Lessons from LFW – A first-timer’s guide to Fashion Week
Before this September, I’d only ever witnessed fashion week through the pages of magazines or an Instagram filter. Unsurprisingly, then, I was ever so slightly naive about the experience of attending a few London fashion week shows like the celebrities do. I was warned, of course – but if like me you ever find yourself, envelope wad of tickets in hand, somehow invited to London’s great style showcase, here follow some gems of wisdom from me to you.
- Don’t bring a clutch bag because it looks fashiony. By five o’clock your arm will kill.
- Don’t dress for the photographers – it’ll just bruise your ego when they walk straight past you. I found myself muttering ‘I’m wearing a cropped shirt and a full midi skirt – what more do you want?!’ repeatedly.
- Comfort is key. And I hate myself for saying that, but by Jove, dress comfortably. There’s a lot (a lot) of standing around.
- Plan your route carefully – don’t think you can make it from The Mall back to Somerset House for shows half an hour apart. Queues for the second show will have gathered before the first show even starts.
- Try not to let an odd immediate rivalry spring up between you and the other queuing folk because they may/may not dress better than you. Most of the time they’re really friendly.
- Bring some reading material – see point 3.
- Feel free to laugh at the fashionistas perching outside venues looking rad (I’m talking to you, coordinated girls with ludicrous dome hats and green lipstick). They think that a striking look alone will get them entry into the show. It won’t.
- Be prepared to not get into some shows despite having a ticket – brush it off, on to the next one.
- Eat lots because oh my, the hunger of a day on your feet in a big city is staggering. But try not to scoff your face in the queue outside some fancy venue. I did with a Starbucks gingerbread man, and I was judged.
- Realise that a lot of models aren’t that great close up, and quietly rejoice in this realisation.
Yes its tiring, and yes it’s a slightly fraught experience legging it through central London whilst attempting to look poised and photo-ready – but fashion week is like nothing else. You can see the biggest names in the business sat next to anonymous bloggers, and you see shows that’ll make it into Elle and Vogue in a few months time. You’ll get some amazing ideas for your own wardrobe from both on and off the catwalk, and all the while the backdrop is one of the most iconic cities in the world. And once you’re in a great show snapping away, you can’t help but think, ‘who needs a FROW ticket anyway?’ The mayhem and the dedicated fashion followers, surely that’s the real LFW – and why would you want to miss that?