The Peacock Paper caught up with Tenille King in Paris - a vibrant Whitehouse fashion student from Melbourne with an infectious joie de vivre and whose experience in the city of lights helped illuminate her own vision for her future.
So what brought you to Paris?
I had just finished year 12 and decided I would take a gap year as I didn't want to jump into a degree without knowing what I was working towards and what I was passionate about. I was actually quite lost and after a breakup and a family member passing I knew I just needed a change of scenery. I didn't really want to just be a tourist around Europe I was more so interested in experiencing a culture completely and moving away from home.
I accepted a job offer as an Au Pair very spontaneously and 1 month later I was in Paris living with a typical french family. An Au Pair is basically where you become an older sister so a french family and mind the kids for a couple of hours after school.
Why an Au Pair?
Initially I accepted the job because of the stories I had heard from others who had done the same thing and loved it, I hadn't studied french in school but being a creative and romantic person I obviously wanted to travel to experience Paris. It sounds cliche but i do feel like i have golden age syndrome- like Gill in midnight in Paris. For a pretty unemotional person I have literally shed tears over my frustration of not being born 70+ years earlier.
So what are you doing now?
Now I am studying a bachelor of design at Whitehouse. I was always hesitant to study fashion or work in the industry because of the competitive and catty reputation it holds. When I experienced Paris Fashion Week, i basically made a decision that I was going to do it.
I am working on just finishing this degree and I will return to Paris hopefully to either do my masters or try very hard to find some sort of entry level position in the fashion industry. I was with a French man in Paris but obviously had to call it off in my return to Australia but I am going back in May, he is another reason I do want to live in Paris eventually.
What' your favourite place in Paris?
It's incredibly hard to define my favourite place in Paris as every area is so different and I love them for different reasons. I love Le Marais because of beautiful historic buildings but I love the feeling of Montmartre and how it has a really old romantic vibe, Montmartre is what most people imagine paris to be like from movies etc.
What do you feel are some of the differences between life in Paris and Melbourne?
The major differences I saw between the way the french and Australians is that the French seem almost to be perfectionists in the value they put on quality. I thin this is evident in the strong gastronomic and fashion history of the country. Australians are a lot more open and accepting of others but I think the stereotype of french people being rude is confused with them being more reserved, and perhaps sticklers for traditions or rules. My french life was enjoyable and simple, I learnt to enjoy simple things and love my days and it wasn't just because of the beautiful city it was because of the simplicity and quality of life there.
Has being in Paris been an eye opener for you - have you learnt important things about yourself?
Paris was an eye opener overall it helped me figure out what I want in life and what to study. When I attended a show at Paris fashion week by chance I knew just then that I needed to work in the industry specifically in France. It's such a long shot but I know it's what I am going to do. I learnt that there is so much outside of Melbourne, not that I was naive before. For some strange reason I found my place and have never felt more at home, I love my family and Australia but I France is where I belong.