Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A Guide to London Fashion Week: the Dos and Don'ts

I’ve done it again, and I’ve survived it. London Fashion Week is nearly over and I’ve managed to cram a lot in a one-day visit before boarding a train back oop north away from the insanity.

I popped down on Monday 20th to catch a few shows, meet a couple of people and soak up a little LFW. I saw Mark Fast, Fashion East’s show for Maarten van der Horst, James Long and Marques’Almeida, Christian Blanken, popped by Simone Rocha’s gallery, Holly Fulton’s, said hello to the lovely Husam el Odeh, met the Tatty Devine girls and saw the new fine jewellery collection, saw Hannah Martin’s stand and people watched a little bit.

 Mark Fast

Now, I did this LFW on my lonesome because my partner/Boss in fashionable crime (Jo Davies the MD and Founder of Black White Denim) is on her holly-rocks and I had no one else to go with. Bar-humbug. So, as a result of this I was hypersensitive to the madness that was going on around me and I thought, as a result of my new found wisdom, I would compile a list of the dos and don’ts of London Fashion Week. I’d love to hear if you have more, @ me on Twitter @jordanjmcdowell!

LFW Dos and Don’ts:

Don’t register as anything but Press. All other categories are substandard and you will be treated as such.

Don’t eat, it’s expensive and there is too much booze to drink anyway.

Don’t drink Vitamin Water, it’s foul.

Do drink Fiji water, it’s so this season.

Don’t expect a Goody bag, if there is one, it’s usually crap (unless it’s Beyonce’s gaff where you get her perfume and her candle!)

Don’t admit to being a Blogger unless (A) you want a ton of girls with business cards making small-talk with you and (B) you are so desperate for WiFi you’re prepared to sit at the ‘Blogger’s Bar’.

Don’t make eye-contact with people sat next to you at the shows, they’ll tell you their CV and want to know your Twitter handle.

Do use Twitter to navigate a show, you’re more likely to talk to someone important than by smiling to the person next to you.

Do get a Starbucks at Euston, you’ll be hard pushed to find a coffee cup bigger than a thimble at Somerset House.

Do people-watch at TOM’s Deli, it’s like a trip to the Circus and the Zoo in one.

Do wrap up warm. Wearing less because you look good gets old VERY quickly.

Do understand that unless you have a ticket, no one will make eye-contact with you.

Don’t flirt with Bouncers/PRs to get into shows you’ve not been invited to.

Don’t shout at Bouncers/PRs when they say: ‘we’re full’, ‘you’re not on the list’, ‘please leave the area immediately’.

Don’t pout and pose when someone asks for your photograph, chances are it’s because you look like a tit.

Don’t expect Bouncers/PRs to care about you or who you know inside the show.

Don’t expect anyone to care about you.

Don’t be shocked when they shut the doors in your face when the show is shut and you’re too late, even when you’ve got a ticket.

Don’t get on a LFW Bus unless you’re sure you know where it is going.

Do expect everything to run around 30 mins late

Do wear any of the following if you’re keen to get pap’d:
- Bin Bags
- Neon weaves/wigs
- Wooden platform shoes (preferably if you’re male)
- Rubber
- Alive animals
- Dead animals
- Clashing prints layered over more clashing prints and a hat made of metal
- Stilts
- Sea-life
- Face-masks (especially those covered in Rhine-stones)
- Jeans rolled up to show colourful socks
- Anything plastic

Do say things like, ‘it’s his/her strongest collection to date’ or ‘it was a very wearable collection’ if you want people to think you know what you’re talking about.

Don’t ask Hillary Alexander a question when she’s having a fag at the back of the BFC tent. She needs her down time, yagetme?

Don’t expect anyone on the tube to move out of the way for you because ‘don’t you know it’s Fashion Week, I need to get to the Richard Nicoll show NOW, move!’

Don’t expect anyone not at Fashion Week to know what Fashion Week actually is.

Do expect your family to think you’re on holiday.

Do ask the LFW girls and boys in white coats questions because they’re lovely.

Do visit the exhibitions and galleries if you’ve got time, tomorrow’s Gucci is waiting to be discovered and you may get the chance to chat to the designers themselves.

Do select your off-schedule shows carefully, you may end up at what can only be considered a school fashion show.

Do expect to be treated much nicer when you visit off-schedule shows (they’re glad you came)

Don’t expect to be treated nice when you’re queuing for on-schedule shows (they’re glad Kanye West came)

Do soak it up, laugh it off and get back home before you collapse.