I've never been an intern before. The word conjures up 'The Devil Wears Prada' type images in my head and I prepare myself for late night demands and eight word coffee orders. Note to self, don't wear a blue jumper to work under any circumstances. I feel I'm a little bit past it to be given the title 'Intern' but I can do 21 again......
My first order of the internship is to assist on a wardrobe session. This is going to be great fun. Having a look in people’s wardrobes is one of my favourite things ever. Along with nosing around people's houses so I get two for the price of one here. We meet our client and she is lovely and totally welcoming. The contents of her wardrobe have been deposited on the bed and it looks like a clothing bomb has exploded - much like most bedrooms before a night out. The task is actually quite overwhelming as we delve through jeans, dresses, trousers, tops, knits, jackets and skirts. The first task is to remove all the out-of-season items and put them to one side. This instantly makes the clothing mountain easier to climb. As we sort everything into piles by clothing type it becomes apparent that this lady likes black trousers. Loves black trousers. I count 14 pairs and I'd be hard pushed to tell them all apart. We're going to have to be brutal and tell her she can only keep two maybe three pairs. I'm having visions of us playing tug-o-war with trouser legs while we attempt to wrestle an old pair of Jaeger suit pants from clutching fingers. This may not be as easy as I first thought.
The more we continue, the more it strikes me that people (myself included) can get very attached to the items in their wardrobe. We all form emotional relationships with outfits as we remember places we wore them and people we met while in them. From lucky suits which have secured us jobs to fail-safe dresses that have ensured our success in matters of the heart, we all have our emotions wrapped up in our favourite pieces. A wardrobe isn't just a mass of clothing, it tells the story of our lives. There are things I own that I would never get rid of from my first pair of Levi 501s which I bought with my friend Jane to the dress I wore to renew my wedding vows in front of an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas. This is why you can't just go through this pile of memories without having a thought for all the feelings. It's a very delicate business.
Two hours later everything has been tried on. We've managed to whittle the black trouser mountain down to just three pairs and there is now a Yes pile and a No pile. There are only about twelve items left hanging in what now seems like a very empty wardrobe. The next stage of the process is shopping to fill in all those gaps. I'm starting to get a real taste for this and hopefully in the months to come I'll be the one with the styling business and the intern. Make mine a skinny soy decaf extra-hot spiced caramel latte. Please.