If fashion writing is your dream, Shona Wallace – Atelier-To-Go’s resident fashion writer – provides some serious career inspiration in her Nine to Five feature.
Describe a typical day
As Atelier-To-Go’s main fashion writer, I am really lucky in that my day totally revolves around writing. From creative pieces for our slick editorials and iPad magazine through to product descriptions and email copy, it is so nice to be able to spend each and every day writing.
How did you get into this role?
When I first moved down to London at 17- eek!- Atelier-To-Go posted an internship on the LCF Fashion Business Resource Studio and I decided to apply. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength, and I am able to contribute so much creatively, which is all I could really ask for.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working on such an exciting project which combines e-commerce and editorial so seamlessly. I feel that this is the direction fashion media is going in, and Atelier-To-Go really do pull out all the stops in this department… Not that I’m biased, of course! I also love working within the small team, I feel there is a lot more passion around the brand in this respect. It is also so fabulous to work with such talented stylists as Natalie Hartley and Andrew Davis.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
At the moment it would have to be juggling my commitments at Atelier-To-Go with my degree (Fashion Journalism at LCF), my personal blog and my freelance editorial work for magazines such as The Hill and The Grove Resident. I suppose it’s always best to be busy, but I would love to be able to give Atelier-To-Go a little more of my time. My upcoming final year at uni is sure to make that rather difficult!
What advice would you give someone wanting to get into fashion writing?
Aside from the obvious- reading regularly, writing every day and establishing your own style- there are a million and one other qualities that a good fashion writer requires. Firstly you really must be passionate and driven: yes, there are so many young girls looking into fashion journalism, but if you believe you can be the next Hadley Freeman then why not aim for that? If you believe you can do it, you can. In addition it is important to believe in yourself and be confident in your ability. It has taken me a very long time to realise that while being polite is crucial, it is every bit as beneficial to SHOW everyone just how capable you are. In other words, read Paul Arden’s “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be”!
Where do you see your career heading?
It is very nerve-wracking to think that this time next year I will be a graduate, but it is a really exciting time for me. Ideally I would love to work on fashion features for a monthly glossy magazine or newspaper. I am a writer and always have been, so everything else is irrelevant as long as I can still write.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
There have been a number of moments that have really meant a lot to me, but I have to be honest and say that it is the everyday things that really make me smile. Knowing that people enjoy my written work, whether that is an article on my blog or a little Facebook post for Atelier-To-Go, just makes me so happy and act as constant reminders as to why I want to work in fashion so much. In terms of actual highlights, though, I must admit that having an article published in Company Magazine at the age of 18 was pretty spectacular and also my recent internship at Vogue.
What is your favourite look for SS13?
In terms of trends I really did adore that whole Isabel Marant nouveau boho look with those glorious studded Elvis sandals and delicate embellished blouses. At the moment, though, I am obsessed with silken shirt dresses like Atelier-To-Go’s magenta Equipment dress and Sophie Hulme’s printed style at Harvey Nichols. I recently bought a pretty little cream number from & Other Stories and I can’t stop wearing it – it is such an effortless piece for Summer in the city.
Who are your go-to designers?
It really does vary by season- and I could probably go on about this for hours. I always look to Isabel Marant for inspiration and I love what Raf Simons is doing at Dior with his contemporary take on femininity. Alexander Wang is another favourite, and I would wear every single piece in his debut collection for Balenciaga. Also, while I wasn’t crazy about his first two collections, it seems Hedi Slimane has done a fantastic job on Saint Laurent’s resort 2014 collection. However, if money were no object I would bit kitted out every day in Hermes and Celine with Givenchy Haute Couture for evening, please. A girl can dream!