Friday, April 4, 2014

Working For Betsey Johnson In London, England

Sometimes, when you do something huge you have to protect it. It has to be sheltered from the wind and spoken about only between people you know you can trust. This is what I did when I moved to London, England. I WANTED to tell everyone. But it might have gotten too big. It might have spun out of control. And someone might have stepped on it before it had time to bloom. And I very much wanted to work for someone big in the fashion industry again. I had been doing my own clothing line for a while and wanted to play with the big boys again like I had when I live in LA.

I squirrelled away $5000 over 6 months which was the amount of money you need to get a Youth Visa to move to England. You also have to be under 31 years of age(no problem-I was 22ish). And you have to be Canadian. So that was all good.

When I got my visa everyone thought I was crazy and spastic because I hadn't mentioned it before. But it was carefully planned. I have an adventurous nature but I am also very organized.

The summer before I moved to England was one of the best- playing frisbee with my friends and running through sprinklers naked at nighttime in the park. Dancing around my parents swimming pool at my birthday party.

When I flew to England I arrived in Poole. My Aunt's friend lives there and she hosted me-which I am still very grateful for. I had no idea what I would do for work and no apartment yet. If you have been reading my blog you may have read about how I accidentally rented an apartment in the ghetto in LA once because I rented it while I was in Canada without really knowing where it was. SO, haha, because I prefer to make a large variety of mistakes and not the same ones over-and-over I decided to find my apartment in person and see it in "the flesh" before I moved in!
(Here is the link to my LA ghetto apartment story if you missed that)

After a few weeks in Poole I took the bus to London and had a big list of apartment numbers and addresses. Apartments in London are nothing like living standards in Canada. We are so spoiled in Canada. No joke. I ended up paying 500LB($850) for a bedroom in a house with 4 other roommates and it was in Leytonstone. Leytonstone was actually not so bad. It was ghetto but not the way LA was. LA ghetto is very scary. London people are just very drunk and broke. They aren't violent and aggressive. My roommates in London thought Leytonstone was awful. But they hadn't lived in I guess everything is relative.

After a month or so in London I got a job as a stylist at Betsey Johnson whom I love and adore.

Despite being incredibly impoverished 22 year old I still did a lot of incredibly great things while I lived in London.  I climbed St. Paul's cathedral, took the train to Windsor Castle, hung out in Camden Town a lot which is where Punk originated, went to Shakespeare theatre and saw a play(even though the theatre is actually a re-creation because the original burnt down. They did re-build it by all by hand though so it would have the same "feel" as the original- either way it was a beautiful moment), I went to the city of Bathe where they have the smelly Roman sulphur pools, hung out in Trafalgar Square, backpacked through Germany, flew to Paris alone on Christmas morning, couch-surfed in Switzerland and watched "Bing Bang Theory" for the first time, met 2 fantastic new Brazilian friends at a hostel in Barcelona, went to the Saatchi Museum and every other art Museum I could find.

When I met the 2 Brazilian friends in the hostel in Barcelona I immediately invited them to stay with me in London. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do- although in hindsight that could have turned out terribly because I didn't know them at all haha. It didn't hurt that they were two of the most handsome men I had ever seen in my entire life haha. They ran a fashion blog and we had a lot to chat about. We had such a great time when they stayed with me-drinking wine and listening to Brazilian music which was totally new to me.

I also really loved that in London you can wear anything you want and no one cares. When I moved back to Canada people looked at me like I was an alien. In London I used to wear this giant pink tutu with a little rose on the front and my cropped motorcycle jacket to work all the time and people just smiled or told me how beautiful my skirt was. One lady even asked to touch it. It was great. I imagine dressing in England was a lot like what happens when people get old- they just stop giving a damn and wear whatever they want. It was very freeing.

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