London Fashion Week. It’s the bi-annual event that is on every fashion lover’s calendar, the highlight of the season – and the talking point of the next few months. So logically, preparing for it is a bit of a mammoth task. Not only do you have the logistics of all the shows to meticulously plan, but the added worry of what on earth to wear. Although I’m by no means an expert, having attended the past four seasons (even blagging a sneaky FROW seat on a few occasions) I have a few tips to make the long weekend go a little bit smoother. We might not have a chauffeur driven car (just yet) to ferry us from show to show, but we can still celebrate the fashion extravaganza in style.
First things first, if you’re reading this with no invites (yet), do not fear. Everyone can get involved in London Fashion Week, it’s a complete myth that you need invites to get into the grounds of the prestigious Somerset House, or that you can’t enjoy people watching, style snapping and star spotting. Anyone can turn up, have a look around the grounds (although you’ll need a pass to get into the exhibitions) and be in with a chance of being photographed for many a style publication.
The outfit, by nature, is a crucial part of your LFW experience. I tend to go for a mix of style and comfort, since it’s likely I’ll be walking and standing for the majority of the day – but if you’re popping along to people watch and get photographed, you want to wear something on trend that will make you stand out from the crowd.
You do see some very elaborate outfits, with equally elaborate accessorises, flutter by the main stage – but similarly, the most popular outfits (which could lead you to becoming a celebrity for the day – with ‘excuse me, could I take your picture please’ resonating loudly) are those that are well put together, simple and clean. Co-ords are on trend, especially this season, so perhaps opt for a pastel two-piece – with chunky white heels? Whatever you do though, steer clear from thin heels and peep toes. Trying to walk on the cobbled tiles of Somerset House in stilettos looks almost impossible. And slightly hilarious.
You might think that the world of fashion is a very chilled, casual and laid back kind of industry but one day at LFW will tell you otherwise. It’s manic. And no-body has time to take a sip of pineapple flavoured coconut water, let alone eat. So my advice, to avoid feeling faint half-way through the day and losing focus of the amazing array of collections put in front of you, take an hour (or half an hour) out of the hectic schedule to refuel.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the fashionable crowd (but still, with an equally fashionable fanbase) is Dirty Martini in Covent Garden – open from 4pm-1am and a very short walk away from all the festivities but quiet enough to sift through pictures undisturbed and snack on a vegetable sharer (flatbread and hummus, halloumi skewers, breaded tomato and wedges) while sipping a Skinny Watermelon and Pomegranate Smash. Why not make a day of it and unwind here after a day exploring the fashion festivities?
In between shows, the best place to be is at the lounges – rather than standing in the cold, rainy streets. These are usually invite only, but are publicised on Twitter – and if you do your research early, you can usually ask to come along. Here you will meet journalists, bloggers, photographers and the like, who – like you – are here for all the fashionable frolics. Make sure you network (places like this are perfect for making contacts) and make the most of what these lounges offer. Most importantly, a comfy seat.
So, there you have it – the tips and tricks of LFW. Most of all, the important thing is to enjoy your time there. London Fashion Week is an event on the calendar unlike any other and if you have an opportunity to go, treasure it. The atmosphere is busy, exciting and full of inspiration. I love seeing how many people are involved in making the ‘show’ as spectacular as it can be. If you’re in the creative industries, it’s worth taking away how much goes into it. Sure, some of the clothes are weird and wacky, but it’s exciting to have a part in all the glitz and glamour (and the not so glitz and glamour backstage). It’s exciting to see what is on trend next season, months before everyone else. And it’s exciting to spend a day, escaping into the world of fashion.