Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Surviving London Fashion Week

There are just three more sleeps til London Fashion Week kicks off again! I'm by no means a veteran but I've been been around for enough season to have figured out some tactics to get through in one slightly sniffley, exhausted piece. The tightly compacted five day schedule is hectic enough for editors, buyers and the like but I've got to say it's much worse for bloggers. We don't have cars to ferry us from show to show, we don't have assistants to attend shows on our behalf and we're usually standing for hours either queuing for shows or watching the show. Oh and while all that's going on, we're supposed to be a one person publishing house, writing up shows and editing images within a couple of days of each show.

I'm not complaining at all, I do love LFW. It's fun, exciting and all that jazz but (sorry to be a party pooper) we are there to work*. I think sometimes bloggers can forget that and get caught up in the excitement. Anywhoo top tips for survival: 

Plan, plan, plan -
Print off email confirmations and e-vites, write yourself a schedule for where you need to be and familiarise yourself with where the venues are. Bookmark them in your Google Maps if needed. 
Organise your wardrobe - It'll help you choose what to wear super quickly when you have no time to spare, especially if you're planning to get snapped on the cobbled. 
Immune boosting tablets - Everyone comes down with fashion flu. Hopefully this will save you!
Vitamin Water - I don't know if it actually works but it always makes me feel better - perky when my energy is flagging and when I need to be revived from the night before. There are normally loads in the press lounge. 
Flats - Trust me, your feet will love you after queues, queues, queues.
Camera - Sounds like a no-brainer but charge it and keep it in your hand because you never know who you're going to bump into.
Phone - Make the most of the charging lockers in the press lounge, they are a saviour. 
Dry shampoo - When you have zero time, this will be your saviour. 

* Edit - I didn't want this to be a negative post but after thinking about things overnight I've decided to edit this post slightly. I fully hold my hands up to getting excited about fashion week, I'm not nonchalant and blasé about it. But I do maintain my professional integrity, not only am I representing myself and my blog, I'm representing other bloggers. We all are, so please remember that. It's great that the industry is beginning to embrace bloggers, but every fashion week we're reminded that there are those who don't take blogging as a serious media outlet and see us as 'blaggers' and fame whores who just want to be papped and get our 5 minutes of fame. That's all well and good for certain bloggers, but remember that we all get tarred by the same brush.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to change this apart from playing by their rules somewhat and having a bit of respect. And by that I go back to my point above - we're there to work. I'm not going to dictate rules to live by but please consider the following: 

- Don't do it, trying to blag your way into a show rarely works. Fashion Week is about designers giving a snapshot of their new collection and editors and buyers taking note. It's great that bloggers are invited but I don't think we necessarily have a right to be there. If your brand, audience, tone and personality is right, you will be invited. 
- Similar to the above, if you have been allocated a standing ticket don't try to blag a front/second row seat or a goody bag! 
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