Confessions of a fashion week newbie
The whirlwind that is London Fashion Week has now come to a close.
I was sent for my first working fashion week as a journalist.
Full of anxiety and excitement I packed my bag full of phone chargers, notepads, show tickets and my Oyster card. After six outfit changes, I settled on a Victoria Beckham knit jumper, pair of Zara leather look jeans, leather jacket, black faux fur scarf and a pair of chunky black Vagabond boots. I felt as if I bridged the look of edgy cool but also vaguely smart. I have been to a few shows in the past as a guest. Some I have got into, others I haven’t as I was too far at the back of the queue and had to resort watching through the windows of the Saatchi Gallery. For this reason I was quite apprehensive about the thought of not actually getting into the shows. Just imagine, what would I tell my editor? I’m not quite as ballsy as those young fashion students who, in a pack can push their way into any show. My first show of the day was Aspinal at the ever divine Claridges. I arrived an unfashionably two and a half hours early to suss out the situation. As I walk through the doors Naomi Campbell rushes past me and then I bump into the CEO of Aspinal at reception who was wonderfully kind and took my business card to put me on the guest list.
After a note to myself that I need to update my ancient business cards I headed off for some breakfast with a big sense of relief.
Once I walked into Aspinal I was taken back by the ethereal beauty of the set up. There were waiters bearing edible and drinkable delights. Pearl emblazoned cake pops, slices of pastel pink cake, Pegasus decorated biscuits, glasses of champagne and elderflower cocktails adorned with edible flowers. I was in a magical fairy land. The new seasons accessories were gorgeous, all pastel coloured and Pegasus themed with teddy bears dangling from the bags. I wanted it all.
I headed a few stops East to Holborn for the Lantern Sense show. My ticket had a magical silver star on it which signified to the door guy that I was press. Press really means something at LFW…yet not as much as a gold star which seemed to signify that you were a celebrity and would be seated in the front row. I got sent to the second row which was rather exciting. Gorgeous floral headpieces were in contrast to the grunge inspired safety pin adorned collection. I have to note that in a very non fashion week style, the show started bang on time. Very impressive.
VIN + OMI
A couple of hours later it was time for my last show of the day. The show was held at an obstetricians centre a long walk from Baker Street tube station. Very peculiar. I headed down to the venue a couple of hours before the start as my ticket was on a piece of paper and I was worried I would be waiting around for a long time to just not be let in. I chatted to the woman in charge of the shows PR and she gave me a priority stamped invitation and said I would definitely get in. Few, off to Pret for a bottle of water and to camp out by a plug socket!
I head along to the show at 17:30 with my priority ticket in hand and am directed to the priority queue which is luckily half the length of the other queue. The show is due to start at 18:00 but by 18:25 we are all still queuing outside in the freezing cold. The non-priority line is now a good 200 people long. We are finally let in from the freezing cold and I get to take a seat in the 3rd row. The front two rows are for “extra priority”, basically the famous faces. After 10 minutes of photo calls with all the celebs standing on the catwalk, the lights dim, the music starts up and out comes the first model. With bright colours, textured outfits and padlocks hanging from the models nails we are off to a very wacky start.
Swanning in and out of catwalks with stars and priority stickers on your tickets can definitely give you an air of pride and satisfaction. Yet a few of the fashionistas I encountered were a little on the scary side.
They were not going to let anyone get in their way of what they wanted and what they wanted was the camera on them and the front row was the least they would stand or in their case sit for. You have to commend them for their braveness. These PR girl at the door that you have to get past are at times very intimidating.
Reflecting on my first working London Fashion Week I must say I had a fabulous, exhausting and surreal time but I was incredibly lonely. I barely muttered a word all day to anyone apart from when I rung my husband and parents for a fashion week gossip. According to my iPhone’s health app I walked 19,000 steps, no wonder my calves are aching today.
Fashion week survival kit
Notepad and pen