1. There is absolutely nothing glamorous about this job. Fashion editors look ridiculously put together during events because we represent a brand—a magazine, a website, a designer, a giant retail store. But we don't always look like we're put together. On days when we have to lug around 10 different garment bags from one shoot location to the next, we're in denim cut-offs and sneakers—and do not resemble fashion girls. Actually, mukha talaga kaming alalay.
2. Despite that, appearances really are everything. Yes, our bosses do require us to dress, walk, and talk a certain way, because we represent a brand. It doesn't matter if we're starting out as editorial assistants/fashion assistants or climbing up the ladder as fashion editors, stylists, or brand managers. It matters how we present ourselves.
3. There's a lot of heavy lifting required. Clothes for shoots don't magically appear in our office. They're not always sent to us in packages and paper bags. We don't actually have a closet full of clothes like in The Devil Wears Prada. The clothes you see in magazines are borrowed from stores. So we spend a lot of our time in malls—sourcing, borrowing, and returning things. And when we damage something we borrow, we actually have to pay for it. Sometimes that thing is designer. So we just cry.
4. And because we spend a lot of our time in malls, it's easy to splurge on clothes. Yeah, so there's a lot of borrowing of clothes involved in this job, right? So sometimes when we like something, we don't return it anymore and pay for it because it's pretty. The technique we all learned is to leave all major credit cards at home when we visit malls because malls are black holes.
5. There really is some truth to The Devil Wears Prada. We deal with difficult people every day—designers, stylists, editors, models, makeup artists, hairstylists, and celebrities. There will be some days when we'd want to strangle people at work. But this isn't something unique to the fashion industry. The only reason why we have an expert level of 100 in Dealing With Horrible Human Beings And Situations is that we deal with awful things the best way we can: with our leather pants and our highest heels on. And also, red lipstick.
6. Not everyone in the fashion industry is Miranda Priestly. Sure, there are a LOT of difficult people in this industry, but there are also people who are nice and warm and kind and who will hold your hand when you have two hours to borrow clothes for a last-minute shoot with Atom Araullo (who is size S in Perry Ellis, if you wanna know).
7. You need to be on your feet all the time. Styling a shoot (with actual moving human beings!) takes a lot of planning. We pull out clothes from stores and style them in our head, and we think they look great. And then Shoot Day comes and the Perfect Outfit doesn't work out at all on your subject. Panic! So we figure out how to make the clothes work on the subject. We remove a jacket, change the shoes, add a belt, stack some rings, remove earrings, ditch the clutch—it's chaotic.
So for every photo and outfit you see in the magazine, there are 10 other different layouts that didn't get published.
8. There's also a lot of steaming, dry cleaning, and taping involved. Clothes get stained during shoots. It's inevitable. So we wash or dry clean the items before we return them, because there is no way we are paying P5,000 for a Zara skirt that isn't our size (but we would if it were). Taping is the process in which we put masking tape on the outsoles of shoes, so they don't get damaged when the models use 'em during shoots.
9. It pays to be nice. They say you need to be a little catty to survive in this industry. And while there is some truth to that, you also have to be nice and sweet to everyone. Nobody really walks in at Forever 21 to borrow clothes and goes, "Don't you know who I am???"
10. There really are certain artistas we don't want to work with, because they're difficult and awful and request for a lot of impossible things. But we still work with them, because they're famous and popular. We help them with their celebrity PR; they help us with our brand. This creative industry is also a business.
11. Yes, we really do judge people based on what they're wearing. We have weird conversations with ourselves in our head when we bump into someone with VPLs. Or gladiator sandals paired with leggings.
12. We know this is a shallow industry. We’re not saving lives. We’re not solving world hunger. You don't always have to like what we say about the clothes that are on trend, and we don't expect you to follow everything. But we're here as your fashion fairygodmothers, in case you just need some guidance and inspiration and have no clue what the fuck the current trends are. Because we know those things still matter to YOU. Kanya-kanya lang naman ng trip.