London Fashion Week in the British capital can zoom by in a champagne-fuelled whirlwind of show-hopping, afterparties and black cabs. Whether you’re a blogger, buyer, PR manager or photographer, this definitive London Fashion Week guide will guarantee you make it out in one piece.
As everyone knows, the three main dilemmas any LFW attendee faces are: what to wear, what to bring and where to go. Take heed of our advice to guarantee a successful slice of London fashion.
Look the part
Finding the right Fashion Week outfit – or twelve – is a balancing act. With street style photographers from across the globe descending on London, you want to make an impact and demonstrate your insider status. However, straying too far into boundary-pushing territory puts you at a very real risk of being trolled by the non-fashion press – just Google ‘Jimmy Fallon Fashion Week’.
Keep things simple and add interest by taking a creative approach to layering. Mix casual and tailored styles, like those seen at Maison Margiela. Offset the brand’s soft silhouettes with metallic-toned accessories and light-catching footwear. Add a final slick to your look with a manicure at London institution Wah Nails. Embrace the trend for all things ‘90s with a tartan check design, or choose a neutral shade for week-long versatility.
You can always count on British weather to be unpredictable, with the strong possibility of seeing all four seasons in a single day. Stay one step ahead, come rain or shine this Fashion Week.
Brace yourself for unexpected downpours with a frow-worthy umbrella. Alexander McQueen umbrellas feature skull handles for a touch of gothic romance, while Moschino's teddy-print pieces are the perfect blend of saccharine and sarcastic. A lightweight coat is the last layer in waterproofing your week. Keep things quintessentially British in a double-breasted Burberry trench.
Should the sun put in an appearance, you’ll need a pair of sunglasses handy. Although originating from West Hollywood, tortoiseshell-framed designs by Oliver Peoples have a British sensibility, and arguably look better with a scarf than a swimming costume.
You can read every London Fashion Week guide on the internet, but only you can plan the itinerary. After all, who wants a cookie-cutter experience?
Once you know which shows you’re attending, plan every outfit in advance. Keep make-up essentials on your person at all times, including Eight Hour Cream and a few shades of Lipstick Queen.
Make provisions to keep energy levels up too, both for you and your iPhone. Remember your charger and top up whenever you take five in the BFC press lounge. The last thing you want is an afternoon of networking without taking down any numbers.
It’s important to keep yourself just as energised as your mobile. Put the goody bags given out at shows to good use, many of which contain healthy snacks. Or, keep a stash of Bounce energy balls in your handbag – preferable to guzzling sliders at an important industry event.
Staying hydrated is also a top priority, especially when there’s free champagne floating around. Remember to sip not slurp, as you don’t want to get dehydrated or even drunk. Supercharge yourself with drinks that contain naturally occurring electrolytes, such as coconut water or drink-of-the-moment birch water.
Once you’ve got your emergency kit compiled, you’ll need somewhere to store it. Try a box-shaped Louis Vuitton in a classic monogram print or a Faye suede mini-bag by Chloé. For men, a black Bally Trezzini messenger is safer than spoiling the line of your jacket.
Seeing every British Fashion Council show in just five days is an impossible task, quite literally – unless you’re able to defy the laws of time and physics. Instead, pick a few unmissables. If you see only one show, make it Burberry. A reliable highlight of the week, you can expect elegant collections, a frow teeming with tastefully dressed VIPs and an innovative new social media campaign to back it up. Remember #burberrykisses and #tweetcam?
No London Fashion Week guide would be complete without a mention of the aftershow parties. Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney are known for throwing good bashes, but often it’s the one-off book launches and gallery events that draw the most interesting crowds. If you’re going to a particular fashion house's party, you’re somewhat expected to wear that label’s designs. But just like the rest of LFW, there aren’t and hard and fast rules. Choosing to follow or outright flout the unwritten expectations is your prerogative.