My London Fashion Week Experience

My only previous encounter with London Fashion Week was as an art foundation/aspiring fashion student outside the Brewer Street Car Park show space in February trying to stand out in a crowd of some of the most fashion conscious individuals in the capital. Admittedly, while it’s a pretty fun experience to occasionally get asked for a picture of your outfit and spot a few fashion bloggers you follow on Instagram, without a ticket to a show, fashion week is a reasonably glamour-less experience. While we’re always encouraged by our fashion tutors to try and blag our way into a show, it’s never as easy as you’d hope it’d be.

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Going into my first day as a fashion degree student at Kingston University I realised that I had little to no idea about what was going on at London Fashion Week after trying to make the most of the last weekend of summer, and as it turns out other students on my course revealed they were in the same boat as I was after we got our first brief of the year, all based around London Fashion Week. We were all sent off pretty much immediately, and with no warning so we could all curate our outfits a little more skilfully, to fashion week to get pictures of street style and try and sneak into shows (again, it’s never as simple as people seem to make it out to be). That Monday afternoon really just consisted of getting bustled around a narrow street and jumping out the way of cars as they attempted to part the sea of bloggers, photographers, students, and people who found themselves sucked into the feverish fashion week crowd en route to somewhere else entirely. We took as many pictures as we could for our project and decided to try again tomorrow.

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As it turns out, Tuesday turned out to be a far superior fashion week experience. I had asked at B Sunglasses if there was any chance of sourcing a spare ticket to a show without much hope, but i was very surprised to receive a call during a lecture letting me know that I could have two tickets to the Emilio de la Morena show that afternoon courtesy of Luxottica, as long as I could get to the show space in an hour to pick up the tickets. So, I grabbed my best friend Sarah and pretty much legged it out of the lecture the minute it ended, powered walked to the station and managed to get to Soho without so much as a moment to top up our make up. We arrived 20 minutes before the show was due to start, collected our tickets, pushed through the typical mob outside the car park, and did what we had never been brave enough to try and do; got into fashion week. Admittedly, while I’d like to pretend we played it totally cool and fit right into the audience, we pretty much just caved and started taking selfies and uploading snapchat stories.

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Of course, once we settled down, we both began to consider what the show would hold. Neither of us had even attended an industry fashion show before, and frankly while we’d heard of the designer whose collection we were seeing, we weren’t well versed on his past collections and we weren’t overly excited by our cursory glance at past season on the train on the way there. As the lights dimmed slightly and experimental piano music began to fill the room, I realised that I was going to enjoy the show much more than I’d expected. I had been anticipating a monochrome collection based on what I had briefly seen from seasons past, and was more than pleasantly surprised to see that the first look sent out was a sheen azure dress with a dramatic silhouette; far from my prediction. As it turns out, the colour palette of the collection could only be described as bright, and the design of the garments were more often than not in the kind of styles I have been excited by recently, with dramatic gathers, ruffles and peplums and contradictory colours, while maintaining polished and sophisticated looks, and putting a unique spin on contemporary trends. While there were a few pieces I was unsure about, I was very pleasantly surprised by how inspiring I found the show and the collection.

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The show lasted only around 10-15 minutes, so once we all filed out Sarah and I took advantage of our pass into the Designer Showrooms and had a look at collections by emerging and established designers on display, basically hoping that these designers would be us in a few years, and nabbing freebies. After a while exploring we decided to make our exit from the show space and back into the flurry of Brewer Street, not before getting our shades out (on a completely overcast day) to try a
nd get a little attention for our style (fruitlessly).

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Fashion week for us wasn’t the most glamorous, but it was an incredible experience as a couple of 19 year old fashion students looking forward to trying to make it in the industry, and I hope that we’ll look back at this first bit of exposure in a few years time and still feel the same sense of ardour and intrigue we have now.