Navigating London Fashion Week: A not-so Fashion Queen’s Perspective

London Fashion Week is surprisingly welcoming to newcomers. As long as you say you’re someone important, people will fall all over themselves to befriend you. The key is to blend in. Don’t smile or pose for the press, they’ll flash you a dirty look and photograph someone else. Don’t look too excited. However, do give people your email and do say you’re American. They’ll love you and invite you to other shows.

An American studying abroad used to New England’s Bean boots and long puffer jackets, my first fashion show was a whirlwind and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The bartenders served free beverages, the people boasted fantastic personalities, and the fashion designs were impeccable. The events were surprisingly free, though I assume other attendees bought pieces at the end of each show. For a prestigious event, it was easy to slip in, especially once contacts were made. Too many people in the fashion industry believe they made a valuable connection with me and while I wish I could further their fashion careers, I doubt I will.

At the Silk Road and Jaded Life Collective, I loved a floor-length yellow ballgown encrusted with flowers the most. However, a pink jumper accentuated by a simple silver belt also elicited some oos and ahs. Another design, a blue pantsuit attached to a white train trailing the floor, caused men to stand and shout “bravo!” 

Other looks, however, had questionable intentions, though maybe others there enjoyed their “artistry.” A man wearing nothing but a white bath towel hardly compared to the array of sparkly ball gowns preceding him. Crazy hairdos filled with feathers and braided to stick out at abrupt angles focused the audience’s attention away from the clothing. While hair may complete a look, people have come to view the designers’ work, not the hairdresser’s.

The second show I attended seemed a bigger deal at first than it turned out. While Banshee makes beautifully tailored suits, their bouncer could show more kindness to the que, especially when their main event featured a two-minute video about nature, not fashion. Some guests were characters, assuming their own importance when in reality no one knew who they were. A woman in a boot-like hat was affronted when she could not bring five plus-ones and I watched another man in a puffy blue suit barely scrape through. As I’ve learned, sometimes wearing ridiculous clothing is not enough. 

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