It’s that time of year again. You know, probably not the best idea to be swanning around in spring pieces when there is still frost on the ground in the mornings, hot drinks clutched in manicured, perfectly accessorised hands, and the sound of shutters clicking rapidly to capture the best walking shot. Yup, Fashion Week is looming.
I’m by no means a ‘fashion week pro’ – my budget/schedule has never really allowed for New York, London, Milan, Paris then Tokyo/Sydney/Seoul twice a year, every year – but even for the handful of London season’s (+Seoul) that I have attended, I’ve definitely shaken off that lost feeling that your first fashion week brings. Basically, I’m a lot more comfortable because I’m in tune to the FW flow.
But if you’ve never experienced a fashion week before, it can be incredibly overwhelming – or even off putting – because of not knowing what to expect; most of the media coverage is about the clothes on show or the streetstyle. Everyone just gets on with the mundane, behind the scenes stuff, and the rest of it is sort of universally assumed. Which is weird if you’re trying to navigate it for the first time.
So what is it like to attend a fashion week?
In one word: manic. But that is really only during the run-up to busy/high attendance shows. There are definite peaks and lulls in the number of people walking around the venues at anyone time, when shows are on, there are fewer people waiting around than when there aren’t.
One of the massive differences between London and Seoul for me, was the fact that LFW has multiple venues so budgeting time to get across London for each venue was something I had to factor in, whereas in Seoul, the entire event takes place in one location, This also affects the number of people on days when the number of shows at any one location is quite low.
Fashion Week isn’t just for those attending shows!
I love seeing new collections, but I love seeing streetstyle more, and in all honestly I think I prefer marvelling at how people dress themselves for fashion week than sat watching runways…. but don’t hold me to that. I feel it is important to stress that fashion week is not just about how many shows you get invited to. It’s about the experience and meeting people and being inspired, really. So if you’re unsure whether to attend because you think you’ll be bored as you haven’t been invited to any shows – go anyway!
Talk to people! I’ve learned so much about lenses and composition from chatting to more seasoned or experienced photographers, and I’ve sat and looked at moodboards with fashion undergrads. Don’t be afraid to ask people for photos of their outfit, or even complementing people on their choice of accessories or even just their style!
Also, if you’re prone to wearing heels (guilty) take a pair of fold-up flats or slightly more foot-friendly shoes, as you’ll most probably be on your feet a l o t. Water and snacks (and umbrellas) are you friends, as well as knowing exactly where the venues are, and when the shows you want to be around are on.
I think the main thing really is don’t be afraid to go to your first fashion week, or couple of days. It’s definitely an experience not to be missed! And I hope that this was somewhat helpful for those of you uhhming and ahhing about going.
Have you been to a fashion week before – if you have what was it like for you? Do you have any tips for first time fashion week goers?
p.s: I’m at all LFW days this season (and bringing all my cameras) if you’d like to meet up for coffee/do guerilla shoots around London/just have a chat, then don’t hesitate to contact me – I promise I’m really nice 🙂