You know when you grow up and start loving fashion and Fashion Week is the ultimate goal, THE dream. You keep on wishing you will get there, one day. Personally, I have always believed that I will be in the US, studying fashion design and one day, my creations will go on the catwalk. Still, it did not happen, I study Fashion PR and I am nowhere close to the States.
However, I got the chance to go to London Fashion Week, this season, but not as a viewer, but as a PR person. Here is the overview of the 5 days of Fashion Week, that went by more than fast!
London Fashion Week technically starts on the 14th of February, but in practice, it starts a few weeks (actually many weeks) earlier, when everybody starts preparing for it. You complete applications, send invitations, RSVP shows, make a schedule, prepare your outfits, hair and make-up, decide what you are going to do- this if you go as a viewer. If not, you compile databases, decide who do you want or need to come to the show, where are they staying, prepare and order invitations, answer thousands of e-mails, go to castings and pick models. It is weird that my first Fashion Week I actually got to work “behind the scenes”, like a proper PR responsible, but it was more than AMAZING.
I am done with the Before Fashion Week, as that is the boring part. So, here is the overview:
Guess what? It is raining cats and dogs, Somerset House is filled with overly fashionable people that try to stay away from the rain, but hey, it is London, and it is British weather, so, unfortunately with or without and umbrella it does not matter, you will get soaked, because rain cannot be just rain in here. Being the first day of Fashion Week, I was running from one place to the other, I had to make sure that the showroom was all set in place, that the clothes were all right. I had to brief the guy who was staying there about everything from Lookbook, to contacts, to materials and to date and time of the catwalk presentation. By the end of the day I knew everybody in the room, two of my umbrellas had dies because of the wind, my make-up had all been washed off my face due to “severe weather conditions” and I was soaked wet because of the rain. It was a not so fashiontastic or wonderful start of Fashion Week.
Yes, we all hate the London rain- but love her outfit
The Style Confessional blogger
Still, I have kept my optimism running, and after a mere 4 hours of sleep, I was up for another day.
No more crazy rain, just a few showers, to remind us we are still in London. It was the day before the show for the designer I was working for. I already knew by heart the road to the showroom and back to the design studio, and the people at the reception of Somerset House already knew me better as I kept walking in and out of the building, basically every hour. It was a very stressful day, but it could not even compare with the day of the show. Saturday, the 15th of February, besides running around I was non-stop being called by model agencies, I made sure we had all the models we needed, I negotiated prices and talked to people I have never ever heard of before. It was a lot of fun, especially because, before this experience I hated talking on the phone. Literally hated it. But, it is Fashion Week and “you gotta do what you gotta do”.
London Fashion Week street style
Even though I was quite sleep deprived by day 3, optimism still kicked in every morning (Thank God!).
It was the day of the show (OH MY GOD I WANT TO DIE!!!). The morning started off perfectly- after 2 hours of sleep, several clothes stitched by me, answering a million e-mails, sending invoices in and printing about 300 pages of “Thank you team” notes everything seemed to be going off schedule. Our wonderful printer decided to die and leave us alone, with the press releases not printed, we were all completely sleep deprived and the catwalk was getting closer and closer to us. However, the team remained optimistic, which was the most important thing. It is 13:00 and me and the wonderful stylist, Bea, were heading through London, with a clothes rack filled with most of the items in the collection, as well as a suitcase filled with shoes, loads of “Thank you team” pages and food for the models and the hair and make-up team. We looked like a total freak show. But we made it there. We have got our backstage passes and got some wonderful helpers to take us to the room. We got there just in time, everything was going smoothly. We had our 9 models, our model board was almost done, and then, guess what, we have some extra models. I was so sleepy I haven’t even realized, until the make-up team actually came and asked about them. Fortunately enough, we solved the problem fast, and I could head downstairs to meet the guests, make sure they are fine and get them in the room. I got there and I realized that I had forgotten to print the invitations list, so, thank God I took theatre lessons, and I have a rather photographic memory, and I pretended I knew they were supposed to be on the list and let them in. It was time for me to return to the backstage, but guess what, the show was about to start, so it was a “no, no” for me to get back there and help the girls. So I got to watch the catwalk I mainly organized and to be extremely proud of the wonderful designer and team we have had. The people had a blast and it was all I wanted.
London Fashion Week Street Style
Backstage at Paul Smith AW2014
We went and celebrated, because a successful show is meant to be celebrated and then we all went to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.
Indeed it was a new day. We had to change the clothes in the showroom with the new collection and stay and wait for people to love us and want to buy our stuff. We had quite a success that day and the evening, we got to enjoy the champagne and talk to industry people. I loooveed it! Now, do not imagine that we shared the champagne with Anna Wintour, because that does not happen, but we got to meet some nice bloggers, a few buyers and some smaller press people. During this day I took a bigger break to go by Kensington Gardens to the “Burberry Prorsum catwalk place”, as they always have their show there. I went mainly because I wanted to see how it felt, to be there and to breathe the same air as some of the most famous celebrities. I was ecstatic and it was more than fun to see that.
LFW is very functional
Miroslava Duma in pure blue elegance
Finally, the last day of Fashion Week. I stayed in the showroom, talked to amazing people and was very sad in was ending. It was so exciting to actually be around that place! It was great to be able to watch everything going on in Somerset House, as there is A LOT going on at the same time. Your attention span has to be excellent during that time to be able to catch up with everything that happens every second. Depending on the time of the day you get to see very famous people, you sometimes see the designers casually walking around, models with their make-up or hair half done staying backstage and smoking a cigarette, speed eating their lunch, or simply coming around in the showroom randomly and wanting to try on stuff. Staying there, you get to see all this energy coming from people who are extremely sleep deprived and exhausted, but hey, it is fashion month in the end, so after it all ends, they will have their normal sleeping hours back!
Who did I see?
Well, to be honest, at first I was juts running around from one place to another, so seeing that I had to do that I was not expecting to see anything at all, but I spotted Anna Wintour a few times, Kate Moss as well and Kendall Jenner. These were just the casual ones, while I was running around like crazy. Still, I got a break on Monday, when the Burberry show was on and went to Kensington Gardens, where it usually takes place and saw Bradley Cooper (freaked out a bit!), Harry Styles, Tinie Tempah, Anna Wintour again (it felt like a Devil Wears Prada moment), loved Paloma Faith, she just looked astonishing and saw Jamie Campbell Bower (OMG- freaked out again!). I took photos with my phone, but they look horrible. Still, Pinterest is my saviour and you get the photos as well.
Burberry FROW (right)
How did it feel?
Are you kidding me?!?!?!?! It was the most AMAZING experience I have had so far! I am more and more in love with London Fashion Week and the prefect scene presented here. It is a great place for noes designers to jump- start their brand and it is a great place for a very young future PR responsible (me) to learn new things. It was out of my comfort zone in many situations, especially the negotiating and taking on the phone bits, but I have learnt so much and I could never ever be more grateful for being here!
Doina Ciobanu from The Golden Diamonds blog
As an ending, I sincerely hope that next fashion week, Estilo-Tendances will be on the British Fashion Council Press Accreditation List and you will have extra coverage of LFW from the audience. So please, wish us luck and share the diaries with the world!
This article was written by Andra Maier, an aspiring PR responsible! follow me on Google+ .