Greetings from London!
People are driving on the wrong side of the road and the bathroom stalls go all the way to the floor.
I must be in England.
Why am I in England? I hadn’t thought much about it until I woke up this morning. As the airplane wheels hit British soil it finally hit me: Holy crap I’m in England.
In January, I was down with the flu and decided to fill out some random internship applications for the upcoming summer. I didn’t expect to hear anything back, as most companies won’t take on students before their junior year in a fashion program, but I knew it wouldn’t hurt to try. Plus it gave me a distraction from feeling like my head was about to explode. (Today, however, I think my mind did explode.)
About the Designer:
"Miss Tammam lives by the philosophy “If there has to be a victim in fashion, let it be you.” A pioneer of ethical fashion.
Couturier to the stars, Ms T has dressed and styled icons from Jenny Agutter to Eleanor Tomlinson. She was even sited as one of the designers in the running to create the wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge.
As the creative director and founder of Tammam she places equal importance on sustainability, innovation, cut and style to courageously work towards changing the way we regard our clothing.
For over a decade she has lived between Bloomsbury and India. Within Assamese hills, and rural villages in Andhra Pradesh Ms Tammam personally researches local ecological fabrics and yarns to cultivate and reinvent perishing techniques traditional to each region."
Soon after there was a Skype interview with a woman from one of the companies I had applied to. She said I could start in May. Great! She said that she was located near a train. Even better!
She said she would be happy to help me with my construction skills. Sold.
But. She said all of those things in a British accent. I had just been offered an internship in London -- 2,000 miles from the city I had just started to become semi-accustomed to. I was thinking about calling her back to tell her I had misunderstood, but it was at that time that we had our dear Fanny living with us.
“You will go!” She said. “You will go, and you will stay with my sister there.”
So I did a little digging, found a horrendously cheap ticket as a little bonus from God, and that was that.
The door was swinging wide open. So why not?
Yesterday my mom and Michael dropped me off at JFK with my carry-on, backbpack, and beloved red Converse. This morning, I was greeted at Gatwick airport by Fanny’s vibrant sister, Grimanesa.
After dropping bags at her home in East Ham, I made a mad dash for the London Tube (NYC Subway’s much tidier big sister), to come out at King’s Cross to meet my employer before her shop closed. I made it just in time for a quick look in her studio and a debriefing over my tomorrow to-do list.
I keep running into people because of the “walk on the right side of the hallway!” screech that my first grade teacher’s aid ingrained in the minds of all of her pupils. Keep left, Katherine, keep left!
I also have no idea if 70 pence is a good price for a chicken thigh. What is a “Tube Zone,” and how many do I need to pay for? I also have to keep reminding myself that “pants” mean underwear here and the “first floor” of a building actually means it’s the second floor.
I have a ways to go, but I’ve got until July 7th to get it figured out, so I’m sure it will all come together.
Not to mention all that I am excited to learn from the gifted and experienced hands at my internship. I have been waiting my whole life of a hands-on sewing experience like this!
I’ll have more to report on later, but for now, here are some pictures of the neighborhood where I’m working and where Grimanesa and her husband live with their son, Christan, 24, daughter, Brittany, 15, and cat, Meechu.