A few years ago, this blog had a complete re-brand; it was promptly renamed Mademoiselle, after two people. They were Sylvia Plath-and the magazine that she had an internship at, inspiring The Bell Jar-and Stacey Duguid, Elle UK Columnist (now a few years ago), writing as Mademoiselle. There was also a lot of pink along the way.
Hello Stacey, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Initially, to use the term very loosely, what was it that made you want to be a writer?
It happened by accident through writing funny emails to my colleagues and having lots of funny stories to tell. I loved writing at school, but at no point did anyone suggest I do it for a living. I think our careers advice at school was pretty bad, if I’m honest!
How did you come to work at ELLE?
I met the editor of ELLE at a work event and we clicked. Weirdly, ten years prior, I’d applied to be an intern at a time when interns weren’t paid. I had to earn money to be able to pay rent in London, and working for free wasn’t an option.
Personally, what was your favourite thing about working there?
The people. I loved the people! My colleagues were brilliant as were the people I met in the fashion industry. I also loved the energy of ELLE. I was an ELLE girl through and through.
How did the idea of writing as ‘Mademoiselle’ come to fore?
It came about from writing daft emails and having hilarious conversations about all the stuff I’d got up to at the weekend with my colleagues.
How did you begin to write in that voice?
It’s my voice. It’s the voice inside my head. I still write like that, it’s the only voice I know.
For a day at the office, what we find in your handbag?
I’m trying REALLY HARD to edit my life. I’ve even downsized my diary and notebook from A4 to teeny tiny. I always carry a pencil, a stripy one with a rubber on top. I never carry make-up unless I’m going out in the evening. Phone, Carmex, pencil, notebook, diary, purse, travel card. That’s it.
Are you working on a novel?
I was and it was scrapped, so I’m back at the drawing board. I’m currently writing a proposal as we speak.
What do your duties entail at The Pool?
Writing a column each week. I love the Pool, it’s an honest space, somewhere I can really be myself.
What is your advice for aspiring journalists?
Don’t flounder from internship to internship and focus on what it is you want to write and what you have to say. Also don’t give up. It’s hard, but keep going. And remember, the people you meet now will be with you for the rest of your career!
Random: Who do you prefer, fashion-wise: Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn?
Marilyn Monroe! The most glamorous fake blonde in the world. Hurrah for fake blondes!
Thank you very much, Stacey, for answering my question; it was an honor! If you would like to find out more about Stacey, click here to view her website.