Saturday, 8 August 2009

Kanibal So Shei Work Experience

I haven't written in so long as I have been very busy doing work experience in London I stayed in Barnet and got the Northern and Central Line to Bond Street station. I was working at a Lingerie designer called Kanibal UK, who design underwear for their label So Shei and Sista Shei as well as Primark, Next and Ann Summers. I was so frightened at first for many reasons. I was sure I would get lost on the tubes, I did a few times but always found my way back, I thought I would get kidnapped or robbed, I would be late, I would be working on the shop floor the whole two weeks, the people at Kanibal would be terrifying fashionistas, I would do things wrong and I would miss the train home each Friday evening to Waterloo. So much anxiety... Well it was such a wonderful two weeks. I feel so at home in London. I love the anonymity of cities although I dislike it at times. Nobody seems to take much notice of each other, but sometimes there is a sense that they are just uncaring. I enjoyed the tube journeys the first week although I had to get up so early to catch the train. I like sitting and looking at all the books, papers and magazines passengers read, trying to figure out the language they are chattering down the phone on the overground, watching the men eye up the girls and the girls being totally oblivious. But the novelty wore off in the second week when they became huge metal saunas. Armpits were in faces and the strong smell of body odour circulated the rail car. There is also the fight to grab a seat before your 15 stops are up. One woman practically rugby tackled me and two commuters to a seat in front of me, I decided I'd rather be polite and wait for another person to get up. Not that I had a choice. I got work experience through a friends sister, Nicola, who was a former student at our school. She still comes back each year to show students her work at uni and the work she is doing at the moment. She said that students could come and do work experience with her if they likes, although I think it was aimed more at foundation students than A Level, but I thought why not? and Nicola said none of them had contacted her anyway. The shop is down South Molton Street just a few doors down from Butler and Wilson and Browns, Luella was at the end of the road on New Bond Street which was exciting but I didn't dare venture in. I did wander further down New Bond Street to stare at Graff diamonds, Tiffany, Hermes, Chanel fine jewellery, Pringle and the boards for the new Louis Vuitton store. I headed down to the Burlington arcade to gawp at the delicious Laduree shop, with its golden walls encasing Marie Antoinette's sweet treasures. I boought some macarons for the office, my Auntie and Mum and Dad to say thank you. The office of Kanibal is above the So Shei shop and the showroom has large windows that look down upon the street and passersby. I worked towards the back of the building, at a computer by the kitchen, encased in as fortress of cardboard boxes filled with bras, knickers and suspenders. I was taught how to design underwear on illustrator, how they gather ideas and research and was shown briefs from the various companies. I even got to design some socks for Primark! On my last day Nicola made a map of her favourite fabric shops in London so I went out on my lunch break to find them. I ended up buying £30 worth of a gorgeous cotton printed with teapots that appear to be flowers. I had previously considered buying a wonderful Grayson Perry printed cotton in Liberty's which I had seen in Vogue but felt it was too expensive. After I left Berwick Street Fabric shop I realised the time. I'd been gone two hours! I called Nicola rushing back but got lost. Eventually I found my way and we frantically printed off my work and she put into a folder for me. They were all so kind to me and i was allowed to choose some underwear to take home! I chose the lovely Summer Fete set with its ladybird print. Another surprise was that they had bought a beautiful cake for me from Patisserie Valerie which we sat and scoffed with a few glasses of Prosecco. I was sad to leave but had a lovely time.

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