My unofficial guide to surviving London Fashion Week
Tip number 1: wear sunglasses so big that you knock things over with them.
Oh, London Fashion Week. You all encompassing, FOMO-inducing, battery-draining bastard. Every September (and February) London has a personality transplant and suddenly everyone dresses up to the nines in clothing they would NEVER normally throw on. Oh but it is so fun to watch though. But you also must be emotionally prepared.
People go into hibernation for a few days beforehand and suddenly emerge wearing “wacky” ensembles with the hope to attract a photographer, who has probably been briefed by someone higher up to get capture something innovative and new. Bling, bold colours, crazy layering, novelty bags, rude slogans, strange-shapes, big hats, strange heels, bizarre sunglasses. Basically anything that screams Lady Gaga circa 2010. Any whiff of #normcore or a human facial expression will be cropped out of the frame, instantly. You will either get it ~on point~ or you will get it wrong. I know which camp I fall into.
Admitting that you are participating in these five crazy days (Friday to Tuesday) normally receives a pat on the back and a “good luck” to anyone trying to dodge it online or IRL. I enjoy the experience of Fashion Week but I can’t help stifle a little laughter at the utter mayhem, too. I’m looking forward to seeing a number of things this year. Because that’s what it is: an experience. I love seeing the shows, the new colours, the upcoming talent, the music, the atmosphere that takes over the city.
BUT I couldn’t help but round up a few of my not-so-serious observations. Because, during some bits of #LFW you do have to laugh, else you might genuinely cry.
So here it goes.
(N.B. None of this to be taken SRSLY.)
1. You must take a photo of your thighs in the taxi:
This is something that everybody does. It’s the “hotdog or legs” of #LFW. It’s a subtle hint to say: A) I’m on my way to a show B) Look at what I’m wearing and c) Look at my legs. Tip: Pinch the under bits of your thighs to make them look thinner before you take the snap. And then pump up the “saturation tool” on Instagram to turn those pasty jambons into a tangerine delight. (Tip: see Instagram feed of anyone from Made in Chelsea for immediate reference).
2. If you see a Mercedes VIP taxi, POSE BY IT AND UPLOAD IMMEDIATELY:
Who cares if it’s not yours? Last time i checked, that’s not the point. I bet your Instagram was full of these annoying taxis was it not? The point is to make it look like it dropped you off (even if it was for a z-list celeb and not you, just slip the driver a £10) and post in on Instagram to give the illusion that you’re a big deal. Tip: bonus points for taking two or three photos of the said taxi – makes it look legit. Also: hashtags. #fash #fashweek #LFW #MercedesVIP #streetstyle #legs #takemyphoto #pleasetakemyphoto
3. Hang your coat on your shoulders at all times. Yes I mean at all times. Even if it’s pissing down with rain and you have wet arms. You must hang it off your shoulders and refuse to wear it like a proper coat: FYI the posh verb for it is to “shoulder-robe.” It says you mean business. And that you can balance things on your shoulders. To really look at the part: eat a salad whilst shoulder-robing.
4. Subtly move forward a row: On the 3rd row? Not for long sucker, just move forward and no-one will notice. If anyone tries to move you just pretend you can’t speak English like that Kristin Wiig plane scene in Bridesmaids “I’m Mrs. Elgesias”. Someone stole my seat at Felder & Felder, and good on them. Go forth, be ruthless you crazy fashion warriors.
5. Be as rude as you can. Being polite won’t get you on the 8.30am Central Line tube and it certainly won’t get you anywhere in the fashion world. Try looking as miserable as possible. Look like you will bite someone if they come near you. They’ll take one look at your BRF (Bitchy Resting Face) and think you’re new fashion talent and probably take your picture. (Also tip: If you do a big lion yawn whilst watching the catwalk, you might get papped.)
6. Wear your clothes with a bullet proof armour of self-esteem: People will be out to get you at fashion week. It is where you go to be reunited with your Ghost of Childhood Past. Apparitions of the mean girls at school will be there, tutting, eye-rolling and gossiping into each other’s ears. Just ignore, march on and wear a pair of sunglasses that literally take over your entire face (and hide the tears you will no doubt cry).
7. If people pap you, try not to think that it might be for a “what not to wear” list. It could be for the best-wearing list. It so could! Be positive. It probably isn’t because your outfit sucks and might end up on “what’s hot.. and what’s NOT” list with a big hearty X factor “IT’S A NO FROM ME” emblazoned across your outfit of choice. Don’t paranoid. Don’t be. Omg, what’s that behind you?
8. Photographers turn evil. Have you noticed that during fashion week photographers haven’t a red glint in their eye? They don’t mean to, but they turn scary. They will literally push you out of the way in order to get their shot. There is only one thing to do: Photobomb.
9. Ignore the peacocks. You know that saying “don’t feed the troll”? There’s another one (which I definitely didn’t just make up) which is “don’t look at the peacock”. You will come across the peacocks ruffling their feathers and posing next to a brick wall, posing as still as a statue. They will remain in “photo position” for hours on end, hoping someone will take a photo at some point during the 24 hour day. It’s rude to stare. Don’t give them what they want.
10. Remember at all times: that at the end of the day, you are just watching people walk up and down a long piece of flooring in large room. See all those models walking and celebrities watching the show? They were probably in their pyjamas the night before. And probably looking forward to get home to their pyjamas again. We’re all just people, sucked into a bit of superficiality for five days, knowing FULL WELL that the main thing we should be celebrating is the creativity and talent of the designers.
My New Book
The world of work is changing - so how do you keep up?
You have the ability to make money on our own terms, when and where you want - but where do you start?
If you've been itching to convert your craft into a career, or your side-hustle into a start up, then The Multi-Hyphen Method is for you.