London Fashion Week
LFW | Day 1 | A baptism of fire and fashion!
As a newbie at LFW, I have to admit, I was mildly terrified! Fashion folk are reputedly more catty than a catwalk full of cats (!), so the thought of going alone, into the lions’ den had me anxious, to say the least. I’m delighted to report, however, that my experience could not have been more different! Everyone I spoke to, from PRs to photographers, bloggers to bouncers and fashion journos to fashion junkies were more pussy cat than tigress. They were a happy, bubbly, friendly bunch, for once, I thought: I’ve found my tribe!
Photo credits: @_maraleevisuals
Above is my Day 1 look, featuring Christopher Kane coat, Zana Bayne X & Other Stories leather corset and French Connection sequinned trousers. The necklace is H&M, my shoe-boots are Halston Heritage and my bag is BCBG. The whole look is from my own wardrobe, and each piece was acquired at very different times, so I’m unable to link to each item, unfortunately. I will feature all the street style shots of both myself and the wonderful fashionistas I met and shot in the upcoming posts… stay tuned!
You’re invited! ~ A beginner’s guide to fashion week
Tip #1: Apply Early!
Ensure you apply for tickets in time to receive physical invitations at your given address. It might seem obvious, but tickets can come last minute, and if you’re travelling to the shows and don’t live in London, this can be tricky!
To be on the safe side, request all your tickets digitally!
Here, I must give a huge shout out and thank you to the gorgeous Wendy from ThankFifi.com for her help and support in sharing her PR contacts with me. A classy, generous lady indeed!
Tip #2: look Sharp!
Decide in advance what you plan to wear on each day. A comfy shoe is a must, especially if, like me, you don’t have a chauffeur-driven LFW Merc ferrying you around London! If you have to wear heels, it’s worth carrying ballet flats or sneaks in a bag, trust me on this.
For those looking to be photographed, it goes without saying that styling something interesting, outlandish or downright shocking will inevitably catch the attention of the street style photographers!
Photo credit: Alan Watson, @sartorialsnapper
I had very little time to plan my wardrobe since I had to leave a full week before the shows started, at which point my invites hadn’t even arrived. This resulted in me over-packing then dragging too much with me into London! Try to avoid this - it’s far less stressful!
Tip #3: Plan each day
A lot of shows overlap and happen at different locations, so make sure you know the routes between venues and the running order of each day. Even with this meticulous preparation, some shows simply have to be missed due to inevitable overlaps.
Having no idea whether I’d left it too late to apply for tickets, I was delighted and overwhelmed to be invited to so many shows and presentations. With digital and physical invitations, from various agencies, I had to create a spreadsheet to stay on track! Something I haven’t done since I had a ‘real job’ and even then, I avoided them at every opportunity! The shows often overlap and take place at various venues, so the spreadsheet helped me prioritise my days and plan the routes between locations and the running order of each day.
tip #4: recharge regularly!
Do NOT forget your phone charger, especially if that’s your main camera. Finding a cool, comfy spot to recharge both your phone and your own batteries (with coffee and cake) are essential.
I frequented The Black Penny - friendly staff, delicious food, several charging points, a buzzy atmosphere, and outdoor seating (it was I 25 degrees)! Plus, it was directly opposite one of the venues, so there was excellent street style to watch and capture.
For something stronger, if you’ve got a late show, the Aperol Spritz at Philomena’s (almost next door) was a winner…
Lights, Camera, Catwalk!
My first LFW show really spoke to my colour-loving soul! A gorgeous mix of brightly-coloured pastels left me feeling a strong yearning for summer and a desire to leave autumn behind and run for the sun!
Facial jewellery took the edge off the sugary sweet colours and sweatbands added an ‘anyone for tennis’ sports luxe that chimed perfectly with current street style.
Photo credit: Simon Armstrong
Photo credits: Simon Armstrong
Next, was a trip to The Store Studios on The Strand for a creative mix of new and emerging designers, with a chance to meet and talk to them. Expect a burst of colour and creativity of unparalleled proportions!
Loved the creative upcycling of sneakers by Paolina Russo - left
There was so much to see in The Studios X that I hadn’t fully appreciated the extent of this warren-like venue. Next time, I’ll be sure to spend longer speaking to the designers and shooting more of their work to share with you - #rookiemistake ! Here are some of my favourites…
Colourful sports luxe at Paolina Russo
Sugar-coated, yet edgy accessories at Cassandra Verity Green
Eye-popping neon and latex at Hanger
Fluid feminine folds and drapes in cool neutrals at Cavan McPherson
Ephemeral, boudoir-ballet chic at Josephine Jones
The inimitable Pam Hogg never ceases to surprise, appal and enthral in almost equal measure. Her SS19 collection was no different!
Candy floss creations in shades of pink, powder blue and yellow were contrasted by sober geo-prints in toned-down palettes of green, gold and red.
Headgear is B I G in more ways than one! Are you up for it?
Let’s see how (or if) this translates on the high street…
Neon pops in shades of fluoro-pink and -yellow lifted this broadly black and white collection and added a fun, 80s aesthetic that was echoed in the a-symmetric and strapless LBDs.
Logo-love is clearly going strong into SS19. And the “Where’s Waldo” game was just an added bonus!
Having crammed in some extra, unmissable shows and presentations, I just had time to dash along the Central Line to visit the Emerging Designer Showroom at the London College of Contemporary Arts Gallery. The jewellery caught my eye, as usual, so like a kid in a candy store, I photographed the beautiful agate pieces and missed a whole load of other work!
Three fifty nine
Deconstructed tailoring and shirting, combined with graffiti prints and soft tulle gowns made for a masculine-feminine mix that dialled down the ‘gender’ and focused on the fashion!
Not every show can be a front-row experience, so please forgive the substandard images, and just appreciate the creativity and wearability of this collection!
Sometimes the fantasy of fashion is all you need on a rainy day. Granted, it was 25 degrees and sunny in London, but when you know the nights are drawing in and a storm is brewing over the UK (Storm Ali), it’s lovely to escape it all with the promise of summer.
Ashley Isham’s fun florals and glittering, fringed parasols were pure summer. The boldness of pattern, particularly in menswear, was not for the shrinking violet. Expect to see many a floral shirt on your other half come Spring next year!
Enjoy the fantasy…
Photo credit: Simon Armstrong
Photo credits: Simon Armstrong
And so, buzzing with adrenaline, I hightailed it back to Hackney to meet up with Mr O for pizza and sympathy at our hotel! My feet were killing me by this point (the super-long flares required a heel, and by 9pm my feet were rebelling). But my elation and exhilaration couldn’t be dampened. I’ll NEVER forget that first day at LFW. I hope you enjoyed my rundown.
Why not check out Day II now?
Have you ever been to Fashion Week, in London, or any other city? Please share your experience in the comments!