Poppy had just left assisting Venetia Scott, so she didn’t need a full-time assistant. She ended up recommending me to another stylist, Stevie Westgarth, and I worked with him for about 6 months. Then I found a position with Gillian Wilkins, who was the fashion director at Russh Magazine at the time. I was with her for about 2 years.
Were you between Australia and the UK? or...
Just the UK because that’s where Gillian’s office was located which was a bit of a challenge when it came to communicating with PR’s. UK PR’s we could talk to all day but New York PR’s would open at 2pm and then with Australia you’d wake up in the middle of the night and answer emails at 4am. We would always be working on quite a few projects at once, which would add to the craziness.
It was definitely a 24/7 job and pretty hectic. But I loved it. Then when Gillian moved to New York, we parted ways. It was good timing because I realized that by then I had learned everything that I needed from that position at that time. I feel like when you’re not progressing anymore and you feel like you can do that job with your eyes closed you know, it’s the right time to move on.
Can you go into detail about your role there?
My role on the masthead was Fashion Director's Assistant. But I basically worked as Gill's first assistant in addition to Russh work. I worked on all of her shoots, which included cover shoots, main fashion shoots and extra stories within an issue. I also worked with contributors that Gill would bring on board. Production was a part of my job as well, so it was good to have my previous production skills under my belt. Gill was Lucinda Chambers first at British Vogue years ago and still does a lot of work for international Vogue’s. So we’d always be working on editorials for them as well.
So your prior experience with production ended up benefiting you?
100%. It gave me the tools to be a better assistant. When interviewing I think it gave me a step ahead as well because people like to see that on a resume. The skills learned in production are invaluable for assisting creative people, especially because it’s all about organization and structure which teaches you how to be a good assistant. It’s also important to know how to treat people on set, and especially how to deal with people who can be a bit difficult.
People skills can be the most important to have.
Yeah, you really have to be aware of what you say and when. It’s definitely something you learn with experience over time when you’re assisting. It’s important to give the stylist and the photographer physical space on set to do their thing and bring their vision to the shoot. You have to step back and let them know you’re in their eye line but not in their way.
What was your position?
What is the difference of working at a magazine in the US versus Australia?
Russh is a bit more relaxed as compared to Nylon and Harper’s Bazaar. There is still the same drive and workmanship but Australia as a country is more laidback in general, and that attitude is also reflected in the work culture
What have you learned from it?
I’ve been able to write for both the online platform and in-mag, which has taught me to alter my writing style to fit the specific tone of a brand.
What is the company culture?
It reminds me a lot of NYLON, the team is really small and young, and they have become one family. The in-house editorial team is also all women, which is really fun.