Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drifter


Home. I don't miss it. I am trying to find my own home, if such an idea even exists. New York doesn't feel like home yet. I feel like I will find something that resonates to me here if I was to ever find it, but right now it's still an untamed creature that I've yet to understand, with so many complexities and twist and turns. I am learning a lot. About the people here, the mentality, the way things work around here. I don't ever want to tame New York, but I wouldn't want it to tame me neither. I've seen so many people lose that glimmer in their eyes in exchange for the cold hard stares and stiff mouths. Just about everyone here is cold and apathetic. They call it being cautious. But it really is more like self defense. Why is everyone here so scared for?

I digress. Sometime I wonder if I will ever feel like I belong. If the people who love me will not just put up with me because they love me, but can also connect with me because they speak my language. I am an oddity. I have never felt like my thoughts or words have ever come out as eloquently as the next. I don't know how to be myself because I have always tried to live up to someone else's idea of what a girl like me should be like. That's it. That's what home should be; pure acceptance. You as yourself and no one else, as you like it.



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

so it begins; first runway show


I finally have time to update. Finally. 
It's my 3rd day working as a fashion pr intern, and I love every minute second of it.
On my first day, Monday, I dove head first into my first show at Fashion Week.
My heart was beating a mile a minute the whole time. I couldn't believe I was there, backstage, walking around as models were getting their hair and make up done, film crews from Elle and such interviewing the designer...it was very surreal to be there. Really be there.
The show was Monique Lhuillier and it was nothing short of breathtaking. I soaked it all in as I watched the models, beautiful tall creatures that can't possibly be human, gracefully saunter down the white runway under bright spotlights.
Front row were bloggers like Rumi from FashionToast and Bryanboy. Next to them in the same row were Emma Roberts, Rory from Gilmore Girls, Maggie Grace and that girl from 90210. The brunette singer one on the show. lol

The finale, caught on my iphone:

video



Next up was the Temperley London presentation at Milk Studios. 
We helped set up the show room the night before, so to finally see it all come together the next day was a pretty cool experience. Guests walked away with scarves from Temperley's other line, Alice and a $150 gift card. But only off your next purchase of $1,000 or more. Not kidding.



My favorite look above. Girly lace, corset top, and rockstar belt that really makes the outfit stand out.



Like all interns, I ran around the city doing errands. But I can't complain. Look where I got to go! As I was exiting Simon Spurr's office, Thom Browne walked into the elevator wearing one of his signature suits. I have always admired a well tailored suit, so I am a bit fan of the Browne cuts because they are so non-traditional and unique, but at the same time very classic. All week I was hoping to spot one on the street, but instead I get to see it on the designer himself. So that was a fun moment. I felt like a groupie.



After my first day, overwhelmed was definitely an understatement. The fashion world, as different as it may have seen from the outside, once you are immersed in it do you realize how true that is. This is like nothing I have ever experienced before. The meticulousness of it all, the pressure, the competition, and the career and lives of people all depending on a dress. Not to over simplify it, but that is what it all comes down to at the end of the day. You are working with pieces of art, do not get me wrong (when I handled the dresses from the Monique Lhuillier runway show the day after, I can swear that I've never seen such finer quality and craftsmanship in my life.), but the art is only a minor part of the actual business. From my end, I see the marketing side of it. It's very intricate and fun, but you see how it's manipulated. We are the ones dressing those celebrities you see in Elle, Vogue, V, Blackbook, Lucky, Nylon, and any other major magazine you happen to love. The dresses that you will be dying to buy come next spring, we were responsible for that impulse in you.

But besides from griping about the superficiality of the fashion world, I really am truly blessed to be given the means to be able to pursue what I love. From speaking with the other interns, those who were not still in school were taking on as many as 3 part time jobs to cover food and rent in the city, which is probably one of the most expensive cities to live in. While the rest had 40 minute to an hour long commute because they lived in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to be able to came home on Monday to our apartment in the Financial District (20 minutes from work) with a beautiful bouquet of hydrangea, dinner waiting, and he had ordered lunch for the next day for me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

bittersweet last day

 Today was my last day at the office. We all went out for a nice lunch and it was bittersweet. I've gotten to know everyone pretty well here, and as they left at the end of the day, they each gave me a hug. I'm a total hug person, so I loved it! After dying to get out of here, I thought I would be relieved and happy. I mean I am, but along with it was this sad heavy feeling. These people did manage to get under my skin and I will miss them dearly.

As I carried out my box of belongings, my boss ran after me and took a picture of me leaving. They've become almost family, but like adulthood, you gotta eventually cut the cord. I guess it's time I become an adult.

I'm moving up the rest of my things this Sunday, and Monday starts my first day at Lincoln Center for Fashion Week. I was following my company on twitter, and I'm so sad to learn that I missed the ASOS/Teen Vogue show today. I square I won't miss a single show next year. And maybe if I'm good, they'll even send me to Paris Fashion Week (we have a small office there). Sigh, a girl can dream.

But in the mean time, no looking back!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the obvious; resumes tips

I've been searching for my replacement here for the past week and a half. We finally found one, but it was after scouring about 200 plus resumes. Having gone through the application process myself a few weeks before, it was really interesting to be on the receiving end this time. Some resumes were shockingly horrid, and some were yawn inducing, but less than a hand full (that's four fingers and the thumb) were decent.

I am by no means an expert, but this is some universal things that should apply to most resumes:

  • One page!! - Most of us (in our twenties with non-executive level jobs) only have enough professional accolades to fill one page. And that's all it should fill. Anything superfluous of 1 page immediately looks unprofessional, and having about 200 applications in my inbox makes it really easy to press the delete button on this one. If you are just out of college or not a CEO, you really need to keep it to one page. 90% of the applicants who sent in their resumes ran 2-5 pages long. Yes, 5 pages. At that point it doesn't even matter what's on the resume itself, you already lost your chance when you decided to list all your accomplishments since high school, summer jobs, or describe every job in novel form. Your resume is a valuable one page real estate. Use every inch, margin, and line spacing wisely. List only the important relevant stuff.
  • Format; a little goes a long way - Every word document defaults at Times New Roman. It would show a little bit of effort if you took the time to fiddle around with the font a little to show you put a little bit of thought into the over all look. I mean the resume does need to look a little bit different to stand out, but it also needs to be appealing to the eye over all. I pretty much deleted any application that looked dull and unappealing. I mean the first 25 of them, I skimmed almost everything, but after a while I stopped caring. Same thing with the hiring managers who are going through your resumes. Don't be afraid to use an unassuming (and unisex) blue color for your name at the top. This makes your resume pop instantly. And remember that sans serif is easier on the eye on a computer screen, not to mention it looks so much better. 
  • Less is more - Be concise when listing your job descriptions. To save valuable resume real estate, there is no need to use complete sentences as long as the rest of the resume stays consistent with this theme. Some people think the more jobs they list the better because it shows how much experience you have. Wrong. Experience to a manager equals years. If you were at a job for a year or less, unless it was a really prestigious temporary or contract job (like interning at the running mayor's office) do not put that on your resume. Managers look to hire someone who can commit for the long haul, so if you put down a short term job, it gives them the wrong impression and can actually hurt your chances.
  • Avoid fluff (aka bullsh*t) - Hiring managers can see through the euphemisms right away because they get paid to do this all day long. So if you were a sales person, do not put down "customer affairs liaison" or something so fluffed up that it isn't even clear anymore what exactly the job was. Just put down "sales associate." Thats concise and to the point.
  • Hierarchy of ADHD - My friend taught me this, and after searching for my replacement, I have to say it's dead on. Managers will pay more attention to things written at the top of the resume, and then their attention wades as they get towards the middle. They usually skip over the middle entirely if you did not grab their attention at the top, and go straight to the bottom, which is usually the part where we have miscellaneous skills or something equally random and somewhat relevant. So keep the most current job at the top with about 5-6 bullets at the most, the most important or prominent duties/accolades at the top. If your job title was "library clerk," you almost don't need to make a bullet to say "Responsible for record keeping." That's a given. The jobs thereafter should only contain up to 4 bullets and only list the most important tasks, otherwise no one will take the time to read through it. Lastly, the Miscellaneous section is where you get to show a little bit of your personality. You can show your creative side by listing that you were a 'freelance graphic designer' instead of listing that your hobbies include knitting and walks on the beach.
  • Desperately Seeking a Job - I had some people with PHD's and Masters applying to fill this job. Sure it requires a college education, but anything post grad is just overly qualified that managers won't even consider hiring you. But it's obvious why these people are applying for a job they are obviously overqualified for; times are really tough and sometimes it's even harder to find a good job when you are just, well, too good. So what I suggest here is to omit those details that would take you out of the running. You are not selling yourself short by doing this, you are simply catering your resume to suit exactly what they are looking for. 

That's all I can think of for now, but I hope it helps. I was dumbfounded to find so many resumes that surpassed the one page limit. It was mind boggling.

two planets colliding have to make a boom

Our lives change drastically depending on who we are with, lovers, family or friends. An old joke goes:


A woman goes back to her high school reunion and introduces her billionaire CEO husband to a gas station attendant. Later, the husband says, ‘Who was that?’ She says, ‘My ex-boyfriend.’ The husband says, ‘Good thing you married me! If you’d stayed with him, you’d be married to a gas station attendant.' She says, 'If I had married him, he’d be the billionaire CEO and you’d be the gas station attendant.'




Monday, September 6, 2010

i'm batsh*t crazy


Busiest weekend of my life. On Saturday, I woke up at 8AM for an eye exam (yay new thick rimmed dior frames! ), drop off a bouquet at my mother's office because it was her birthday, got a oil change because the warning light decided go off that day, packed all my belongings into three suitcases (one reserved for all my shoes), and got in to New York by 11PM. Luckily the lover was there to keep me sane, or at least absorb my intensity a bit. 


When we finally arrived at the apartment, we started setting up right a way. Obviously Rome wasn't built in a day, but having this feeling of incompleteness--my belonging split between two states, and in some sort of in-between-move limbo, I couldn't help but feel a bit displaced.

And then reality hit me like a brick. I was really leaving my previous life behind, for something new....exciting may be a part of it but right now it was overshadowed by how scared and alone I suddenly felt. Safe and secure went out the window. This is all illogical, I know, but fear of the the unknown is never from the brain but rather a source of the heart. I teared up like a baby a few times. I'm giving up my job, my really sweet bed, and my dad's home cookin. I almost curled into a ball as the boyfriend tried to comfort me as best he could. I settled for mochi ice cream and went to bed exhausted, heart unsettled as ever. Life feeling quite bleak.



This is nothing compared to those who were displaced in a war or those who lost their homes due to a recession. I am being a big baby, but this is my own personal journey. I wasn't born in the States, I was born in Vietnam, after the war. We moved here when I was 11 years old, so feeling lost is not a new feeling, but rather a fear I've come to recognize and avoided since I was 11. I never felt like Vietnam was home because it belonged to those who won the war, and after arriving in the States, I almost felt like we were in waiting...waiting to return to Vietnam when it would finally be ours again, like it was when my parents were young.

The concept of home is quite idyllic. It's the beautiful memories of a past that is long gone. It's almost an opposition to change because it's a yearning for the familiar, the stagnant past to stay the way it is forever. I'm mourning something that I never had, whose memories were never mines to begin with. The concept of home has always been about the past to me, but I'm starting to realize that along with everything else in life, your idea of what makes a place "home" is also transient. 

We are creatures of change and transitions.


Today he showed me how to use the subway to get to work. I start in a week and after a year of dating my New Yorker, I had purposely remained ignorant of the inner-workings of the New York subway system. Luckily, I only have to stay on the "Green line" and make two stops. Walking to work would take 20 minutes, so I'll save that for when I'm feeling randy. 



One sweet perk to the weekend; the US Open. Attended for the second time in a row and got to see the Murray-Wawrinka match on Sunday. We were rooting for Wawrinka the whole time so it was exhilarating to see him win.

But yes, the title says it all.


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