LFW dos and don’ts: how to survive Fashion Week in style
Howdy, readers! If you follow me on social media then you’ll know I’m just back from a weekend covering London Fashion Week. While I’ve been around LFW before when I lived in London, this is the first time I actually attended shows and was properly part of the action.
If you’re lucky enough to be heading off to any of the international Fashion Weeks in the calendar – New York, Paris, Milan – and would like some tips, you’re thinking of applying for press or blogger accreditation next season, or you’d just to like to learn more about how reporting London Fashion Week works, then read on.
Do stock up on snacks. You’ll face long and tiring days, with plenty of standing about and running around. I know I get hangry, so I packed some Nakd Bars and Graze flapjacks in my bag: think easily transported snacks. A real game-changer for me, however, was my reusable water bottle. I opted for a Turtle Can bottle, as it’s sleek, chic, and just the right size. I also took a reusable coffee cup with me, though if I’m honest this was more for its leopard print aesthetic than anything else.
Don’t take an itty bitty bag. You can always tell who is coming to watch the shows, and who is reporting on them – it’s the luggage that gives them away! Investing in a good bag is essential. Personally I wish I could afford a Gucci basket bag (maybe if fashion writing actually paid LOL), but for anyone like me who can only dream of a luxury tote, I recommend investing in some reusable canvas shoppers – they are really affordable and you should be able to find one to match whatever you are wearing.
Do your research beforehand. Not only will it help you know what to expect from a designer’s latest collection and understand the story behind their designs, but it will speed up any write-ups you may need to do. It’s also good manners: if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a fashion show, it’s only polite to show an interest in the designer.
Don’t go to Fashion Week with preconceptions of the styles you do or don’t like. Some shows that are full of high expectations can be disappointing, while a designer you’ve never heard of could be your favourite. This is an opportunity to explore new ideas and fashions and be inspired for the following year.
Do follow your wildest fashion dreams. Anything – and I mean anything – goes at LFW. This is your opportunity to wear your craziest looks, clash colours and prints, go OOT with accessories, and showcase your favourite pieces. Putting together your Fashion Week outfits is one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience so make the most of it and embrace your inner fashionista!
Don’t try to be someone you are not. You’ll see some truly wild looks on the streets and the catwalks, but don’t feel like you need to imitate other people. Not only will you feel uncomfortable, but it will be obvious that you’re faking it. You’re also not obligated to wear all designer clothes. High Street, independent brands, charity shop finds and people’s own creations all add to the wonderful street style melting pot.
Do prepare some back-up outfits. I learned this the hard way. In an aim to pack light, I only took my three outfits for the weekend, plus some comfy travelling clothes. Unfortunately, on the last day the zip on my jumpsuit broke! With a bit of mix and matching and accessorising I managed to pull something together, but I didn’t create the outfit impact I was hoping. It’s also worth noting that the weather in the fashion months – February and September – can be very hit or miss. I was SWEATING in my autumn-ready coat.
Don’t wear silly shoes. I know it’s Fashion Week, and that you want to make a statement. And while it’s true that shoes maketh the outfit, sore feet can ruin your whole day. Again, I learned this firsthand. If in doubt, stock up on plasters and ball of foot cushions – I absolutely SWEAR by these things! Seriously, they are in all my shoes. I also learned this year that trainers are totally in fashion. Which is ace.
Do practice your ‘smize’. Photographers gather like ants around The Strand and Freemasons Hall, so be prepared to get papped. The look du jour is a resting bitch face that Victoria Beckham would be jealous of, but if you’re the smiley type then go for it!
Don’t be a dick. The number of people standing in the middle of roads blocking cars for an Instagram photo, or striking a pose for photographers presumptuously is unbelievable. And even more shocking was the number of people taking selfies while the models were walking. Seriously. Yes, be proud of your look. But don’t be ignorant.
Do bring chargers and batteries galore. Your phone will run out for battery at least twice in the day, fact. Portable battery packs are cheap to stock up on (I’ve even seen them in Poundland), or for the ultimate cable-free experience, treat yourself to a charging phone case. Make sure to bring additional camera batteries too if you’re hoping to snap the street style. I also recommend taking some pens and a small notebook, but I’m old school like that.
Don’t bring things you won’t need. My absolutely revolutionary moment came this year when I was fretting over how to write up my coverage when out and about. I have an old Macbook and it is HEAVY – the thought of carrying it all day filled me with dread, as did the prospect of possibly losing or damaging it. The solution? I purchased a folding bluetooth keyboard, which I connected to my iPhone. Tada! The ultimate space-saving, portable typing solution.
Do enjoy yourself! This may seem like a given, but it is easy to get caught up in all the action. London Fashion Week is hectic, sweaty, and definitely crazy, but it’s also an amazing experience to be a part of. If you have the time, explore the designer pop up shops and some of the quirky cafes and bars around The Strand and Covent Garden.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. At the risk of being taken out via sniper by a Stella McCartney-clad assassin, I’m going to say this: it’s just fashion, kids. Fashion Week is notorious for being poorly organised and sometimes a bit of a free for all, so go with the flow and you’ll be fine.
Stay fabulous, daaarlings!
You can read my LFW coverage on The Glass Pineapple