9.00 Arrive at Somerset House, the new venue for this year’s London Fashion Week. The historical background contrasts with the mood – an excitement, a quiver in the air. The first person that catches my attention is a man wearing the most amazing studded leather jacket.
9.30 So, we are inside Paul Costelloe – the shows opener at the British Fashion Council Tent. Music plays, the venue is spacious yet packed. Photographers clamour and push to get viable positions right at the end of the runway. The lights dim…
10.30 The one minute silence for Lee McQueen, announced by Harold Tilman, is even more poignant due to the amazing memorial wall behind us.
11.00 After dashing out of the venue to give a ticket to Sofia it’s back inside for Catherine Charles. The final model appears in a sweeping black wedding dress and is promptly robbed of her veil by her ‘’bridesmaids’’ wearing short gold shifts.
11.30 Time to move venues. The catwalks are close to each other, but far enough away to mean that running can become a necessity! Freemasons is quite spectacular – think armour and stained glass windows. It’s time for Prophetik and we’re seated – prime seats for people watching. For the first time, models in denim…it goes perfectly with the live band feel of the venue.
12.00 Upstairs to the Media Centre – cupcakes and having a check online is the drill before heading off again.
2.00 Ramon Gurilo – our first show at On/Off – accommodating staff, amazing make up! Manage to grab a model outside the toilet (classy) for a quick interview.
2.30 Ashley Isham – By far the longest queue yet, seems like this a popular one. Time to get sneaky and slide by a few people to make sure I get in as we’ve managed to secure a backstage pass as well as a front of house pass.
5.30 Dreams of another cupcake are dashed but the far more exciting prospect of being able to get into Ones to Watch. We spy Susie Bubble, of blogging fame – the four designers don’t disappoint, although Susie doesn’t look overly impressed! The strongest look is an opened backed dress fringed with spikes which fits the model perfectly.
7.00 Sofia and I are bracing the final frontier (this being the walk from the tube to home) and a couple of men fall out of the pub. After shouting some garbled rubbish, they finish with ‘’It’s not my fault that you’re wearing a pencil skirt!’’ How he knows that what I’m wearing is, in fact, a pencil skirt, I don’t know, but it makes for a funny end to a successful first day.
10.00 A slightly later start but no less hectic a day as we arrive to take on Day Two. I begin by successfully making a fool out of myself by mistaking a designer to be the attendant of the locker room.
10.30 To be successful at Fashion Week delegation is the key – which often means the Fashion Team are at different locations to ensure we get maximum coverage of all the shows. This sometimes means running between Bloomsbury House and Freemasons, but often that’s the fun part – as Sofia likes to say ‘’pavement pounding.’’
11.00 I pavement pound my way to On/Off for the first show of the day, the anticipated Bryce Aime. Street style is already impressive, my favourite being a girl wearing an amazing black and gold brocade skirt.
11.30 Come out quite awestruck. I’m feeling shabby – spotted a silly amount of Burberry heels. What I particularly enjoyed about Bryce Aime was the way shapes were built around the models: the stand out piece was a purple suit with boxes attached to the perimeter.
12.00 Our next show, Romina Karamena, is in an unusual location: an underground nightclub. I’m seated next to a blogger who is amazing – African, tall and wearing a belted maxi dress. She immediately points out the truth – the location is too small and the space is poor for the photographers. Overall, I’m not impressed with the show – too much black!
1.00 We run to the Bernard Chandra show and get in quite quickly. The models look ethereal – their faces are painted white with varying colours of lipstick, amazing!
1.30 Back to what has become our base, Vauxhall Fashion Scout. After encountering a horrendously drunk man, it’s downstairs to the foyer, photographers in tow. Iris Van Herpen causes some distress as strobe lighting is used, meaning the photographers have the almost impossible job of trying to capture a picture in the flashes. The guy next to me is frantically BBming: saying LOLOLOLOL continuously without actually laughing but he describes the show perfectly: “It’s like a paper shredder has met fabulous material and it’s all been put back together again, but it works.’’
2.00 We all rendezvous back at Somerset House and everything is feeling a bit more familiar now. I’m getting used to being surrounded by such an eclectic mix of people: models, designers, press and buyers. Browsing the exhibition inside is amazing: all the clothes are kept in pristine conditions. I have a chat with the leading man, Clive at BodyAmr, who is welcoming and clearly passionate about his business. Interestingly, he says that the hardest thing about the catwalk show was putting together the music score.
2.30 A bit of a break! So far we haven’t managed to eat and Justyn was denied his London Sushi Bar experience, so sitting down is quite welcome.
4.00 Jason Kimmie. I get a bit overexcited at seeing Pandemonia, a 7ft tall icon who describes herself as the ultimate fashionista. The show itself is eccentric, the last model enters holding a baby who is a 4 month old son of one of the backstage crew. Kimmie himself looks ecstatic.
8.00 It’s our biggest show so far, PPQ. George is outside the catwalk paparazzi style, but we’ve got bigger problems. They don’t want to let our photographer, Justyn, in. Before I know it, I’m trained and ready to take the photos of the catwalk. As I become increasingly nervous that I may break the camera in some way, we manage to sneak Justyn in. Although the show is slightly slated, you can’t help but admire the tailoring and cut.
10.00 Off the tube, and nightmare of all nightmares, it’s raining. For those who don’t have a person to hold an umbrella with them, it’s time for death hair and ruined blue suede shoes.
10.30 All the photographers are in different shows so I head off to the Welsh Designers show which has the best goody bag so far. However, the show is not up to scratch; the designs aren’t overly appealing although I do like a long T-Shirt depicting Henry VIII.
11.00 Only able to grab the last 10 minutes of Elliot J.Frieze. The leather aviation hats get a big cheer.
1.00 Justyn and I return to VFS as the exhibition has opened it’s doors – meaning we can have a look at all the clothes that were in the shows yesterday. I manage to grab a quick interview with an assistant, Chloe. Begin to wish I were a millionaire.
3.00 Two photographers in tow – George already backstage at Falguini and Shane Peacock. A remix of Billie Jean keeps the mood upbeat as the models appear in creations that are coloured yet broken, there is a reptilian feel to the clothes which is exciting. It’s all topped off by crimped hair and a standing ovation for the designers.
4.00 Meet at Somerset House. Mia’s joined us, really cool to have another member on board and there to take pictures of hidden celebrities, such as Janet Jackson. There is still more to be done, but for catwalk shows, no more…. until next year!