London Fashion Week Day 1

Hi all. I’m only giving an overview on here as writing it up in full for and Jean et Jupe, my new business blog. The first day was absolutely brills. I headed up to Somerset House hideously early for Antoni & Alison, the first show of the week at 9am, and to collect my press pass and Mulberry showbag, which this season features a little gnomey man, much to my enjoyment. I perched in the cafe with a double shot latte to shelter from the oncoming drizzle, looking out into the courtyard. Even at that time, in a half empty courtyard, the atmosphere was still beginning to buzz.

I wholeheartedly love London Fashion Week, and this time around it reminded me irresistibly of the feel of the London Olympics. Walking around seeing people in uniforms or with passes slung around their necks, smiling widely. When I talk to my friends about LFW, a lot of them expect it to be bitchy, aggressive and terrifying. Maybe I’ve been lucky with my experiences, but I’ve found it to be the opposite – people are cheerful, friendly, stopping to take photos, and everyone seems willing to chat. In fact, the only rudeness I encountered was from two women in the queue for one of the shows, who weren’t in fact ‘fashion people’ but knew the designer, as they kept pointedly announcing very loudly!

Antoni & Alison was a beautiful show – conceptual and more towards art than fashion. The pair focussed just on dresses, hand painted, quirky, fun and beautiful. There was a live brass band playing on the catwalk! If you’ve ever wanted to see a bunch of old boys in red uniforms taking their turn on the catwalk, then A&A was the right show for it. Then after a vitaminwater pitstop, it was back in the queue for Caroline Charles. I’m still not quite sure what to make of the show – for me, I felt it was trying to do too much. It straddled tribal prints, neons, lace on lace, and 90s grunge, and I felt it was perhaps not as cohesive as it could have been. Corrie Nielsen on the other hand was high concept, breath-taking and botanically inspired.

I had over an hour before my next show, so headed to the BFC press lounge, which is heaven on a stick. As I was in there, it hit me that I was doing exactly what I dreamt of doing at the age of 14/15. Cheesy moment I’m afraid guys, but I found it really exciting. And I think it’s important to remember that – I don’t care if it’s not very cool and if I should look jaded about the whole experience and bored out of my mind, but I’ve been finding every single moment of it absolutely thrilling. Whether I’m frantically cranking out copy in the press lounge or just people watching in the courtyard, the atmosphere is inimitable.

It’s a huge privilege to be able to see collections that so many people have worked hard on for months. It’s not about shopping or buying or ‘ooh, this skirt looks really good with this top’ – it’s about art, concepts and influences, and I find myself getting chills down my spine when I suddenly recognize something in the collection – the huge earrings that evoke Edie Sedgwick, or the blue silk eye mask from Breakfast at Tiffany’s repurposed as a headband. I love it all. At Vauxhall Fashion Scout last year, I cried when watching the Elisa Palomino show. Every time I’ve been, LFW has reminded me exactly why I’m in this industry, and working hard at it.

Truly soppy post, but I’m endlessly grateful that I’ve been given the chance to go, and I’ve been determined to make the most of it. (Oscars style acceptance speech ahoy!) I’d like to thank my editor Rachel at LadyMPresents, all the amazing PR people I’ve talked to and who have been so generous with tickets and their time, the incredible staff at LFW, the brilliant people I’ve met so far, and the friends who have come and helped me, and made it such a good experience. Hope all of you who have been too have had as good a time, and please do link me to any of your write ups! LFW Day 2 coming soon…

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