Before I started this internship at ELLE Canada, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was both nervous and excited. I had no idea what to wear or what the office would be like. I didn’t know what kind of work I’d be doing or what kind of people I’d be working with.
I’d seen the movies, and I nervously wondered, “Does art really imitate life?”
Looking back, this nervousness likely made my internship experience even more exciting and fulfilling. I navigated through unfamiliar territory, bringing a greater sense of accomplishment to everything I did. And everything ended up being a welcome surprise.
Here are three things I was excited to learn when I first walked the halls of ELLE Canada:
1. There is no Miranda Priestly. I saw The Devil Wears Prada. In fact, I own it. Miranda Priestly was one intimidating and awful editor-in-chief, and the fashion world is full of big egos (at least, that’s what TV and the movies tell us). I was a little worried that would be the case at ELLE Canada. But Noreen Flanagan, our editor-in-chief, and all the ELLE Canada editors are sweet as can be. They genuinely want their interns to have a fulfilling experience, and they’re more than happy to guide us and help us learn all that we can here.
2. “The book” does exist. As scary as “the book” was in The Devil Wears Prada—a binder containing all the pages of the magazine that had to be dropped off with very specific directions at Miranda’s house each night—I was really excited when I learned that the ELLE Canada editors also use one. It’s actually one of the intern duties during production. As soon as a page is laid out, it gets printed, and I place it in its proper order in the binder. This lets the editors get a better idea of the layout and the order of pages within the magazine, making sure it all flows well. This book doesn’t leave the office, though.
3. Editors use page layout walls. I remember that scene in The September Issue, when Vogue‘s creative director, Grace Coddington, comes in to see that all her fashion pages have been taken out of the magazine line-up by editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. As heartbreaking a moment as that was for Grace, I still thought it was so cool to see all the pretty pages laid out on the wall, like a storyboard for a film. Noreen has a huge corkboard in her office that serves this purpose. It’s an inspiration wall at its finest.