I was privileged enough to be invited (as a VIP guest no less) to London Fashion Week a few years ago.
I have a friend who was working for the British Fashion Council at the time and she knew I’d enjoy the experience, so kindly organised the trip for me.
Of course, being interested in the fashion industry I knew it was a ‘trade show’, the chance for magazine editors and fashion bloggers to view collections and buyers to select their choices for the season ahead (well two seasons ahead), but what I didn’t expect was how ‘un-glamorous’ it would be.
I say ‘unglamorous’ because in all honesty it was extremely hard work. Anyone thinking that it’s all fun, glitz, glamour and luxury has got it completely wrong. It’s a frantic, chaotic, stressful mayem. I have never been so frazzled in my entire life and I only spent a day there (and I didn’t have to work!).
The British Fashion Council has done an outstanding job, particularly over the past two decades putting British fashion designers at the forefront of the global fashion industry. London Fashion Week is widely considered to be the best on the show calendar and everyone who is everyone in the fashion industry flocks to London for five days every February and September.
When I visited in September 2011 I was lucky enough to attend shows by the late Richard Nicoll, as well as Holly Fulton and David Koma. I also had the opportunity to explore the exhibitions at Somerset House.
So on the eve of LFW, I’d like to say thanks to all the editors and buyers alike, who have just returned from a frantic trip to New York and are about to embark on another gruelling three weeks of shows in London, Milan and Paris, to give us the lowdown on what lies ahead fashion wise.
What it looks like on screen isn’t what it’s really like. So spare a thought for all those editors jostling for a space at each show, hurtling through rush hour traffic, panicking about their i-Phone batteries failing and starving their way through a hectic schedule of fashion shows, to live report via social media and tell us what we’ll be wearing next Autumn/Winter.
The shows I’ll either be streaming online or viewing after on http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows are:
Sunday 19th February – 11.00 – Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Sunday 19th February – 15.00 – Peter Pilotto
Sunday 19th February – 19.00 – Mary Katrantzou
Monday 20th February – 15.00 – Christopher Kane
[I apologise for the quality of the photos – they were taken on my iPhone (probably v.3) in September 2011.]