Published on: https://www.mode-edition.com/
Thank you both Mary Catherine Bashay and Rani Ariefanti
for being available for an interview and sharing your insight.
No Phones Allowed!!!
Alert! Alert! Interns needed!
All of the fashion students flock,
Sending emails to the glorious Stephano
Stating availability for fashion week
and attaching resumes.
Working for Rick Owens is a dream.
As students of fashion, it is important to investigate which space you belong and in what positions you thrive; one of the best ways to do so is through an internship. During Men’s Fashion Week in Paris for Spring/Summer 2019 there was a plethora of opportunities for Paris’s fashion students to intern with the Rick Owens House.
The experience being varied, it is impossible to say that if one student loves it the next will feel the same–but what is consistent is the way the Rick Owens team manages their interns.
As there are so many people and jobs involved in putting on a fashion show, especially one of such a high caliber, it would be impossible to relay everything that goes on to make sure that the presentation goes smoothly. However there are a few jobs that interns are typically asked to do; these include being a dresser, working the showroom, or acting as a secondary assistant to a team.
Thanks to the help of a couple students at the International Fashion Academy Paris, we got some good insight of what it is like to work as an intern for both the fashion show and the showroom.
Working the show:
First things first, the interns must be SHARP. All cellphones are confiscated. No ifs, buts, ands, or maybes. Second, you must be dressed in all black–literal black, not kind of black–many interns were sent home for not wearing the proper attire (faded black jeans for example). Thirdly, you do the job assigned to you, nothing else. Then intern culture at Rick Owens has said to be quite similar to what one would imagine being in the military would be like.
Being a dresser at a Rick Owens Fashion Show is specific, organized, and unique to other fashion houses. It is specific in that every style is predetermined (as all fashion houses do), and the dresser MUST style the model exactly as the stylist and designer dictated. This includes any tucked in pieces, addition or subtraction of jewelry, and immaculately placed accessories. The organization is high in terms of every model having a specific look they are supposed to display and a way in which it is supposed to be displayed. The models are typically working multiple shows and it is crucial, as the dresser, to make sure all of the details are consistent with the desired look crafted by the designers and stylists at Rick Owens–the models won’t always remember to remove pieces from other shows they had just worked and rushed over from. Dressing the models at Rick Owens is unique to other major fashion houses because they have carefully selected models that express their brand image, a rift of ‘the beauty of every body.’ Rick Owens laud the beauty of the socially conceptualized imperfect, an example being that one model this year was albino and another had alopecia. And with this one job, a part of the brand image is in the intern’s hands–a very important job alas.
Working the showroom:
The showroom, on the other hand, is known to be a completely different experience, the only similarity being that as an intern at the showroom means you also do not go to the show.
The Rick Owens collection is extensive and prepared in yet again an organized fashion where each garment on each three floors of the showroom has been labeled with a corresponding number. The models that will wear the garments will also carry the number that matches each garment for the clients and buyers to see easily and keep record of which pieces they would like to purchase.
The team in charge of the showroom benefit from the aid of the interns by having them continuously reorganize the clothing and assist when the clients are visiting. Interns in the showroom have a whole other experience entirely.
Upon completion of the preparation of the show, the interns are then shuffled to the back and expected to wait for the guests to arrive, the show to happen, and basically wait for the models to rush back, so that you can help them undress as quick as possible, so they can make it in time for their next show.
Interning for a fashion brand, if the desire to work in fashion is yours, is incredibly invaluable. The level of how insightful and amazing it is is completely based off of luck and totally subjective. The reality of an internship is actually the same as anything in life–it is what you make of it. It is better to always do your best, never take things too seriously, and act with passion (meaning, if you don’t feel passionate follow through with your commitment and then move on).
As an intern it is very important to recognize why you are working where you are, is it because of the hype or a genuine passion for that brand, company, or establishment. When the care is there, all of the grunt and pain that comes with interning will be utterly and most amazingly worth it.
Photography taken from Rick Owens site – https://www.rickowens.eu/en/US/collections/men-babel-ss19
Interviews of: Mary Catherine Bashay and Rani Ariefanti