I Survived My First London Fashion Week

Now playing: “New Song” by Warpaint

 

Just over a week ago, I was in Central London, frantically dashing about from one building to another, head not lifting to meet anyone’s gaze as I ogled the screen of my phone to get me to my next assignment.

I was super lucky to be selected as a contributing writer for The Upcoming and cover shows at London Fashion Week. I had never done (that’s right, one “does” Fashion Week) Fashion Week before this. I was all over the place. I was flustered, overwhelmed and clammy (TMI?). But in the end, I somehow survived. And I have the marks to prove it (in the form of my very own contributor’s page on The Upcoming’s website).

Out of the three days I was down in London, I was assigned to an average of 5-7 shows to attend each day. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Not when you immediately have to write up and send a 30-50 word sentiment to The Upcoming team summing up your initial feelings about the show. Okay, that was fine, it was finding the time to write up the full review of the shows and submit them as soon as possible, when you literally have to run to the next show elsewhere (top tip: unless you’re a big deal who gets to be driven from location to location in a Mercedes Benz, the official sponsor of LFW, avoid wearing heels if you’re reporting for more than one show in more than one place. Thank me later). And then the workload just builds up and you somehow have to find the time to properly sit down and write a few hundred words x 7.

Thankfully, after my trainwreck of a first day, I managed to implement a system on myself. Sentiment immediately after show, full write-up IF and only if I have a spare hour with Wifi to gather my thoughts. If not, as soon as I’d finish for the day, I’d sit down and whack all of them out in the quickest succession possible and have them all sent off in the evening.

It took a while to get used to the fast, intense pace of it all, but I eventually got the hang of it. For one, the shows were gloriously fleeting and were over before you knew it, and, as soon as they were over, the audience would swarm out immediately in their masses, onto their next show. If I learned one thing, Fashion Week doesn’t wait for nobody.

London Fashion Week hardly gave you enough time to catch your breath or gather your thoughts before it was a mad dash to the next show, and it was exhilarating. Probably one of the best things I’ve been lucky enough to experience. It was jam-packed with endless showcases of fresh design talent, as well as the more established designers doing the rounds with their Autumn / Winter 2017 collections.

Out of all of the shows, Eudon Choi’s show at 180 The Strand was one of the defining moments of the Autumn / Winter 2017 season and hands-down one of my favourites. A cut above the rest, his knack for tailoring was effortlessly translated into a fresh, crisp and sartorially flawless selection of sharply tailored, oversized womenswear.

Photo: Krish Nagari // The Upcoming
Photo: Krish Nagari // The Upcoming

London Fashion Week also gave me a greater appreciation for menswear. One of the finest menswear offerings was by Harry Xu. A elegant masterpiece, Xu’s collection represented an introspective social concept that was food for thought: it was about young prisoners leaving boyhood behind them as they stepped out of prison for the first time. Loose, relaxed tailoring was met with dainty, feminine touches of floral embellishment, signalling rebirth.

Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming
Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming

One of the most unforgettable shows was the spectacular David Ferreira‘s . Inspired by freak shows, Ferreira’s designs pushed the capabilities of fashion to its extremes, combining vivid colours with enormous structures of fur, feathers and ruffles, worn by towering models on precariously high wedges.

Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming
Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming

Meanwhile, Alex S. Yu’s womenswear presentation was a riotous bricolage of orange, cobalt blue, foiled silver and pink (to name a few – it was difficult to think of a colour that wasn’t used) in a brilliant assortment of textures and fabrics. Designs were flamboyant and bold but also incredibly wearable and practical.

Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming
Photo: Amy Smith // The Upcoming

Irynvigre’s combined womenswear and menswear show was another conceptual collection that was forward-thinking and thought-provoking. Inspired by the futuristic concept of artificial intelligence beings walking among us, models were exposed by raw, unfinished hems and visible seamlines. A mostly monochromatic colour palette, with the occasion splash of orange and red, further outlined the refreshingly gender neutral tone of the collection.

Photo: Erol Birsen // The Upcoming
Photo: Erol Birsen // The Upcoming

The non-stop, hectic and buzzing atmosphere of London Fashion Week is exhausting for any first-timer to say the least, but the prospect of witnessing local and international designers showcase their work is enough to want to be thrown in the deep end all over again. If I survived Fashion Week, anyone can.

P.S. I didn’t even think to get any pictures of myself at LFW. And I call myself a blogger. My bad.

The Style Banks x

 

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