For anyone brought up in the British provinces on a diet of American media and fashion magazines, fashion week is a mythical time for the world’s elite, all those people you want to be but believe to be of a different, superior species, gather in a glamorous, glittering gaggle of designer labels and sky-high stilettos.
When you see the real thing, it’s like a strange, vivid, recurring dream, or more aptly put déjà vu: you feel like you’ve seen it so many times before, you aren’t rendered starstruck and speechless because you’re shocked.
You’re rendered starstruck and speechless because it’s effing amazing.
I arrive at Brewer Street Carpark, LFW’s gritty new venue after the Georgian glamour of Somerset House. The familiar flurry of nervous-looking people carrying expensive cameras are there, hungrily searching for a bloggable outfit.
In the crowd, a colourful nouvelle amie, Anne, is chatting to a friend before I tap her on the shoulder and holler “bonjour!” At the recent Self Styled shoot
I did French at A-Level and have since moved to other areas of study, but finding les occasions parfaites to practice that oh so sophisticated language need not be sniffed at! I listen to
I did French at A-Level and have since moved to other areas of study, but finding les occasions parfaites to practice that oh so sophisticated language need not be sniffed at!
After much posing and flouncing, the next event of the day was the Royal Fashion Day at Middle Temple Hall. With my university’s fashion society, I modelled some of the members’ designs in one of the rooms, but forever the non-conformist, I broke away from the pack and decided to go mingle with the guests in the main room.
From that, I got myself an invite to a fashion show at Kensington Roof Gardens later that month, which was all very exciting (a member of Coldplay played us all a little song) but that is never enough for a red-lipped social climber such as myself!
The Royal Fashion Day felt a little second rate: the room was empty and the attendees seemed a little… thirsty. I immediately started to feel a little agitated, bidding the room farewell as I dashed for the nearest WiFi spot – Pret-a-Manger.
Instagram, the 21st century’s connector of the photogenic and snap-happy, informed me of a show taking place at Freemason’s Hall, that mysterious building on the edge of Covent Garden that I’ve always wanted to enter but always felt slightly too conspicuous to remain undetected.
Wrapping my flimsy feather boa around my neck for warmth in the frigid February weather, I totter along the streets of London.
I bump into a gentleman I met at the Karl Lagerfeld store’s launch event for their new line (something I blogged about way back in September!) who is on his way to the Royal Fashion Day. I told him I’d just left but wished him all the joy in the world as I continue my way to Freemason’s.
A long queue leads from the door and across the street. I shrug my shoulders and join the back of it, sparking conversation up with a friendly-looking mixed race girl about the trials and tribulations of having curly hair (I reveal mine, neatly tucked away under my turban.)
I unabashedly ask her who the show is actually for, making it quite obvious of my intention to gatecrash. She tells me Pam Hogg, whose name rings no bells, and I’m without a WiFi connection to do a little reconnaissance on Google. The conversation drifts away until her father arrives, who shakes my hand and asks me if I’m cold (VERY!)
A lady walks along the queue announcing that if we have tickets, we can walk straight into the show.
Ah, brilliant! they say as they leave the queue and follow her towards the dreaded door whore.
“Invitations? Do you have your invites?” she croaks in that obnoxious MiC drawl.
I mutter about being on some form of list… somewhere.
Detecting my bullshit, she turns away from me, and for a split second, I stand dejected and dismissed, my feathers drooping sadly at the realisation that I’m being turfed out.
My knight in shining leather tells her “He’s with us!” and I’m waved on in, much to my obvious delight!
Here we are! I’m in! I did it!
As my eyes adjust to the light, I’m handed an envelope by my new saviour’s friend, which I thank him for profusely.
Miraculously, I spot familiar faces, the old 1980s club kid crowd I met at Glastonbury the previous June, a weekend of sunshine and hippy frolics (and warm showers every morning!)
Many air-kisses to be had, I explore some of the fashion offerings the designers have. I am met with compliments by an exuberant Saudi woman, who has that tell tale queenly beauty that I gasp at with adoration every time I pass Selfridges’.
Miraculously, I seemed to already know half the room; the ’80s club kid crowd I had met through East London’s gay scene and a sunny weekend of love in Glastonbury. Air kisses abound, taking a little moment to catch my breath at this surreal but electric moment. For a boy from a rundown town with a big dream and bigger heart that included colour, a celebration of individuality and florid personalities, I had bust my way into a dream come true.
Dirty Baby, a Chinese designer, her clothes putting an emphasis