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TEEN Vogue Fashion University Recap

For those three days, I was living my dream.

I had six hours of sleep and was physically exhausted everyday.

But not for a second did I doubt that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.

It’s my passion for fashion.

I was one of 500 students elected to attend 2011 TEEN Vogue Fashion University in New York City from Oct. 21st -23rd. It was a three-day workshop presented by TEEN Vogue editors and other fashion elites, which included editorial, retailing, designing, and styling.

When I received the admission e-mail starting with ”Congratulations,” I literally screamed and repeated “Oh my god” for about 10 seconds until my roommate asked me to stop.  Within three days, I finished registration for sessions and booked a flight and hotel. There was still a month to go by that time, but I couldn’t help picturing me as the girl in Devil Wears Prada. At that point my Empire State of Mind was in full speed. Of course it wasn’t my first time to New York City, but every time I go there, I feel nothing can go wrong.  

Time flies. Now I am back to school and back to my busy college schedule. But TEEN Vogue Fashion University seems like yesterday. In celebration and to thank all my friends and readers, here is the post to recap my TEEN Vogue adventure in NYC.

Kick-Off Party @H&M

Oct. 21, 6:00-8:00pm, New York City

Start from the top: Exclusive event open to TVFU students at H&M; a huge waiting line outside the store before the party started; Black tie caterers offering refreshing mocktails


The sound of Viva Brother filled the store with their lovely accent and thrilling live performance. They are a Gritpop band from Slough. To some extent, their fashion style reminded me of The Beatles. From their debut album, I recommend “False Alarm” and “Electronic Daydream.” 

TEEN Vogue DJ playing the hottest up beat tunes


Get-your-hair-feathered section! Can you find me? 


Fashion Spotlight: Chic on Duo


Spotted at H&M event

Noticeable pieces (from left to right):

1) High-waist maxi wool skirt: Maxi is not just for warm weather! After trying skinny jeans, leather pants, and tights, a wool maxi gives you a new option for winter! Pair it with boots and brave the weather in style.

2) Messenger bag and gladiator sandals: This Fashionisto opts for a ‘40s style at the top, but he spins it with a taste of modernism by carrying his heavy nylon messenger. He completed his ensemble with the strap sandals. It injects a stream of tribe-inspired feeling to his look. 

3)  Leopard print shirt with bow tie: Leopard is the color this fall. The black bow tie eases the intensity of the leopard print blouse and adds a touch of sweetness over it.  

4) Pumpkin color blazer: Spice up your fall look with this great color blazer and ice it with a thick cream scarf. Make sure to put your hair up and slip on your boots to elongate the silhouette.

Here Comes The Burning Fall

Two Fashionistos in H&M; it seems that blazers, crimson pants, and black lace-up boots are hot this season. 

Are you a bow tie enthusiast or a scarf lover?   

Noticeable pieces (from left to right): 

1) Velvet floral blazer: The dark purple velvet blazer with floral print is the eye-catcher wherever he goes. The crimson pants tone down the authentic vintage style and elevate his polished look.

2) The red pants: this pair offers a brighter hue and eye-popping color. Besides the strong contrast created by the colors, the soft and cozy layered scarf allows you to indulge yourself.

Oct. 22, CLASS BEGINS!

All students attended the opening session in Hudson Theatre, New York City

Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of TEEN Vogue; Sabine Feldmann, Publisher of TEEN Vogue

All the sessions were hosted by one of the editors from TEEN Vogue. The first half of every session, an editor interviewed the guest, and the other half was left open for Q&A.

1st Session

The American Idol: Michael Kors


Beyond my expectations, Michael Kors is a very personable and humorous person!

At the time, Michael Kors was still a poor college kid. One day, Michael was planning to apply for a job. His interview place was next to an expansive jean store he liked to shop at. So Michael went into the store and started to check out jeans. He picked one and tried it on. When he was looking himself in the mirror, he asked the sales associate if he could get any discounts. The girl told him that only the employee got 20% discounts at that time.

 ”How wonderful! I wish I could work here!” Michael said. 

"Well, there are few positions available if you are interested,"the girl replied. 

"Sign me in!" Michael cheered. 

Later on, the owner of the store asked Michael to design jeans for them and gradually Michael started his own line. 

You never know where the opportunities in your life will take you. So be prepared to catch as many as you can! 

Q&A session with Michael Kors and Amy Astley



2nd Session

The Street King: Alexander Wang

Amy interviewing Alexander Wang

Interesting Fact: Do you know Alexander Wang used to be an intern for TEEN Vogue?!

Although he dropped out of school to pursue fashion, Alexander Wang is still an exceptional as well as an extremely talented designer. During the interview, he was modest and always smiling. 

Some design students asked Alex about his inspiration; He said it was just those random things from life. It could be from architecture, fine arts, or even from someone standing at a subway station.

3rd Session

The Shoe Queen: Tamara Mellon

Shiona Turini, Accessories Director in Teen Vogue, interviewing 
Tamara Mellon, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Jimmy Choo

According to Mellon, eduction is very important. She has to work with designers as well as every department in the company. She likes to create a version before she launches a collection. The concept of all advertising and PR campaign comes from the collection. 

"I always ask myself what I need for my wardrobe, and then get inspired."Mellon said. 

Shiona and me


LUNCH BREAK! 


Tip: grab a cold sandwich/snack bar with you if you are going to run around. I had a quick lunch at a local burger place. The meal was great, but I had to spend extra time cleaning myself up…you definitely don’t want to smell like your lunch when you are going to meet your future employer.  

Students waiting to check in for afternoon sessions

4th Session

The EXCLUSIVE Teen Vogue Editorial Tour

TEEN Vogue located on the 9th &10th floor of Condé Nast Building;

 it is the place where magic happens…well, at least for me!

Walked into Condé Nast Building, passed through security, and took an elevator to the 9th floor, I couldn’t imagine right at that moment I was standing where I had been dreaming to be for years—TEEN Vogue editorial office.

Yes, it has always been in the movies, in the books or glossy magazines, and in my imaginative mind. But now I was face-to-face with my dream. My mind went blank for a second… 

First Surprise: Meet Amy Astley and her gorgeous office.

She was in the middle of writing The Letter From Editor for the upcoming issue. 

Definitely not Devil Wears Prada, but a dream come true!

From left to right clockwise: office hall way; the office where Carrie Bradshaw first met her Vogue editor in the show; a part of TEEN Vogue closet

Q&A time! Chit and chat with Fashion Assistants Sarah Pillai and Ade Samuel in the TEEN Vogue closet!  

Sarah and Ade both agree that they look for interns who are passionate and eager to be in fashion.

TEEN Vogue is full of surprises! Guess who joined us? Mary Kate, the Senior Fashion Market Editor at TEEN Vogue 

Q: What is the most outrageous thing you have ever experienced from job seekers?

A: Some one just walked into Condé Nast building and asked the security to call me. Then that person goes, “Hi, I want a job here. What do you say?” 

5th Session

The Visual Keeper: Linda Fargo

Linda Fargo, Vice Senior President of Bergdorf Goodman

Fargo majored in Fine Arts when she was in college. Later, she landed a job at Macy’s dressing windows. Today, she is the VSP of Bergdorf Goodman.

She looked flawless. She has the charisma that one can feel as soon as she walks in the room. From the way she dresses, the way she sits, and the way she talks, everything is so inspiring. Sitting in the audience, I couldn’t help wonder if that could be me some day.

This is something that one cannot understand just from reading articles and looking at photos from newspapers and the Internet. These successful people are everywhere, from cover to cover in all glossies. But it was not until the moment I met them and listened to their stories behind the glamour, that I realized they are real people, too. Their career began right after college and experienced rejection from time to time, yet they never gave up.

Sitting in the audience, I felt surprised that I could relate to those famous designers and the fashion elite in some way. So what’s the secret to success? Do whatever it takes and never give up. It is the easiest and also the most difficult thing in this world.

Sometimes we couldn’t help whining, “are we there yet?” Some people give up yet some people hold on and eventually succeed. No one knows how long it will take or how much we need to pay to reach success.

“It is important to find your passion and obsession,” Fargo said. “Life has a way of opening the door for you when you knock.”

6th Session

TEEN Vogue 101: ALL TEEN Vogue Editors


TEEN Vogue 101, presented by TEEN Vogue editors

From left to right: Amy Astley, editor-in-chief; 

Gloria Baume, Fashion Director; 

Shiona Turini, Accessories Director; 

Jane Keltner de Valle, Senior Fashion News Director; 

Danielle Nussbaum, Entertainment Director; 

Andrew Bevan, Style Features Editor 

The session covered the information of their positions and student were able to ask questions. Here came the highlight: one girl sitting in the balcony made a RAP song, including all TEEN Vogue editors name, and performed it live. Every one was impressed. Of course, she got her opportunity to interview all the editors for her school newspaper. Brava girl!  


Saturday Night: Topshop Shopping Soirée

Unfortunately I was so into shopping (it’s Topshop…duh!) and didn’t leave any time to take photos. The event featured Topshop’s favorite New York City DJ, a guest photographer, makeover sessions, Twitter conversation on-site, delicious treats, and 20% discounts. To see more fashion photography during the event, click here!

Oct. 23 ,7th Session

Fashion In The Digital Age, Hudson Theatre

From left to right: 

Rich Tong, Fashion director of Tumblr; 

Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, founders of WhoWhatWear.com; 

Aliza Lichit, Senior Vice President at Donna Karen International;

 Susan Koger, founder of Modcloth.com 


This session covered the future of social media in fashion industry. Here are some tips to student bloggers from the speakers:

Rich Tong said Tumblr really appreciate and promote bloggers who have original works. He likes to see a blog that has a focus. 

"Find your own reason of starting a blog and be authentic to who you are," Tong said. 

"Concentrate on your content," Katherine Power said. "quality is over quantity." 

Lichit and Koger in Q&A session



GRADUATIONS!!!


I will be back, Condé Nast!

It was the first time in my life I felt my dreams are actually tangible. Walking in and out of Condé Nast, I had a feeling that I belong to this place. It was chemistry! It was a feeling of excitement and inspiration motivating me. But that is not enough. I need to push forward and to embrace everything new.  TVFU charged me full of energy and I am more than determined to pursue fashion journalism as my career. Although the most challenging part is that we only get one shot in life sometimes, we need to do whatever it takes and be proud of what we achieve.

Last but not least, thanks to all the editors and staff from TEEN Vogue for organizing these amazing events. My advice to those who haven’t attended, please do! You need to experience as much as possible to find out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Me? It has been and it always will be fashion journalism. 

Me and my TVFU ID

To Wrap Up…


 Here are another three Fashionistas spotted during the events of TVFU…

Noticeable pieces (from left to right):

1) Knee-long knit dress: Another fashionable and functional piece to have in your fall wardrobe. Pair it with opaque tights and ankle boots to toughen up the sweet girl look. Don’t be afraid of trying lighter hues, such as cream.

2) Lace, lace, and lace: Lace is on and everywhere this fall. It can take you from sophisticated casual wear to high street chic. A fedora is a great add-on for the fall. 

3) Shoes In Rouge: When it comes to classics, people always think of neutral colors, such as nude and black. But a pair of rouge heels can really bring in a fierce, but ladylike breath to beat the boredom of winter dark color palettes.

Style On,

Irene Wang

All photos here belong to Irene Wang. Insomina Irene Copyright 2011 reserved.


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