Friday, 26 September 2008

London Fashion Weekend

'A Gothic Romance' - London Fashion Weekend Autumn/Winter 2008

So yesterday, I attended London Fashion Weekend in the grounds of the national history museum and can I just say wow?

Obviously I can’t go to actual London Fashion Week because I’m not

a. a journalist

b. very wealthy

c. very famous

d. the offspring of any of the above

but for those of you like me who are equally unimportant and uninfluential in the fashion world can I just say Lon don Fashion Weekend is definitely the next best thing. In fact, even if I was a wealthy famous journalist child I’d probably still go!

'The Plaid Princess'

My mum and I treated ourselves to the more expensive Gold tickets (Entry, Goody bag and a Catwalk Show) which was totally worth it, but if you’d rather spend money on things you actually want to take home with you then the cheaper ‘entry only’ tickets are also good value, and man should you be prepared to shop!

There are two huge floors of stands containing a mixture of small boutiques and individual designers, and vintage sellers as well as big names selling off old stock or sample pieces for major discounts. Aside from the clothes, bags and jewels there is a makeover stall by Elizabeth Arden with free half hour talks, coffee from Lavazza, alcohol (free!) from Campari and food from Miele (Yeah, the dishwasher people – random!).

Plaid Shirt with Bubble Hem Skirt

I think our worst fears were that it was just going to be a disappointment – a few dodgy looking stalls with some gunky looking makeup and boring clothes but it was quite the opposite. Everything was hugely professional right down to the toilets with big mirrors, mood lighting and *really* nice smelling hand lotion, and the clothes were all beautifully made with some gorgeous classics I loved and some really adventurous avant-garde pieces as well which my mother went crazy for (I often think we somehow swapped generations!).

'The Pretty Girl in Print'

The catwalk show itself featured four new trends for winter and created a number of looks based around them with clothes from the designers in the marquee. Although the trends themselves were hardly new or unexpected (plaid, boho, structure and gothic which basically reappear every winter) the designs in the show were fantastic, and ranged from the beautifully wearable plaid shirts and bubble skirts to the extreme boobalicious gothic gowns (Now I know what they mean when they say certain dresses you just have to have the tits for).

Stunning (if revealing!) black cocktail dress

I didn’t really get much look at my goody bag until I got home but it was actually pretty good value. Aside from the expected 20% off vouchers and annoying little sachets of shampoo and hand cream (which I can never open in the bathroom and only succeed in getting everywhere) I got a huge bar of galaxy chocolate, mini asos magazine and elle accessories guide, 2009 diary from, sanitary towels (well, always handy I guess! Unless you’re a man. Or menopausal. Or on the pill. Or pregnant…) and perhaps most randomly a free mircrodermabraision kit from Roc. And the bag it came in was pretty good too!

My Show Bag Haul

So did I buy? Most definitely! Star items included a Lulu Guinness ‘Stella’ handbag at less than one fifth of the original price, a twenty8twelve sample skirt and the most divine dress I have ever set eyes on *grin*!

Nude Structured Jacket with black pencil skirt

Tips for attending London Fashion Weekend…

  • Get there early. Or at least not late. So many people came after work that it got really busy around 5-6pm while when we arrived at about 1pm it was pretty quiet, and we were easily able to get a seat when we needed a break, and there wasn’t even a queue for the loos!
  • Pick the right day to go. London Fashion Weekend lasted from Wednesday to Sunday. Apparently the Wednesday was completely rammed with people (not much fun, but great for getting the first pickings) but by the time we left on Thursday a lot of the designers with one off pieces or stalls selling off the last of old stock looked pretty empty.
  • Try everything! Free makeup tutorial? Check! Free Campari and orange? Double check! Catwalk show? Chance to try on a £1500 Vivienne Westwood coat? All done! I really want to go back to the next London Fashion Weekend but I’ll be at university in February, and potentially working in September so I made the most of it while I was there.
  • Be prepared to spend. Seriously. This is a one off chance to buy clothes you may never see again, at prices you *definitely* won’t see again and I think I was not quite prepared for how many beautiful things I would see. So if like me spending money often gives you a major guilt attack, or your not exactly on a city bankers salary (or these days maybe you are!) save up beforehand, pledge not to buy another item of clothing for months, or do whatever you need so you can properly enjoy the day.
  • Don’t go looking for specific things. You can look up beforehand and see what designers will be there but you’ve no idea what stock they will be selling, so be flexible as to what you want to buy. Equally you don’t know if you will see the most amazing dress (like I did!) and how terrible would it be if you passed it up because it wouldn’t fit in your plan/budget/shopping bag?

Geek Out… – the official website for tickets and info

1 comment:

juni said...

just googling on LFWend to see if i should get the exclusive ticket and stumbled upon your writeup(2008).
Thanks for the details, i think i'll go for it! :D
Are you going this year? :)