Street-style, rain and new designers- just some of the words that come to mind when I reflect on my experiences at London Fashion Week. Something I get asked a lot is how I got to attend LFW (London Fashion Week, fyi) at the ripe young age of 17. As a wise 19 year old now, and having been at LFW twice now, I figured I'd put together a post on how I got there, and why I wont be going again any time soon.
You might be wondering- how on earth does a teenager from the outskirts of Dublin get to fashion week before they've even sat their leaving cert? The answer isn't really as exciting as people would think. I wasn't suddenly being sent invitations left right and centre to Burberry or Prada shows. I was, however, a very persistent youth. I did my research and after seeing plenty of other bloggers go, I thought I'd give it a shot too. To attend as a blogger, you're supposed to apply for a blogger pass with British Fashion Council, but unless you have a large following, you'll more than likely be rejected. The next step is to check out the LFW website and email each and every PR out there requesting a press invite and with all your details, why you want to go, etc etc. This took me about 4 hours to do each time I went, as I wanted all the emails to be specific to the designer I was applying to.
The invites were sent to my friends apartment (you need a London address if you're not living there) and each time, I was really surprised by the amount I got. Although I'd only received two or three invites from 'big' designers on the official LFW schedule, I was lucky enough to get loads from smaller, new designers thanks to Fashion Scout, who are really accommodating to bloggers like me with a 'small' following.
The first year I went, back in 2015, I came home feeling so inspired. It was the last year at Somerset House, where anyone could soak up the street-style vibes without even needing an invite to get in. I met some lovely bloggers, I was dressed by Boohoo and just had a really fun experience. Exhausting, but fun. I was enthusiastic and dying to go back.
The second time I went was February 2016, where I had a much different experience. When people think about fashion week, they imagine you sitting front row, mingling with celebrities and getting goodie bags worth hundreds. The opposite honestly couldn't be more true. For the few shows I attended that season, I had a standing spot at the back, and as for goodie bags- unless you're a Made in Chelsea star sitting FROW, you can forget about that. It was the first year the main location was at Brewer Street carpark, and because it's on a public road, there was little to no space for peacocking around in true blogger fashion, trying to get snaps of others doing the same. I ended up cutting the season short and spent the rest of my time in London sightseeing and having the best time.
Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences at fashion week because of this little old blog. But the general vibe I got the last time was that unless you're someone with a huge following or work for an important company or have lots of money- it really isn't worth your time going. If I'm honest, you'd get pictures from watching the runway shows on your laptop in the comfort of your own home, minus the snobbery of those who think they're the bees knees. I'm not bitter, just honest. And the truthful side of it is that fashion week isn't just about the fashion anymore. It's about the money, the 'who's who' and the competitive side of the industry. I'm not saying I'd never go back, I would love to go to NYFW or PFW in a few years, but with a more wary eye and more sense in my head.
I'd love to hear people's opinions on fashion weeks in general- let me know your thoughts by tweeting me here!