London Fashion Week Festival
Many bloggers, myself included, have the tendency to sugarcoat less than perfect experiences with brands in an attempt to maintain a PR-friendly image. But I'm going to be totally honest with you about my day at London Fashion Week Festival 2017, the newly revamped and relocated London Fashion Weekend. It kinda sucked.
(Stay with me, its not all doom and gloom...)
This week, after the rush of LFW, many of my current and ex-coursemates from fashion courses at uni decided to head to LFWF (too many acronyms I know). I travelled down by overnight megabus (#studentbudget) on my own due to work commitments, and spent the sleepless night violently throwing up due to coach-sickness. It took 2 hours longer than planned due to the nightmare of Storm Doris.
When I arrived the sun was shining at last and I took a long walk around the grounds of Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, then went for lunch.
Next I met up with fellow Edinburgh blogger Cera Kamonji at the Strand, which was absolutely lovely and the highlight of my day, to take some street style snaps on the Thames, because street style is undoubtedly the best part of fashion month, and Cera is a talented budding photographer and overall good egg. Visit her blog: http://www.cerakamonji.com
What do you think of the photos? I decided to keep it casual with a striped crop tee and velvet wide leg trousers from Topshop, fringed loafers from Tod's at Harvey Nichols, accessories from Accessorize, and embroidered biker jacket from Scottish brand Mandi Candi Boutique.
Finally it was time to enter The Store Studios at the Strand (#alliteration yo). I had a 'gold' ticket, worth more than double the standard entry price. This got me (and everyone in Bronze, Silver etc) a cool political-statement-making Vivienne Westwood tote bag. Then I explored the festival which took place in, which included some brand lounges from Label M, Maybelline, Swarovski, Sunglass Hut and Like To Know It.
I shopped for a bit, on a whim, at one of my favourite fashion brands House of Sunny (bought myself some peach tailored cropped trousers) and a new jewellery brand discovery Rosa Pietsch for some stunning laser cut earrings.
After an hour of wondering round overpriced 'discount' designer stores, taking selfies against various LFW backdrops and feeling like a potato amongst Gucci-clad gods and
goddesses, I'd seen it all, three times. My catwalk presentation wasn't until 6pm and it was only 1, so I took to the streets of London, blowing my money on coffee and art gallery shops. Speculating about London, I realised that it wasn't so good for my mental health. I felt stressed, rushed, pushed about, lonely, claustrophobic, overwhelmed. I've visited countless times before but this time just felt different. My expectations were so high, and the result was nada.
I returned to the venue for my booked runway show, a presentation by British fashion brand Mother of Pearl, a disappointingly short performance after 45 minutes of queuing The collection was very high street with no real pizazz, the seating was totally overcrowded despite booking front row seats, the music was naff, along with the enthusiastic presenter. It may have been just not to my taste, and I'm the first to admit I was in a terrible mood, but from conversations with fellow guests the whole charade fell flat, especially in the current industry climate of sincere speculation over the actual purpose and value of runway shows. My second catwalk experience was fast approaching later that evening, but frankly I was totally drained, as looked my fellow audience members, so I rushed to KX for the next train home, passing on my ticket to a young fashionista on my way out.
Overall, it was basically a modernised, glorified Clothes Show Live. Now I love CSL, I went every year as a teenager with my bestie and we adored it. Shopping round crowded stalls for hours on end is fun when you're young and energetic and your main hobby is buying Barry M dazzle dust with your parent's money. But I expected more from the offspring of globally renowned London Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council. I wanted groundbreaking fashion in an inspiring environment what I got was something I feel could've been executed better back home in Scotland.
I think I was mainly a bit miffed because despite high costs there was no difference between the bronze, silver and gold tickets apart from an extra 10 minute runway show. The real fashion week is more exciting, even if I'm not a super-blogger with 10k+ followers who's invited to every show.
Basically, imo it ain't worth the hype.
Also, I think a random 24 hour bout of extreme physical and mental illness can't have helped. As my mother always puts it, you live and learn. As the lovely Hannah put it in the comments of my Facebook rant,
"I had much more fun standing outside real fashion week the other day making contacts and trying to sneak in aha, they just want you to buy the expensive champagne and spend like you didn't already pay for a ticket anyway."
Did you go to London Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Festival this year? What was your experience?