ouelle Loreti is a London based journalist and creative. Currently, she is in her final year of the BA Fashion Journalism at the University of the Arts London. She has previously worked as Global Events Intern at Burberry, Public Relations Intern at Simone Rocha, Digital Intern at Dazed and Confused and as Exhibition and Curation Intern at the Kunsthal Rotterdam.
She had multiple of her articles published by Dazed and Confused and helped to organise a variety of events for well-known fashion companies. She has lived in London and Amsterdam.
Next year, she will be starting an MA in Art History in Paris, after which she wants to work as fashion curator.
Overdressed: First off, we would like to say thank you for being the first person to take part in our new series, Overdressed at Work. Of course, in your case, this name is actually even more fitting since you are also working at Overdressed as our Culture & Society Editor and so, in a way, this is an insight into a member of our wonderful Overdressed team at work outside of this magazine. How did you come to work for Overdressed Magazine?
Louelle: I started working for Overdressed in September 2020. A few of my friends at university were contributing/working for the magazine and kept mentioning how lovely everyone on the team was. Last summer, I saw that the magazine was looking for new editors on their Instagram and directly got in contact with Natasza (the Editor-in-Chief) about the position of Culture & Society Editor. It has been so exciting to work on a publication within its beginning stages and to work with such an inspiring young team.
O: We are so happy to have you on our team! You and your work help to make this magazine so inspiring. Have you always wanted to study and work in Fashion Journalism and how did you come to the realisation that this was something you wanted to do?
L: No (laughs)! Fashion and Arts is something that I have been interested in from a very young age. Growing up, I was always just busy doing creative things and tried so many different forms of art. I actually went on to attend a Performing Arts specialised high school (laughs). Because I have always been engaging with so many different forms of art, my career goals have definitely changed over the years. Within high school I realized that my strengths most certainly weren’t in the performing arts. So I started looking into things within art which I found really interesting—leaning more towards writing, visual culture and fashion—and then kind of just came across this course.
O: Would you recommend studying Fashion Journalism to someone who wants to work in that field?
L: I always find this a tricky question if I am being completely honest. For me, studying Fashion Journalism and being at UAL in general has given me so many amazing possibilities and taught me a lot. If I hadn’t started studying Fashion Journalism, it would have been a lot harder to move out to London, which opened up a lot of different opportunities. Being within the environment of such a focused arts university means that you are able to meet many different people, who, at the end of the day, will be the ones you will be surrounded with in the industry. But I also know a lot of people within the field of journalism who didn’t attend university or who studied something completely different and they, too, are now all doing amazing stuff. So I honestly think that, yes, doing a course before going into journalism is amazing, but there are so many other ways to get into the industry. Not being able to attend university definitely isn’t something that will hold you back.
I honestly think that, yes, doing a course before going into journalism is amazing, but there are so many other ways to get into the industry.
O: Would you say that your degree was primarily theoretical, or did you also gain a lot of practical experience as part of your studies and, if yes, what did this experience look like?
L: My course is completely based and assessed on coursework, essays and journalism portfolios. My journalism classes are very practical and we mainly focus on how to write stronger articles. But besides journalism classes, we do have other projects that are more theoretical—such as cultural and historical studies, and fashion history.
O: Do you think your degree has helped you to meet people and build a network which can positively impact the next steps in your career?
L: I definitely think that my course has helped me meet a lot of other people and build a network with a younger generation within the arts and fashion industry. But I do think it’s more 50/50—I think networking outside of your course and putting yourself out there is just as important.
O: Internships in both Fashion and Journalism are highly competitive. Considering you have interned at a lot of important companies, what advice would you give aspiring applicants?
L: To be completely honest, emailing a million people and hoping you’ll hear back from one (laughs). Work on your own creative projects so that you have a portfolio of work to bring to the table when you’re applying to jobs. Try to read a lot of different publications and to keep on top of everything happening. Find out what styles of writing you really like and practice finding your own voice. My final tip would be to keep it very short when you email people asking for an internship, because no one actually has the time to read long emails. Put your CV (max. 1 page) and motivation letter in the attachment and, within the body of the email, be straight to the point and brief, but always keep it friendly and professional.
O: You wrote a variety of articles for Dazed and Confused. How did you come up with the ideas for their subjects?
L: I am very keen on Instagram stalking (laughs). Even though I do think it’s essential to take breaks from social media, it’s the main place I find ideas and inspiration for articles. I love searching for smaller up-and-coming artists to interview or seeing what people are currently up to. Especially right now, as we have all been socially distancing at home, I think it is crucial to be on top of social media and news as a journalist. Besides that I love taking inspiration from conversations I have with my friends or the people around me.
O: How do you incorporate your own values in your career?
L: By championing smaller designers/artists that align with my own values. I do so through collaboration on projects or by including them in articles to give them more recognition. For example, I often feature young, upcoming photographers and their work.
O: How do you look after your personal well-being when your studies or internships are busy and claim a lot of your time?
L: I think this is always a very personal question, which is very different for everyone. Personally, I deal with a lot of anxiety, which is something that mostly affects my well-being on a day-to-day basis. I would say the main thing that works for me is giving myself little moments during the day in which I completely sign off and do something different. For example, I start most of my days with a little bit of meditation or yoga, which I also do before going to bed. Another important thing is to find something that you love doing and which you can do completely offline, such as cooking or going on walks. These moments in a day don’t have to be extremely long, but for me they are definitely essential.
O: You have lived in London and Amsterdam and are soon moving to Paris. Which city’s fashion scene has impressed you the most and why?
L: They are all so different! But I think Paris might be my favourite, just because it’s closest to my personal style. Amsterdam has an amazing vintage and thrifting scene and is mainly influenced by the 90s; whereas London, for me, screams 70s punk and definitely is the most experimental one of the three and the place I was able to explore my personal style in the most. I am curious to see if my opinion changes once I move to Paris, though!
O: Why have you chosen to do your MA in Paris rather than doing a similar degree in London?
L: To be honest I just wanted a bit of a different setting. I really like the idea of moving around every few years, if possible, so I have been looking into moving to Paris for a little while now. As I am in my final year right now, I started applying to Master degrees at a few different places and Paris was the one I got accepted into, so it kinda felt meant to be (gosh, that sounds so cliche).
Even though I do think it's essential to take breaks from social media, it's the main place I find ideas and inspiration for articles.
L: I adore Fashion Journalism a lot and I definitely want to continue writing on a freelance basis, but during the course I realised that I lean more towards the visual side of things. I kind of started exploring different fields and did a lot of different placements to find out what my key interests were and slowly realized that curation suited me best. I really like the idea of creating something slightly more permanent than writing an article, by exploring a topic both verbally and visually; you can really tell a story and leave your audience with some food for thought.
O: What are some places or companies you would love to work for if you had the opportunity?
L: There are so many amazing brands and companies that I would still love to work for! I always try to do as many different things within the industry as possible, because I think it’s really important to understand all the different aspects that go into a fashion show; for example, PR, styling, designing, castings, set production, etc. I would adore to work for someone like Alexander de Betak, who produces major fashion shows, exhibitions and installations. But a brand such as Jacquemus would be incredible to work for on a PR or social media side, as I think their strategies in these areas are really strong. There are still so many fields within the industry that I haven’t worked in and still want to learn more about.
O: Having studied Fashion Journalism, why are you now planning to become a fashion curator instead?
O: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions. We wish you all of the best for your studies in Paris and are happy that we will continue to have you at Overdressed as our Culture & Society Editor.
L: No worries! It was my pleasure talking to you and I can't wait to see what the future holds for both Overdressed and myself.
Editor & Layout