London Fashion Weekend – better buy a magazine instead!


I know it’s a recession and let’s face it, people are more interested in finding ways of keeping hold of their money, than spending it – least of all on clothes. But then London Fashion Weekend isn’t geared towards us lesser morals – and don’t they make us fully aware of our lowly fashionable status.

London Fashion Weekend is supposed to allow the plebs a chance to mingle with the designer brands, that we are often too scared or too poor to venture into.

The UK, thanks to the late and great Alexander McQueen and the stylish Duchess of Cambridge, is enjoying the fashion spotlight.

The venue was impressive, Somerset House is a beautiful and grand example of the best London can offer on an architectural level.  As a venue for London Fashion Weekend however, I have yet to be convinced.  If you enter the building by the Strand entrance, you are greeted by a couple of fierce looking and not particularly friendly security guards, dressed sombrely in head to toe in inexpensive black suits.  Normally this wouldnt bother me, but it hardly creates a friendly atmosphere. You are almost made to feel that you dont belong. Wait a minute, this feels like entering the Gucci store in Knightsbridge!

You then faced with a huge screen playing footage of catwalk shows, and all the fashionable elite who attended a few days prior.  This screen as it turned out, is attached to the main tented area where the catwalk fashion shows are held.

My first (of many) criticisms – there are no clear signs.  Somerset House is huge, and as this was my first visit to the new venue, it was very confusing.  You have to transcend numerous corridors, and stairs to collect the pre-paid for goodie bag – a green and black monstrosity designed by David Koma. If you are a Vodafone customer, make sue you get your extra free bag – which is so much nicer.  I’m tempted to switch providers just to get the bag, a beautiful blue floral design with metallic highlights on a off-white background – gorgeous! And to boot it is a large and roomy bag, great for shopping. (I’m willing to swap!  LOL)

Having finally gotten my bag I was able to quickly find a seat – brownie points to the organisers for that one – and had a rummage – here are the contents….

  • Kiss ever ez lashes
  • Label.m Curl Spray, 50ml
  • Jonson’s baby oil, 100ml
  • GU 3 Anytime Rocky Roads, 46g
  • Kleenes tissues
  • Kleen facial cleaning wipes
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules, 1 week’s supply
  • Karl Lagerfel designed diet coke bottle, 250ml – (I may keep this for posterity)
  • Lavazza coffee, 50g (I HATE coffee – I have so many of these little packs of devil juice. I beg PG Tips – please sponsor next seasons fashion weeks.  ARGH!)
  • A few vouchers including Levis, Jaeger and Elizabeth Arden

I think that was all.

Not bad as show bags go, especially as it only added about £7 to the total of the ticket price, but I must say I’m not sure the actual bag “is destined to be our most popular one ever” as billed on the LFW official website.  The Vodaphone bag however, most certainly is – I wish I had one 😦

Richard Nichols and the lovely bag he designed – isn’t it so much nicer than this one?

Sorry, but YUK!!! If it wasnt for the lurid green, it wouldn’t have been so bad.  Still, it will help save me from using anti-environmentally friendly plastic bags, so I will not waste it. I won’t be seen out in public with it, but I will not waste it.  Yet again a missed opportunity – the Nicholls bag and the pop up shop were not as well advertised as the bag designed by Koma, continuing the theme of rubbish for the plebs, saving the good stuff for the exclusive set.

My friends are all in shock – I left the venue without spending one penny – there simply wasnt anything for me worth buying.  I liked the look of a vintage Gucci bag, but didn’t have the heart to part with £300.  Plus the sales lady was giving it the hard sell without the detail, which immediately put me off.  I asked about a cheaper £36 modern satin bag, every cute box number, and witnessed the sales lady’s enthusiasm rapidly diminish.  She didn’t provide any further detail about the bag, other than it was a “good price”.  Hmm like Im going to part with £36 on a bag, when I can get better for cheaper else where.! It is only when I left that I realised that the shop was part of the Vintage area.  Yet another bad move from Red or Dead creator Wayne Hemingway.  He doesn’t see to have learnt any lessons from the vintage festival fiasco held earlier this year.

I was tempted by Jane Carr‘s stall, there appeared to be some good savings to be made, but again I couldnt justify spending £35 and £40 on a silk scarf, when I have a huge box of material at home doing, well not an awful lot.  I feel my creative fingers tingling again. I was also put off by the fact that the designs are not versatile – I admit I recoil from anything remotely 70s related, and that was all that I could see.  Having said that, her scarves sell for around the £170 mark, so if you love Jane Carr, get in quick!

My biggest gripe however was the catwalk fashion show.  What a waste of time that was.  The savvy ones amongst us got in the queue early, but in fact it was an wasted effort. The VIP seats were all reserved so the early birds had to make do with the 2nd row seats.  Fair enough, until we released how close and friendly we all had to become.  If you are size 8 and below, you will have no worries. If you are size 10 and above…Good Luck!!!

The clothes shown were lovely, but it was a very much watered down showcase of British fashion. At least the models didn’t do any weird dance moves, as they did at a Gok Won fashion event, so have to be thankful for that.

I was grateful for the handout which contained information about the clothes shown.  A very nice touch!

But the worse thing by far was the host. I have never seen Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, and if Grace Woodward is anything to go by, I won’t be watching it ever.  Unfunny and mostly annoying.

To have to pay about £10 to sit on a hard bench, quashed along by burly mean looking security guards, with loads of camera men and women taking photos of the audience without even asking if it was OK (I’m sure there is something on the ticket booking form, but it is still polite to ask before snapping – I checked if it was ok to take photos of the models – it’s simple manners folks!)

I didn’t enjoy catwalk, ironic as this is THE place to see a catwalk!

Far from being inspired at London Fashion Weekend, I left feeling that I could have done so much better myself.  The event felt more akin to a glorified late summer fete or jumble sale, rather than the height of fashionable sophistication.  The venue is magnificent, but the event has not succumbed to the house’s reflected glory. Another one of those events which had more hype than substance.


  • Shopping 0 out of 5
  • Venue 2 out of 5
  • Catwalk 0 out of 5
  • Showbag 2 out of 5 (but only because the contents were really good)
  • Overall 1 out of 5 – worth a morning out if you have absolutely nothing else better to do. You may be better off visiting your local newsagent, and buying a selection of glossy magazines.

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated, please feel free to say hi, and drop a line or 2 :)

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