Okay, let’s start off with describing your sense of style.
Well, I don’t think I really had a certain type of style until I went to Paris - so I would say my style has a Parisian influence. I wear a lot of black, navy and red; usually one piece of solid colour. I notice that I always gravitate towards black, it’s weird, I just love it.
I love black as well, you can never go wrong. So, what do you look for when you’re buying something new to wear?
I guess that I kind of dress with certain rules that I follow.
Of course you do (laughs)
I do! I’m always looking for something that I don’t have - I can only have one of something in my closet, no duplicates. Also, it has to go with the clothes that I already have, and of course, price.
Do you dress according to your mood, or does it depend on where you’re going?
Both! If I’m seeing my boyfriend I might actually wear underwear that matches (laughs) and say, if I’m at school all day I’ll most likely dress up, but if I’m only there for an hour I won’t bother. The barn is a big thing too - if I’m in a good mood I’ll wear a little polo shirt and a riding belt, but otherwise I don’t care too much. '
You’re such a little equestrian! Okay, so you’re surrounded by style pretty much all the time, especially at your jobs - first tell me a little bit about Mantique.
It’s a good environment to work in, I like the clientele. Mantique sells very casual-chic clothing; a lot of hoodies and jeans, so I don’t buy a whole lot from there.
And what about your internship?
It’s a whole different story. I feel like I always have to dress up - I buy clothes just to wear to the internship.
What is your boss like?
She’s so great. Her name’s Marla Guloien, and she’s a singer/songwriter - really good, kind of bluesy. She’s one of the most fashionable people I know! She dresses up, does her hair, and her makeup, just to sit around in her apartment.
What exactly do you do for her?
It’s a bit like Devil Wears Prada - I’m her assistant, really, like her right-hand woman. I run around everywhere and do everything for her! I take notes for her, call people, sometimes my job is just to text people back on her phone - she sometimes gets one thousand texts a day!
You mentioned she’s a singer/songwriter, have you helped her with any concerts?
Yes! She almost has a record deal. She had her debut concert, so I helped her with all of that - dressed her, and ushered her on and off stage. She’s amazing so I hope she goes a long way.
That’s incredible. What are some other perks of the job?
The greatest thing is that she feeds me! Marla is a vegetarian, so I’m always eating healthy food and now I’ve gotten used to it, which is awesome. She also has a million clothes - if she doesn’t happen to like what I’m wearing, she just gives me something of hers to put on. I love it!
Does she take you shopping at all?
Yes! She’ll just say, “I need a new outfit,” and we’ll go shopping all day - it’s so cool. Pretty much, I do anything she needs me to do. I’m there to make her life easier.
Wow, I’m jealous. And you mentioned you were at Vancouver Fashion Week with her?
Oh my gosh, it was so crazy. We went on the opening gala night, and everything there was free - a whole massive wall of food, it was incredible. This year they split up the shows by ethnicity; I saw the Italian show, watched all the models walk, it was great.
What kinds of trends did you notice at the fashion show, and any that you thought were too out there?
A lot of fur, leather, and studs - so many studs, on everything you could possibly imagine. I think what bothered me was how the fur was real, and every one was okay with that. The silhouette hasn’t changed, obviously as skinny as ever, but big shoulders and then slim legs are what I noticed, so kind of a triangle shape.
I love puffy shouldered dresses! Alright, so what do you find is the most exciting part of this job, considering everything you get to do?
Definitely the people I get to meet along the way, and the classy places I get to go - all for free, which is amazing. There’s a restaurant downtown called Market, where I saw Pierce Brosnan, and so many celebrities dine there. Coming from my lifestyle, I’m always in awe at what the rich and famous get to experience on a regular basis.
And the parties?
Yes, the parties, wow. I always feel like the poor cousin or something! Girls will ask me where my dress is from and I’m skeptically like “Zara...” because they’re all wearing designer labels and thousand dollar outfits. It’s insane. And that’s why I always have to look nice! Sometimes she’ll just get a call asking her if she can meet somewhere, and we whisk away to a luncheon or party right away.
How did you even end up with this opportunity? It sounds like a dream to me!
Through Simon Fraser University! The Co-op program sent me an email to help out with her concert; I sent in my resume, she called me up and was immediately like “Okay, you’re it, I just feel it, you’re perfect.” And that was that!
Wow. So what’s in the future for Stephanie Chicoine? Something in fashion?
I hope to have a career in social responsibility communications. Someone would hire me and I would control and look over finances for the environment, charities, diseases like AIDS - see where the money goes, and how to invest. Either that, or go into the music industry, kind of what I’m doing with the internship; slowly moving up, discovering new bands.
Like an agent?
Not exactly. I would want to work for a company that looks at different musicians and bands, then decides whether they’re marketable or not. For now, I’m just taking life one step at a time.
If you want to know more about Marla Guloien, check out ReverbNation where Marla has her own blog and you can listen to her songs. I think she's amazing, a little Nora Roberts and Ingrid Michaelson.