London Fashion Week, aka LFW, is the bi-yearly pilgrimage for all designers, bloggers, reporters, PRs, agencies, models, photographers, celebrities and anyone remotely interested in the fashion industry to flock to. Social media in the run up is a stream of memes, gifs and #LFW hashtags, all giving it the hype it so deserves. Basically, it's a pretty big-ass deal.
Being a LFW regular for over 5 years, I appreciate I am very very very very lucky to get seated and frow tickets to incredible shows. I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had and the people I've met. I don't want to come off as ungrateful for my life because I'm not. However, I do have to tell some home truths. You know, all the bits that never make it onto Influencers' Instagram pages. There isn't any kind of filter for what comes out of my mouth...not even Mayfair or Moon will mask it. Soz not soz.
LFW isn't all what it seems on social. Unless you're an A-list celebrity, chances are LFW will have pissed you off at some point down the line. You'll never ever admit that of course...well, unless you're me. Then yes, you're happy to tell the globe all the things you're NOT supposed to confess about the glorious prestigious wonderful London Fashion Week.
So, here are 30 truths about LFW that nobody will tell you...until now. Enjoy!
1. Most of your days are spent queuing and then there's a high chance you'll not actually make it INSIDE to watch the show. So you just queued for an hour for the fun of it. Hope you snapchatted all the fun you had.
2. Wearing beautiful but painful shoes all day is a necessary requirement and there's a 80% chance your feet are blistered beyond recognition by the end of day 1.
3. Even with seated tickets, you cannot expect an actual seat. Ha! Don't be so silly. Some seated have to stand and some standing don't even get in. Natch.
4. Queuing in the rain for over an hour is standard practice...no, no umbrellas are handed out.
5. Shows running super late and over capacity is standard practice. A schedule to stick to? Might as well throw that bad boy in the river Thames before you even begin.
6. You can actually buy tickets to shows. Yap, anyone can buy.
7. Being able to buy tickets means people sitting at shows may have no relation to the fashion or media industry in the slightest. Which in turn sucks for all those who don't even get tickets when they're working their asses off in the actual industry.
8. People dress nothing like what they would wear every day. Heard of the phrase 'peacocking'? Good. It legit exists.
9. Getting papped is the aim of the game...so don't just stand there. Walk up and down and round and round pretending to take calls hoping your weird AF outfit gets enough attention to get you onto some website somewhere that you can regram the next day to prove how awesome you are.
10. A lot of coffee is consumed over the five days. A LOT. Costa, sponsor LFW won't you? We all need free lattes and espressos. Esp when we're freezing our tits off!
11. There's a lot of bloggers and even more blaggers about. Urgh those blaggers. We all know who you are!
12. Everyone is actually proper nice to each other. Never had a bad queue chat. Yes, this is a positive point. I have loved most people I end up chatting to.
13. If you know people, you get far. It's that simple.
14. Showing at LFW doesn't necessarily mean the clothes will be good. Ouch. I've seen broken zips, holes, misshapen garments and badly dresses models all at LFW on-schedule shows.
15. Presentations are just as interesting as catwalk shows. True story, I genuinely enjoy them too.
16. Everyone will know everyone. London is small AF. Yes, I could arrive at every show alone and still end up sitting with a cool crew.
17. Goody bag offerings always help when putting your schedule together. We gotta keep it real ain't we!
18. Doing the full 5 days morning to evening will probably put you out of action for the next week. I cannot cope. How do you all actually cope?
19. LFW flu is an actual real thing. My best friend even says ohhh it's February it's LFW right? You'll get ill after that, let's plan later on. She's always bang on the money too.
20. Without fail, by lunch time every day you'll wish you wore flats. FU HEELS. FU.
21. Many many people hang around outside Freemasons Hall / Somerset House pretending to be busy in order to blag into shows, get papped or hopefully see someone they know that can help sneak them in...
22. Many show-goers look like they went blind, fell into a charity shop and stumbled out before heading straight to fashion week.
23. Many DID actually go to a charity shop, because, well, we ain't all rolling in it or have stylists to bag us outfits for 5 days.
24. There is a direct correlation between getting press coverage and clashing your entire outfit into one giant eye-sore of an ensemble. I'll draw a graph up later.
25. Pushing into queues and acting like you're important enough so no one tells you to get to the back should be made into an Olympic sport. You'd get a lot of entries I assure you.
26. It ain't what you wear it's how you wear it. I often rock up in TK Maxx or Primark specials and get papped (which, as you now know, is the aim of the game).
27. Some shows will be running over an hour late (you've queued of course), packed (you're seated but you have to stand), and the show will last around 7 minutes. You will come out wondering wtf is life about.
28. People get delusions of grandeur once inside. I did LFW once on crutches and only until a member of the staff asked repeatedly did someone reluctantly stand up to allow me to sit down. I WAS ON CRUTCHES. Assholes.
29. When you're frow, you'll be checking out everyone else on frow but acting like you're not bothered and pretending to just be absorbed in the clothes but really you're just hoping everyone is looking at you thinking you're fabulous.
30. It's never as fun as what it appears on social. That being said, we will all continue to go every season anyway. Because, well, its LFW innit.