Well I cannot deny that on the build up to London Fashion Week (LFW) I was stupidly excited. I carefully picked out my outfits, researched into the shows I had tickets for and sniffed out where the parties were going to be. I made my way to Somerset House, eagerly anticipating the day and week ahead, camera and notebook in hand and dressed to impress (for my standards!)
I had a “UK Press Pass” and on arrival, I quickly realised this put me in a league above the “bloggers” and “world-wide” press. I realised this from the snooty way the staff handed bloggers their passes and denied them their LFW goodie-bags they asked for, saying “they are for UK press only” in a tone I only hope you can pick up on in this post. As I am fairly relaxed when it comes to this sort of attitude and coming from an acting background, I am used to people talking to me like this and I sympathetically smiled to the girls and joined fellow UK Press Pass holder Keshini for complimentary champagne downstairs.
We walked around the exhibition enjoying the collections on display and talking to the designers who were not interested in answering questions and all about asking us who we were and who we write for. Everywhere you went, people first looked at your clothes and decided from there if they were going to talk to you or not. The ques for the shows were long, chaotic and with it being February, wet and cold. The shows were pretty much always running late too and even for the big designers, it seemed to be a free-for-all for friends, press and fashion-enthusiasts alike.
Generally, the people at LFW, no matter who they were or their position, gave off an unfriendly, arrogant and snobbish vibe which I felt really let down the atmosphere of the event and showed us British people off in the worst way. I personally feel that there is a line when it comes to this sort of behavior. On some level, I understand it, expect it and roll with it, but when it actually makes something which should be fantastic fun and a celebration of talent, tiring and uncomfortable, I think it becomes a big problem and something we should feel ashamed of as a representation of our culture and society.
We all know the fashion industry is a mean one, one evidently unaffected by the recession, where starving yourself is celebrated and looking miserable is the only way to be seen. However, what I had prepared myself for and what I actually witnessed were far from each other. It was so much more extreme and I found it quite disheartening. I felt sad for the girls who feel they have to be “this way” and dress “that way” and act like, well, complete bitches by normal standards, just to pursue their dream career. It is a corrosive environment to be involved in too long and I’d say your skin has to be 100 times thicker than that of an actor to not let it knock your confidence and self-esteem.
Catherine, the lovely lady who granted me my UK Press Pass met with Keshini and I early on the first day and stated she was “over” LFW after having to do it on her own last year. Atthe time, we thought she was crazy but I now understand that statement a lot more! However, in a great post written by her, she actually ended up really enjoying this LFW with the workload spread between four writers and outlines all the things LFW has going for it, which has made me reflect and think I’d like to go again and give it a second chance to “wow” me. However, next time I’d be far more selective about how I spend my day there and apply far in advance for show tickets. I would not attend shows alone but with someone – another normal person who will keep me sane! (I’d also dress in a bin-bag and film the reactions I get to keep me laughing!)