Thursday, September 25, 2008

London Fashion Weekend

...
When fashion week is over and the world's fashion press has moved away from London but the resulting photographs of next seasons trends have inspired you to do a little shopping, where better than a quick visit to London Fashion Weekend? Especially in this down sizing, down scaling economic climate there is nothing like a little 'investment' shopping of some designer pieces at not so designer prices that makes a twenty something feel like she is doing something about her money.
...
Essentially, London Fashion Weekend is a consumer heaven set up like a trade show with designers each having a stand in a purpose built marquee in the grounds of the National History Museum. Visitors book allocated time slots and then fill the carpeted aisles between the stands with posing and hair tossing and spending. To make it easier on the wallet and mind at each stand you are presented with a docket for your purchases. No money changes hands, you merely collect them all and pay at the tills at the end and go back round and collect your items. Tricks the brain, it does. "Do you really need an orange passport cover?" the rational part of my brain stated boldly, as I squatted inelegantly on the floor looking through a box of leather goods. "But I've always wanted one and Look. Here is a beautiful leather one. For £4. £4. Reduced from £29.99. It is A BARGAIN" shouted the other part, drowning out the other, "and look, I can hand it to the lady, who puts it in a bag, and gives me the docket and it's, well, it's almost free isn't it...". And everywhere across the weird tented two layer structure this mental argument is being played out in every stand.
...
Of course, it's not just about the shopping, or the posing. It isn't? No, there are sponsors who put on events, make-up lessons, blow dries, styling sessions, show off the latest in TVs, coffee machines, drinks and cocktails. There are goody bags to be bought and paraded. And a catwalk show to watch where the latest trends are shown and make-up and hair dressing tips handed out like favours at a wedding. One stand was showing a Miele washing machine in which they were washing roses to demonstrate the new cold wash short silk cycle - the wash was so gentle that the roses came out beautifully. It looked so incongruous though, delicate flowers in a machine that I stopped to take some photos.

Above: Roses which had just been washed in a washing machine.

In previous years I have attended the event on the Saturday or even Sunday. This year I decided to go on the Thursday night and managed to get there before the crowds. It was an altogether more pleasant experience. There was room to walk around, to try on clothes, to hesitate, to think, to return. I stopped and drank espresso, sat there on a high bar stool and watched the other visitors drifting past in ones, twos and the occasional child with her mother, clearly brought along straight after school. At the other end of the show I stopped to try and campari and orange juice. Upstairs I had my eyebrows threaded - and what a skill that is, although the first yank did bring a tear to my eye - and watched the catwalk show from a corner.
...
And then, suddenly, I was tired. Laden with the weekend bag that I purchased, for a mere £15, and the goody bag which included all sorts of interesting items including some kind of scary micro-dermabrasion device, the music was too repetitive and the place was too full of teenagers, so I beat a hasty retreat. Until next fashion week, that is.
...
Below (and top photo): Folk trend on the catwalk

Images by me

...

3 comments:

Elle said...

Let's hope London Fashion Week is a bit longer next year!

Great blog style - I've just come across your blog, and will defintely be keeping an eye on it. :0)

Gossip. Style. Wed. said...

Loving your blog! I'm lucky enough to have been to London several times, but never during fashion week. Sigh. It all sounds ::so:: achingly fabulous.

And what investment piece will you be purchasing?

Rachel said...

Thanks Elle & Gossip.style.wed

My investments were a handbag and some boots, ssshh.