantly finding the courage to chase after what you have always wanted.

I feel like I am the wrong person to be giving advice, because my career is by no means where I want it to be. But, the one piece of advice I do feel qualified to give is to have confidence in your own abilities and passions: you never know where they could take you.

 

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