Fashion Week are words many have heard but not all understand.
Having attended London Fashion Week for the past 2 seasons, I may not be an expert on the matter but I certainly have some experience. Unfortunately being in New Zealand means I won't be able to attend this year but I thought I would still share some things I have learnt and tips for those you of who are attending for the first time.
The History The first Fashion Week in London was set up by the newly formed British fashion council in 1984 as an event for designers to showcase their work to press and buyers. Now LFW is part of the 'big four' Fashion Weeks, the others being New York, Milan and Paris. After highs and lows Fashion Week is now attended by over 5000 people each season and is even streamed online. With the ever growing popularity of the social media and blogs, some bloggers are now able to attend and cover shows and presentations as 'press'.
Shows vs Presentations Events at any fashion week will be in one of two formats, a show or a presentation, but they still may vary hugely. Shows are more traditionally what you would expect and what would come to most minds at the mention of any fashion week: the catwalk, celebrities on the front row and hoards of photographers. Last year at my first official show, Bora Aksu, I genuinely cried when the lights dimmed and I saw the first look come out, I got a bit overwhelmed!
Presentations are a little more difficult to explain, generally they run for a couple hours (you don't need to be there the entire time) and involve the collection being shown on models being somewhat like living mannequins. A few examples of this would be Orla Kiely SS15, TOGA SS15 and Napsugar AW14.
After a little more experience I have found I slightly prefer presentations as there just seems to leave more room for the designer's vision to come to life as they allow for so much creativity.
On Schedule vs Off Schedule Official Fashion Week consists of about 150 'On Schedule' shows of which you can find the details of here. These shows will be bigger, more well known and mainly run at the Somerset House show space. As well as these there are also 'off schedule' shows that are held in the same week but not on the official schedule (find details here), these events are by emerging designers but can still be pretty grand events.
How to get tickets So now you have a bit of knowledge you may decide you want to go to LFW and cover it on your blog or website. First off, download the ticket request spreadsheet from the LFW Schedule page (it's in the right hand side bar near the bottom). You will then need to email the PR for the relevant designer including your blog url, a very short bio, google analytics screenshot and maybe something you liked about the designer's previous collection. If you are wanting to get off-schedule tickets do exactly the same thing (schedule here) , you can find PR details for each designer by clicking on 'view more'. When I applied I emailed every single PR representative for the on schedule and about half for the off schedule.
If it is your first time do not expect to get tickets to shows such as Mulberry and Jasper Conran, my first time I went to one official show and about 10 other events. Note that you do not have to be officially accredited through LFW to attend anything. Tickets may also arrive as late as a couple days before so don't be disheartened if you don't hear back straight away. If you do get tickets be sure to RSVP!
For more info about applying for tickets pop me a tweet or an email as I know how daunting it can be.
London Fashion Week-end So you are very interested in Fashion and designers but you don't have a blog or you haven't been doing it very long. How do you go? The answer to this comes in the form of London Fashion Weekend - a specially formulated event open to the public presenting trends and designers to watch for the upcoming season. It is even in the same Somerset House show space that LFW is in. After watching the show you are also able to browse showrooms full of discounted designer garments. Tickets cost £20 -£130 and are available from February 26th to March 1st .
Other Ways to get involved If you don't have a blog to attend as press or the cash to spend on LFWend tickets there are still lots of free ways to get involved. If you have the time interning is a great way to get some experience although bear in mind you will be working. If this sounds like your kind of thing I would recommend taking a look on Fashion Workie or having a search on twitter. You can also go into the Somerset House courtyard, the centre of it all, take some photos and soak up all the wonderful street style.
I can do a follow up Q & A to this so leave me any questions you may have.