How to Attend and Survive London Fashion Week

 

How do you make your way to Fashion week, attend the shows, and most importantly, what should you wear?…
London Fashion Week is one of the most exciting times of the year in the fashion calendar. For fashion journalists, buyers, press and bloggers, it is time devoted to changing trends, new discoveries, exciting collections and preparing for the season ahead. Ever since I studied the importance of Fashion Week in University, I was so intrigued by what it would be like to attend such a prestigious event, alongside some of the most exciting people in the fashion world, from Anna Wintour to Kate Moss, and even Harry Styles in recent years. Fashion Week takes place twice a year, bringing us new collections and trend inspiration for the coming season, whereby the September show displays the coming Spring/Summer fashions, whilst the February show displays the coming Autumn/Winter. London Fashion Week starts again on the 20th February until the 24th, and I am so excited to be attending a number of shows, for the third season running. The fact that I now live in London, and can attend the shows like a true Londoner, is exciting in itself, being able to turn up in my favourite heels without a suitcase in tow.

Many times I have been asked about Fashion Week, mainly, how does one attend the shows and become a part of the whole event. I thought I would therefore write down my top tips and advice on the whole process and hopefully it might help you to get down to the shows in the future.

1. How do I go to London Fashion Week?

To start with, even if you’re not a blogger, designer, press, buyer or marketer, you can still attend London Fashion Week. Somerset House is open to the public, and although you won’t be able to waltz into any show you like without a ticket, you do not need permission to walk around Somerset House taking photos of anything you can snap fast enough. For years I thought the whole event was kept behind locked doors, and only those with official passes could see anything exciting. I was entirely wrong. Anyone can go along with their camera, papping stylish people, taking notes and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the bloggers, press, journalists and models walking from here to there. If you’re a new blogger, go along with your camera and get snapping.

2. How do I attend a Fashion Show?

Now this bit is a bit trickier. The shows are exclusive and ticket only. You either need to be invited by the designer’s press team or apply for a ticket yourself. You just apply for tickets by visiting the London Fashion Week website, choosing the designer you hope to watch, and emailing the Press Office with a well written email and a reason why you should attend. You do not need to be an official member of the London Fashion Council to attend shows, again another misconception I had. Anyone can attend a show if they have a ticket, but getting the tickets is not so easy.

 

3. What should I take to LFW?

Your days will be extremely busy when you’re attending the shows. You will be here, there and everywhere, all over the city, attending shows that are back to back, and by the end of the day, you are truly exhausted.
Inside my bag, I keep my essentials tucked inside, as I know they will all come in handy at some point. Here are a few I’d recommend:

iPad/iPhone

Either for taking quick snaps or scanning the web and your emails as you wait for the show to start, an iPhone or iPad Mini is a great device to quickly write down any notes on. Maybe you want to remember details from the show for your next blog post, or perhaps write down potential design ideas for your new fashion line, you can take down all of your notes so quickly, and have those notes transferred automatically to your other devices via ICloud. Plus you can ring for your next Uber taxi (Use my code Inthefrow20 when you download the Uber app to get £20 free rides by the way), or share your front row Instagram shot. And if you can, an amazing iPhone or iPad case should not go amiss. Your phone should be looking as fashionable as you are… if you ask me. I have this cute Michael Kors case so my iPad mini stays safe in my bag.

A Professional Camera

You do not have to go as professional as my Canon 70D, but it certainly helps if you’re aiming to get yourself some professional fashion photographs. A simple point and shoot is just as useful for getting quick snaps, but for those high resolution images, with a blurry background (shallow depth of field) and bright colours, an SLR camera will help you achieve the finish you’re after. Tuck this into your bag for when you want to take photographs of the surroundings, fashionable people, or the models on the catwalk.

Your Favourite Lipstick

Your favourite lipstick is a must have. I’d recommend taking your favourite lipstick with you at all times, mine is YSL Rouge Volupte in Nude Beige, that you can top up on the go without requiring a mirror. A nude lipstick is always the best for this, as it can enhance your lips and keep you looking put-together, without requiring hours for you to apply it neatly. Although if you did want to go for a dark lip, the Charlotte Tilbury So Marilyn is my current favourite red lip. Along those lines, I would also always carry a lip balm, like this Clarins Lip Balm that I love, as you will be chatting, talking, walking in the cold and drinking all day and your lips won’t be too happy at the end of it.

An Umbrella

Do not forget your umbrella. You will regret it big time if you happen to be caught in the rain. And the chances are, it will rain at some point over the five days. Take a lovely umbrella in your bag just in case, like this Fulton Umbrella.

Business Cards

You never know who you will meet at an event. A model scout, an agent, bloggers, photographers, press, marketers. It’s always best to be prepared. Have them tucked inside a cool card holder ready for the opportunity.

Phone Charger

This will most likely be your best friend for the week. There is nothing more annoying than a dead phone when you’re desperate to post your selfie with Cara Delevingne!

4. What Should I Wear to LFW?

Don’t dress yourself up in clothing that isn’t right for you, with the aim of being seen and papped at London Fashion Week. At the same time, you also have to make an effort and show that you have an interest and understanding of the fashion industry and current trends. Everyone loves to make a big effort for Fashion Week, buying new shoes, new bags and the latest pieces, as it really is the best excuse to go shopping. But don’t go spending a fortune on pieces you won’t wear again.
Here are a few items I would recommend wearing and taking with you:

A Watch

Of course, you need to keep to timings, and if your phone dies, which is highly likely, you will need to keep time another way. My favourite accessory is a watch. They’re so smart and can just add that extra sparkle or bling to an outfit. My personal favourite for this fashion week will be my Olivia Burton Watch.

A Statement Heel

I wouldn’t feel the same at the biggest fashion event of the season without a great pair of shoes. And my shoe of choice is usually the heel. I recently bought the new Sophia Webster Watermelon Courts as they’re just so fun, bright and statement and perfect for LFW. I’m sure they will brighten up any outfit I pair them with and will be the focal point of the outfit, so I cannot wait to wear them. But be careful of buying heels that will be extremely uncomfortable for the day, and maybe invest in some flat shoes that roll up, just in case.

Sunglasses

If the sun’s shining, and your running from show to show, either walking or in taxis, the sunglasses not only hide you from the sun, but conceal the stress on your face. Works for me anyway! Plus, at the end of the day when your concealer has lost its longevity, you’ll be so glad you packed them in your bag. The Ray Ban Clubmasters are my current loves.

A Backpack or Large Tote

I’d recommend a backpack, a stylish, designer backpack if you wish, that you can fit all of your essentials into. You will be so glad you did, when you’re carrying your camera, your phone and your umbrella (usually) and your bag is just getting in the way slung over the crook of your arm. I absolutely adore this Tory Burch backpack. But if a tote is more your thing, go for a bag that can fit all of your essentials and your camera in there snug. I would recommend the Givenchy Antigona or the Victoria Beckham Victoria Tote, mainly because these are on my to-buy list.

Dress/Jumpsuit/Trousers/ Your Call

I can’t tell you what to wear, that’s totally up to you. It all depends what you’re comfortable in, what suits you and what you feel matches your personality. Just don’t go dressed for a night out in a club, or wearing your gym-wear. Check out this blog post for ideas as to what I would be wearing if I could, but as ideas of the types of outfits I’ll be putting together.

 

 

5. How else could I get Involved?

If you’re not able to get down to the shows this time, I know that for years I just couldn’t manage the trip to the capital from the North, there are still ways to get involved in the action. First up, check the instagram feeds of all of your favourite bloggers. 9 out of 10 of them will be at Fashion Week. See what they’re getting up to and get a piece of the action that way. Make sure to follow my Instagram to keep up with the shows and behind the scenes action! The same goes for blogs and vlogs of the event.
Other than that, you can watch live streams of the shows from home, often via the LFW website or the brand’s own channels, so your University report or new fashion blog really does not have to suffer. Or, catch up on the LFW website for their highlights and trend reports.
If you do get some time free, and you’re roaming around the capital, why not go along to Somerset House, chat to people, take some pictures and get involved. Its a vibrant and exciting week with so much to see.
Let me know if have any further questions about LFW that I havent addressed and I might add them to the above. Truly hope this was helpful for any first time LFW goers or those who are really intrigued!Head over to the Selfridges website to view my LFW edit and what I recommend for Fashion Week Survival!

Thankyou so much to Selfridges for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to write down my LFW tips and advice!