I'm always very hesitant to describe myself as a fashion blogger (although, largely, a lot of the time I do, just because it's easier than describing myself as a personal-style-imagery-with-lifestyle-think-piece-text-blogger). The reason? I really don't know that much about fashion.
And that's me, holding my hands up, confessing that I don't have twelve different magazine subscriptions and that whenever a LFW showcase invite pops into my inbox, I instantly have to go and Google the obscure designer name because I really don't have a bloody clue.
Whenever Fashion Week season rolls around, conversation is instantly concentrated around "so, are you busy this season?", "what shows have you got planned?" and "did you get invited to [blank] party?". Imagine this series of questions, slightly altered but inevitably on a loop, as everybody hones in on the one thing that we all seemingly have in common.
Apart from a lot of us don't. I was invited along to a Lulu Guinness Afternoon Tea event yesterday (which, by the way, was amazing, and I've been a HUGE fan of the brand for ages now so it was a dream come true of sorts) and unsurprisingly conversation fell onto Fashion Week, and we each began discussing what we were or weren't doing. I'm guilty of bringing it up too - you know that the people you are talking with are a part of the industry, so even if they aren't all that involved or interested, they are still going to have some sort of opinion. It's a good conversation starter, at least.
But, honestly, it's just isn't that interesting for me. And it's an idea I've been toying with for a while now, going back in forth in my mind as to whether I could enjoy it if I invested a little more time and energy into the thought of it, or whether I'm trying to force myself to enjoy it because that's what I'm supposed to do, as a "fashion" blogger.
I've been to a couple of Fashion Week seasons up until now, but I've never attended a show. I've never sought out the email addresses for organisers, I've never trawled the websites submitting applications like crazy, I've never accepted any that somehow found their way into my inbox - in fact, I don't think I've ever come close. When I was discussing this yesterday at the event, I explained that the reason I've always been so reluctant to go, is that it just doesn't seem relevant to me. Or even that exciting. Whilst I can admire the intricate creativity behind weaving a show and a collection together, as well as the immense amount of work and vision that goes into making it happen, if I really want to see a show, I can either watch it live online, see the whole thing through another attendee's Instagram stories or just wait for some press shots to go up.
If I did go, I'd only be shoved at the back of the room, not being able to see over the heads of some other definitely more important people and having had to queue for three centuries to get in. This isn't even necessarily a gripe either, because in the arena of professional, elevated and 'serious' fashion, I don't have the knowledge, passion or position in industry to really even warrant being in the room.
So much of London Fashion Week is being in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. This is especially the case for bloggers. There's tiers of importance and popularity; when you begin, you'll hang around general areas, just wanting to be a part of the buzz and the atmosphere and hanging out with the girls you've loved online but never met (this is THE most fun part); you'll then start getting invited to high street events, maybe the odd breakfast or dinner and the occasional gifting room; once you make it up a little further, you'll get free hotel stays for the duration of LFW, a bombardment of "we'd love to dress you for LFW!" emails (read: free advertising), some cool paid opportunities and a spattering of obscure designer invites; and then, when you start to reach the top tier echelons, you'll find yourself being driven around in a Mercedes Benz, being allowed to actually sit near the front at some well-known shows and being papped like crazy on the much-loved Fashion Week cobbles.
No matter where you fall on the scale of LFW n00b to platinum expert, certain aspects of the whole hub-a-bub are fun. For myself, it's the perfect opportunity to see the girls that I always admire online, but who I don't often get to see in real life. Most events revolve around food and alcohol, too, and I'm never one to turn down a free glass of Champers and a plate full of finger sandwiches. London Fashion Week can be enjoyable, but for me, too much of it has become about quietly solidifying your status and demonstrating how relevant and in-demand you are. Too much of it is about being better.
A lot of it costs money as well, especially if you aren't being offered the free hotels or free Ubers, but you still feel obliged to accept some invitations and attend some events for the sake of career progress. Staying in London during LFW can cost a bomb, and even if you end up travelling in and out of London each day, train fares easily rack up and by the end of it, you can be left wondering if that huge expenses bill was really worth the free pleather jacket and mention on Boohoo's Instagram Stories.
I still love LFW, in a distant, keep-it-at-arms-length kind of way. I'm not slagging it off either - I know plenty of men and women who look forward to it each and every season, and I respect that. If you're passionate and excited about it, then of course it's worthwhile for you. And I'm sure that I'll still be chomping at the bit to accept fun dinner invites and cool paid jobs - I'm not swearing off it completely, by any means.
But for me, as somebody who is more interested in typing up my toilet-seat thoughts from the comfort of my sofa, rather than reflecting on the inspiration for Marques ' Almeida's new puffer coat, I've decided that it isn't worth investing my soul, time and money into, just because I feel like I should. If that means missing the biggest event in the fashion calendar, then so be it. And if it means that I'm putting up roadblocks on the path to fashion blogger success, then so be that too. My goal has never been to know every new item from every new designer, and be commended rather than hated by the likes of the glossy, high-end magazine publications; rather, I just want to wear things I like and write about things I'm interested in, for people who will hopefully be interested too.
So no, I'm not that bothered about London Fashion Week. But honestly, I don't think it matters that much, anyway.
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