Monday, September 18, 2006


With all the excitement of New York fashion week from afar I found myself thinking "what am I gonna do now it's over?" I was all "Is Lam the new Lim?" And "Did you see how long and perfect all those editors' legs are?" And then I remembered, "Oh yeah, it's London fashion week, here, where I am." I have to lay my cards on the table a bit here and say that I, like many others had written LFW off over the past few years. I found it really hard to be interested, and made disparaging remarks along the lines of "what's the point?" on this blog, and in general.

That is really because of my personal history (ooooh) with LFW and of working in the British Fashion Industry. Ten years ago (I'm not as old as that makes me sound) I was down there at the tents, involved, excited - working my arse off for the latest Great Hope in exchange for bus fare and a couple of free dresses. But of the three Young British Designers I worked for at different times - all of whom were lauded as incredibly talented, winning New Generation awards and getting oodles of press coverage, two went bankrupt at the height of their success, and the other went stratospheric and is now one of the most successful designers in the world thanks in part to the backing of Gucci Group.

It's just so risky, heartbreaking and as one of my old bosses once said " one minute you've got a six page spread in Italian Vogue, the next you're being evicted from your studio because you can't pay the rent". And the reality of that happening is not at all glamorous or fun.

When I started styling I would go to the shows, but then I just...stopped. Completely jaded, I just couldn't muster the excitement of old. It was too small, too unprofessional, the clothes often badly executed. And you just knew that there wasn't much point remembering these names, because most of them wouldn't make it to the nest season.

I tentatively think things are changing, and I was surprised to find that for the first time in a long time there are a few shows I'm interested in. Today there's Noir and Richard Nicoll. Tomorrow Jonathan Saunders and the big ticket of the week, whose front row pictures will no doubt be splashed accross the newspapers the next day - Bella Freud for Biba. Wednesday there's Christopher Kane and the lovely Giles who I'm not scared to like because he seems to have solid backing and business sense. Not likely to drop off the edge of the world next week. And PPQ and Erdem on Friday. That's a big turnaround compared to last season when I looked at the schedule and groaned inwardly.

Obviously it's my attitude to it that's changed - or there's just enough going on to pique my interest. I'm just dipping my toe in again. I was going to wait until all the shows were over then do a little round up of my faves, (usually London wouldn't get a look in) but I might comment just a little bit on this week. We'll see. Honestly, I know I sound it, but I'm not 108 years old.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Yep, I know how you feel. I go to the shows and see these new designers who you know have put everything on the line, borrowed money from every relative and friend, been up all night for weeks, paid up big dollars to PR firms who promise them the world, and part of you feels sorry for them, a little bit says at least they are giving their dreams a go, and another part of you wants to shake your head at their naivity.

And PS we'd LOVE to read your comments, so you must post them as you go.