FBI Student Eleni George
Fashion Assistant at MBFWA | My Empirical Life
What opportunities have you been a part of since starting your Fashion Journey?
I only just started my fashion journey this year and so far I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of amazing experiences such as – assisting front of house at Fashion Palette, being a backstage dresser at the David Jones SS17 Vogue International Designer Runway Show, interning for Mark Vassallo, assisting on a Vogue Online photoshoot and of course assisting Tanja Gacic during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
How did you get the opportunity to assist Tanja Gacic of My Empirical Life at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week?
I obtained the position simply by reading my emails! The emails that are sent out regularly by FBI offer many great opportunities. One of these emails featured a fashion week assistant position for a blogger/vogue contributor and I simply applied. I was required to submit my CV, some samples of my photography work and a sample fashion collage. Within a few days I received a phone call from FBI informing me that I had attained the position.
What were your day to day tasks assisting Tanja?
Usually my day would begin with meeting Tanja at her home. I would then accompany her to every show she was attending that day. Between shows I would take photographs of the outfits she was wearing for her to upload to her social media accounts. Throughout the day I was required to create collages from the photographs that she had taken during the shows for her to use as content on her social media accounts. Other than that some days I was required to pick up items on our way to the shows from her agency and sit front row at a number of shows that Tanja was not able to attend and take the photographs required to create the collages.
You assisted Tanja at the Dion Lee show held at the Sydney Opera House and your photo ended up on Vogue.com as street style, what was this like?
It was extremely cool seeing my image up on the Vogue website, especially because I was pretty anxious prior to fashion week about the looks I would be wearing each day. Being a part time student I did not have funds to purchase new outfits to wear, I found myself rummaging through the wardrobes of family and friends, yes… including my father’s. The outfit featured was created from pieces from my wardrobe, my grandma’s wardrobe, a chain owned by my father and some borrowed jewellery from the brand Project Metal, designed and created by a friend of mine. It made me realise that you do not need to be wearing the latest and the most expensive items to make an impact, if you have the creativity you can put together an outfit from anything.
What was the best part of your week with Tanja?
The entire week was the best – that sounds cliché, but to be honest there was never a dull moment and I was able to experience so many different aspects of fashion week, all of which I really enjoyed. I was able to see behind the scenes of being a fashion blogger, attend any show I wanted to, sit front row when Tanja was unable to attend, hang out in the star lounge, stalk the street style, speak to designers, attend the Romance Was Born after party and just hang out with Tanja, who made it an extremely comfortable and enjoyable work environment. Fashion week as a whole was probably one of the most exciting experiences I have had and I hope I have the opportunity to attend again in the future.
Now you have worked with a Fashion Blogger, is this something you could see yourself doing? If not, what is your career goal?
I definitely could see myself pursuing it as a career, however I think I would enjoy a career similar to that of Tanja’s as she is not only a fashion blogger but a stylist, fashion photographer, creative director and a Vogue contributor, all aspects of the fashion industry that I am hugely interested in.
What will be the best lesson you’ve taken away from this experience?
The best lesson I would take away from this experience is to be confident, get involved with everything you possibly can and approach people, because you never know who you may meet and where it may take you.
What do you think is something that people don’t realise about being a Blogger and Fashion Week?
I think people don’t realise that it is quite an exhausting week, especially when you are a blogger. It seems like the more popular/successful you are the more shows you are invited to and therefore the more chaotic it is. Not all shows are held at the Carriage Works and although some shows have amazing canapes and drinks before or after, you usually don’t get to enjoy them as you quickly slide into an Uber and rush to make the next show. I also don’t think that people understand the amount of work that goes into maintaining a blog, especially during fashion week. At some point amidst the shows, outfit changes, the lunches and the dinner parties bloggers are required to edit and upload content of their looks and shows of the day in order to satisfy their followers. Even if the blogger has assistants they are still required to double check everything, have the final say and make changes if needed. I also realised that bloggers are just like us mere mortals, they are down to earth, often late (fashion is always late) and if need be will do their makeup or get changed in the car, a refreshing realisation for someone such as myself who is far from perfect and hopes to work in the fashion industry.
Interviewed by Kaiya Johnson | FBI Fashion College