Words by Ruby Anthony
The reason I became interested in studying at The Fashion Institute wasn’t just my love for fashion and the desire to make my way into the industry – I didn’t just want sit in a classroom, I wanted to get out there and start experiencing. In my 8 months at TFI, I’ve achieved more than I thought possible, from assisting backstage on runway shows and photoshoots, to now, assisting on a shoot for an international magazine.
Through TFI’s amazing Communications and Careers Manager Bryce McIntosh, I was notified of an upcoming opportunity to assist on a photoshoot for an international magazine, more specifically Elle Serbia. I jumped at the chance and was fortunate enough to land the role of styling assistant – to say I was excited would be the understatement of the century!
It wasn’t long between securing the role and when the day finally rolled around. Waking up at the crack of dawn to travel to the city was nothing new to me, but it always gets me excited for the day ahead; what I’m going to learn and experience; and the people I get to meet and connect with. Working alongside makeup artist Tri-Anh Nguyen, stylist Emma Cotterill, photographer Carlotta Moye and model Agi Akur made for such a fun and enjoyable experience, one which I’m sure I’ll never forget. Luckily for me, prior to the shoot I had previously worked with Tri-Anh and it was comforting to see a familiar face and someone who I look up to within the industry. A clear highlight of the opportunity, was being able to work alongside such inspiring, renowned industry professionals that I have looked up to for as long as I’ve known fashion was for me.
Prior to Elle Serbia, I have had experience on smaller shoots, but nothing of this caliber and certainly not for an international publication. As a styling assistant I was responsible for being the right-hand man to Emma and ensuring anything she needed was taken care of – taping shoes left, right and center and even assisting Carlotta with lighting. It’s always fascinating showing up to shoots and getting the chance to see the latest designer trends and fashions (pieces I dream of getting to see in person). I was surrounded by cult favourite brands Givenchy, Coach, Chloe, Bally, Fendi and so many more, and the inner fashion addict was screaming inside, amazed that I got to work amongst pieces that are so amazing, iconic and timeless.
I’ve learnt that every experience you have working in this industry, whether it be a photoshoot, runway show or other, is going to be wildly different – and there was no exception here. Elle Serbia was my first experience shooting on location (at Voodoo Point, Kurnell) and I learnt that nature isn’t always on your side and can be the most difficult crew member on set. Although it was a gorgeous sun-filled day, it became frustrating when we were halted because clouds had rolled in or the wind picked up – nothing we couldn’t manage though.
I left this experience feeling fulfilled, satisfied with myself and the work I had put in and motivated to continue to learn and find new experiences that will allow me to grow within the industry. I can’t wait to see what the next step is and where I’ll go from here, but one thing is certain – it’s going to take a lot more experience and opportunities like this for me to get there.