Go: To Fashion Week - What it's really like

It may appear that I have disappeared from the face of the earth, not even finishing the posts that I had eagerly begun consumed with anniversary celebrations (they are still to come). Fear not, for I haven't left permanently. My absence was temporary, it was fashion-week length one might say. Working within fashion has its stressful, overwhelming and unsuspected negatives but when you find yourself standing in the British Museum, where you've previously been on school trips, watching models walk calmly in the latest Jonathan Saunders collection, makes all those late nights and early mornings totally worth it. This past week reminded me why I am so passionate about the industry.
I thought that instead of reviewing my favourite collections, which will be better written on Style.com anyway, that I would give you a little insight into what it is like working at fashion week. As someone who began their career by attending a show and networking, and  prior to that dreaming of the majestic shows depicted in movies and magazines a like, I have come to learn that the truly special parts and the positively frightful are different to what I initially expected.
Those who attend range from people there to do their job to those who's job is to be there and those who care more about who is there than the show. The devastating part is the most well dressed women, adorned in pieces you will drool over for seasons to come, behave in a disappointingly un-chic manner. Elbows come out and queuing is discarded for stampedes only akin to those at football matches. Seated guests try to get away with improving their hierarchical position on the benches. Photographers push the boundaries of what is allowed and what is necessary (in my humble opinion).
On the other side of the coin you get to rub shoulders with inspirational people, whose career's you admire, that remind you why you allow yourself to be treated like a slave at the bottom of the industry in hope for the future. And there are moments that take your breath away. For me the most special moment this season was watching Jonathan Saunders' show (had you already guessed?) which was only enhanced by being able to congratulate him personally afterwards. The Hunter Original show was also extraordinary with the exciting and enigmatic production (please see the pool like simulation below). I watched on at colourful anoraks and shoes that weren't wellies (sort of) along side Anna Wintour, Paul and Stella McCartney and Rita Ora. 
For those that idolise fashion week like I did as a Vogue collecting teenager I urge you to look for the real reasons it is such an iconic moment in the year. It is when truly talented people create a moment with cultural references, theatrical elements, talent and artistic direction. Street style is wonderful and I equally relish those shots as I do catwalk ones, but be warned that what is going on around those "real life" moments is not what you'd expect. 
So much hard work from numerous teams of people goes into each and every presentation and catwalk. Upon arriving at a space for the scheduled call time it is amazing how just two hours before the show is due to start there appears to be so much left to do. Many hands on deck mean that (with some exceptions) when guests arrive they are greeted by a transformation. And then in a burst of bright bulbs flashing at the guests and the models it is all over. The show is over. The collection has only really just come to life though. Another season is born. 
The point I am perhaps skirting around is that ultimately a slideshow of catwalk shots only gives a peek at one side of a multi-dimensional culture. The pieces, designed and carefully executed, are of course hugely important, however, in the brief moment of a show it is about so much more than just clothes. A truly wonderful show is about evoking a feeling. If the designer can make you, as a consumer, feel something warm or excitable or even just engaged then the clothes become more than just material; they have life. Fashion week isn't about (nay, shouldn't be about) who wore what to attend which show. Fashion week is the designers chance to tell you a story, to give their clothes the background that means you are more likely to connect. We are going to wear clothes that we feel something for over and above something that we find as platonic as a stale relationship. 



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