A Stylish Start

May 31, 2017

As a self-diagnosed creature of habit, all of the changes that are presently happening in my life would typically throw me for a loop. Graduating from college, moving out of my beloved North End neighborhood (okay, this one is especially upsetting), and having to apply to jobs in my desired industry are all daunting affairs. I may have no idea what city I’ll end up in or what job I’ll land, but I do know that I’ll be spending a month in London this summer, as I’ve been accepted to study at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design! No matter what happens to me afterwards, the fact that my post-grad “Funemployment” tour includes a little jaunt in the world of the glossy pages of Vogue and beyond is a step in the right direction. A stylish, pointy-toed, red-soled step.

Read my personal statement from my application below for a sneak peek into how high on Cloud 9 I am floating thanks to this amazing opportunity, and cheers to new beginnings!

I would imagine that every cover letter or job application for the fashion industry containing the phrase “I have a passion for fashion” lands itself in the trash bin quicker than one can finish rolling their eyes. Such an act is understandable, as the phrase is so clichéd and diluted that it is nearly meaningless.

I don’t know what sparked my interest in the fashion world, to be honest. There doesn’t seem to have been one pivotal moment, but rather a collection of memories leading me in this direction. Perhaps it was seeing photographs of my stylish Aunt Geraldine in the 1960’s, donned head to toe in Mary Quant, most likely trotting up and down the King’s Road. Maybe it was being mesmerized as a little girl by the recurring face I’d see on all the fashion magazines, who I would later learn to be Kate Moss, turning in to me having quite an extensive collection of her covers.

I knew my future in design was a bust when my first creation as a six year old was a long-sleeved top with a 1”x1” square cut out at the navel, just enough room so the belly button could peek through. Scandalous! The popularity of blogs later on let me test the waters of using my words to talk about fashion trends and brands, which felt much more natural to me. When I was sixteen and learned what fashion Public Relations was, I thought it sounded like a career that would fit me like a glove.

In 2015, I visited a friend from home in Paris and happened to be around the Grand Palais at just the right time, which was during Paris Fashion Week outside Maison Margiela’s Autumn/Winter 2015 show, better known John Galliano’s comeback. It was then, after witnessing all the buzz and excitement as an outsider, and catching a glimpse of industry legends Mario Testino and Grace Coddington, that I confirmed I still wanted to dive head first into this industry and give it my all, whatever that may be.

When I was in high school I spent hours and hours at a time trying to figure out what I was meant to do in life. I skipped lunch to head to the library and do my silly research: Future profession quizzes, personality tests…you name it. I was determined to find a career I would be happy in and I wanted to be set on achieving it. I’m more uncertain than ever what specific job I’ll hold in the future. One thing I will make certain, though, is that it will be in the fashion industry. As Coco Chanel once said, “I don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door”: I know that a job in this industry won’t fall into my lap, but I am confident that this summer course is a step in the right direction in helping me find my niche, my little nook in the large world of fashion.


More about Charlotte O'Neill

Just another PR girl with an itch to leave one big city for the next. Currently living in Boston's North End. Poster girl for the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget”. Creature of habit. Lover of fashion and have an irrational addiction to French skincare. When I’m not writing I’m waiting tables and spending tips on traveling and concerts. My claim to fame is that I once took a selfie with Mario Testino, and Posh Spice is my spirit animal.