Saturday, December 4, 2010

Vogue Diaries

Hello to anyone who reads my blog ! 
1st - I have been a very mean blogger ! I missed my blog's 1st anniversary ! 11th Nov 2010 ! :'( 
Anyway, Belated Happy Bloggiversary to me ! 
So, its been 4 weeks since I started work at Vogue, India. 
Anyone who is more of a photo person may not enjoy this - its going to be a long read...
My day starts with my usual morning dreams (someday if I manage to remember all of them clearly I will write about my dreams and believe me if I made a movie out of my dreams I would be a millionaire!). Once I am out of bed I scan through my cupboard and pull out endless clothes (It is a task to actually fold and put them back before leaving!). I select my inspiration of the day (inspirations range from 80s, to hippie to a tree - yes i was a tree one day!), try things out, mix n match and accessorize. By this time I am late already. I dash to the railway station. Every morning is a marathon run, pushing, pulling and jumping into the limited fast train at the last minute. Indian Local Trains are a horror at peak hours. Lucky, I am tall, I can manage to breathe, or by now I would have died from either the stench of underarm sweat and unwashed hair or a major overload of grumbling fussy women who push and poke so hard, your bones Will crush.
Eventually, I reach CST station in one piece, take a share cab and head to the office. The Vogue office spells grandeur the moment I enter. I make it a point to freshen up in the bathroom and finally get to work. By work I mean first observing what everyone around me is wearing. Right from the Editor to the interns, everyone is dressed to inspire! I have not seen so many beautifully dressed people under one roof anywhere else. In fact just yesterday Bandana Tewari, the Fashion Features Director, made a gold sequin jacket work wonders for a day look! They make even the most basic white T-shirt and blue jeans look amazing with paying special attention to the accessories. It is true, Fashion is in the details. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any photographs, since I am on a tight schedule
(Vogue Team Blog - lots of photographs available here) 

As more people start filling in, the office inhales the smell of strong coffee arriving on almost all the desks. In due course I begin my real work. I am working on the Spring/Summer Trend Report 2011 supplement. Every 6 months Vogue comes up with these supplements, S/S and A/W, covering all the major trends of that season. Basically, a photo and fashion lover’s delight.  My job involves going through every single spring summer runway photographs from Paris, Milan, New York, London and of course India, trend spotting, sorting trends and photographs, deciding which look fits best into which trend, shortlisting, balancing the advertisers, making phone calls and sending out e-mails to many designers. Its very interesting, especially knowing the fact that I am one of the contributors for the Spring Summer Trend Report and my opinion matters to Vogue! :)  
The first to weeks were tedious and we worked even on holidays since we had deadlines to meet. Last week was better, I managed to find time to socialize with some wonderful people at Vogue. The best part about being here is the friendly atmosphere. I had expected arrogance and rudeness, since I have heard such things from friends working at certain other magazines. On the contrary, there is so much respect, even for an intern. There isn’t one person who won’t smile at you. Everyone around is unconditionally helpful. Its a delight working here. 
Lunch hour at Vogue is a celebration, everyday. I am surrounded by mouthwatering lunch ordered from some of the most interesting places in town. Some days me and my colleagues also go down to Brittania, an old Parsi restaurant, owned by the sweetest Parsi man I have ever met. We also order food from Cafe Modal - amazing Pav Bhaji and Dosa! Also, almost every alternate day, somebody celebrates their birthday and cakes are ordered from Bad Addictions. I am willing to pay you with my life if you can find me a cake better than what arrives from this little bakery! The cake literally melts in your mouth! (That reminds me I have been on a chocolate diet since I joined Vogue... I don’t know how these people manage to remain so thin!!) 

Back to work, the other day, we had a meeting regarding the supplement with the Editor, Priya Tanna, Fashion Director, Anaita Shroff Adajania (my idol), Fashion Features Editor Bandana Tewari, and Junior Fashion Editor, Archana Walavalkar (the sweetest person I have ever known). I was so excited just to be in the same room with these remarkable people and actually witnessing a Vogue meeting, I don’t think I registered even 50% of the conversation. I was in my own little La-la-land!!!! Its like one of those moments you record in history, you just sit back and watch it all happen, like a movie. I am not even sure how to describe what I felt!

I was talking to Apoorva Singh, the Fashion Coordinator, a few days back. And guess what? Apparently I am not an intern! I am Freelancing for Vogue India. Its like they’ve hired me for 10 weeks. Because I get paid way more than the interns do! So hooray!
Vogue Facts:

• All the designers send their look books or press kits to magazines so they can select what items to call for shoots or which item to publish in the magazine. The presentation of these look books is very important. My favorite was the Diesel look book. They’ve presented it like a dvd, with a proper Diesel DVD cover - giving credits to the designers. When you open it there is a real DVD with the looks in it and on the other side there are 3 small look books - male, female and accessories. Each living up to the Diesel image. Sorry for no photograph. It would be kind of illegal to click pictures of the look book and publish it here before Vogue does.

• The advertisers are always given first preference because obviously that is where the revenues come in. (Even though some may have done a pathetic job, we Have to fit them in. They pay a BOMB after all!)

• The advertisements you see in the magazine, e.g. Dior ads, Burberry ads, etc are mostly designed by the graphic artists at Vogue. The advertisers send in a few photographs of their shoots and the graphic artists here select which photograph suits the magazine’s image best. Each magazine has a different layout of advertisements. E.g. GQ has a very classy clean look whereas Vogue is more feminine, fun. (Wow, I never noticed this earlier). Anyway, there are very few advertisers who design and send their ads exactly the way they want it to look in the magazine.

• At least three proof readings are done per page before it goes in to print. If the editor - the final proofreader points out even one mistake, the process is repeated again.

• Vogue has endless number of interns coming in from all over the world for brief periods.

• And to all you Vogue fans - NO the Vogue office looks NOTHING like what they show in Ugly Betty. But Yes it is the biggest magazine office compared to all the other magazine offices in India. And glamour is in the fashion here, not the looks of the office.

P.s – Did I mention about the Freebies? I was lucky enough to be around when they were clearing out the old magazines. I got quiet a few international Vogues home.

Another thing, the Beauty department had a sale with amazing beauty products. Everything was sold for Rs. 200. Even products worth 1500 to 3000! Of course me and the interns were the last ones to go in. But luckily there were things left for us.

So I got this for 200 !
And this for FREE ! Since the doors to the sale opened I could smell something heavenly and I knew I had to have it! The minute I entered I was delighted to know it was this little Forest Essentials Body Polisher. And luckily enough for me, no one else had touched it since the oil was leaking. But I picked it up in a plastic bag and was about to pay for it when the sweetheart Beauty and Health Director Geeta Rao stopped me and said I could have it for free! I was jumping (in my mind)! This was meant for me. Yay.

So, that’s about it for now. Again, my apologies for the lack of photographs. Will try to get some next week, if possible.

Till next time.


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A Lot Like Fashion said...

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