What Is Fashion Week Really Like?

Fashion week is a strange environment. This was my first season ever, and before going into it, I already expected that it was going to be different. Different to what, I can’t quite pinpoint. Usual brand events, maybe, or press days. Or maybe different to the representation of fashion week that bloggers and reps and all other fashion “insiders” kind of have to give. It’s all in-motion strutting pics, BTS shots of exclusive events and “i’m so tired but really looking fab and being so fashurn” coffee captions. But what is fashion week really like? Is it all free mojitos and macarons, or are those brightened Insta shots only for the likes?

Waistcoat – ASOS
Culottes – ASOS
Boots – Zara (similar//similar)
Bag – Zara (similar//similar)
Jacket – Missguided

Well, LFW is an absolute Insta-playground, so a lot of it is for likes. Every event you go to is set up exactly for that reason – brands and PR reps know what they’re doing. All of the events I went to were beautifully decorated, with everything from blow dry bars to free champers and personalised perfume bottles. It’s all very exciting, and for a 5 foot chubby girl from a nondescript town in Suffolk, makes you feel pretty fucking special. Most of the events are to showcase new season pieces and products, and a lot of the time you’ll find yourself leaving events with ‘swag bags’ – gifted bits and bobs, basically.

But when it comes to events, unsurprisingly brands and reps want the most exposure possible and to be associated with the best and biggest bloggers. This means that at certain times, you can be subtly (or not so subtly) excluded from certain things. I went to one event with a brand which took place inside a blogger destination of sorts, and basically because I wasn’t invited to that place (even though I was already there with the other brand) I couldn’t go in some rooms or take part in some fun stuff. It was a bit like “these are the people *big enough*, and you can spectate until you get there”. Bit weird, but not all events can be as good as each other and there definitely is an quiet elitist undercurrent to everything you do at LFW.

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Being short, chubby and with eyes that tend to go red due to contact lenses, I also felt *just that bit out of place* at everything I went to. Whether that was me being self-conscious or simply being aware is up for debate, but whilst fashion week isn’t just filled with 5’11 tanned models and Gucci Dionysus bags, those upper echelons of beauty, clothes horsing and style are the only kinds that anybody really gives a shit about. Which, don’t get me wrong, is fine with me; the last thing I want is some rando capturing 15 motion shots of my double chin. But, again, that ‘elitist’ fashion ideal is always there.

It’s also super busy – just as busy as we all love to “complain” it is. I made a schedule before I travelled to London on Friday, and about two of the five things I had planned for the day actually materialised because everything takes longer than you expect. After the endless moving from spot to spot and downing Starbucks like coffee beans have gone out of circulation, you feel surprisingly exhausted and especially guilty for it. “I was plied with too many free doughnuts” is not the best excuse to be tired, but hey, LFW fatigue is legit a thang.

Have you been to fashion week? Or do you want to? What perceptions do you have of the week long fashion bubble, and what do you think lies beyond the ‘Instagrammable’ facade? I’d love to know your thoughts! Pop them down below or find me on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @chloeplumstead.


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