How to get into London Fashion Week (even as a new blogger), what to wear and what to expect. The ultimate guide to attending and surviving LFW.
London Fashion Week is one of the “Big Four” of global fashion weeks, along with Paris, New York and Milan.
London Fashion Week takes place twice a year, in February and September, bringing us new collections and trend inspiration for the upcoming season.
The February shows display the coming Autumn/Winter fashion trends, whilst the September shows present the coming Spring/Summer collections. It’s a trade-only event, open to press and buyers.
Are you a fairly new fashion blogger and you would like to go to London Fashion Week but don’t know how to get in and what to expect? Would you like to know how bloggers get invited and what they actually do at London Fashion Week?
This article reveals the whole truth – the good, the bad and the ugly.
HOW TO GET INTO LONDON FASHION WEEK AS A BLOGGER
In regards to how to get invited to London Fashion Week, there seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding what actually is a very straightforward process.
It will download an Excel spreadsheet with press contacts for all designers showcasing their collection at London Fashion Week.
Although this information is publicly available, I have seen a certain reputable influencer platform trying to charge a fee for releasing this information to bloggers wanting to attend London Fashion Week!
The next step is to put together a well written email explaining who you are, with links to your blog and social media channels (Instagram page and YouTube channel being of the highest importance).
Explain why you should attend and how this will benefit the brand (e.g. offer exposure on your social media channels and on your website).
Make sure to include your postal address as some of the invites are still being sent by post as opposed to electronically to your email address.
If you are only interested in specific shows, send individual personalised emails to their press contacts. However, if you want to attend as many shows as possible, it gets a bit more trickier.
You can email each press contact individually which will be time consuming as there will be at least 80 different contacts on the spreadsheet which means sending 80 separate emails.
Alternatively, you can send one generic email to all of the press contacts without mentioning the name of the designer, saying you would love to “attend their show at London Fashion Week”. This is much quicker and works equally well.
Trust me, the organizers are crazy busy with all the preparations and they will not have time to deeply analyse your email. They will be mostly interested in who you are and checking the links to your website and social media channels.
It’s worth mentioning you don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to get invited.
You have a chance to get invited even if you have a small following as I have seen people with 2k followers getting invited to some of the shows or presentations.
Having a fashion related website will also work in your favour, even if you don’t have a crazy amount of traffic yet.
If you are just starting out as a blogger, it’s very unlikely you will get invited to some of the more exclusive shows like Gucci (although it’s always worth a try!) but you may get invited to several shows and presentations of less famous upcoming designers.
Sending those emails does not guarantee you will get invited to any of the shows. It’s a case of waiting to see what comes in.
Be patient as a lot of invitations may only be confirmed the day before the show, as the organizers tend to send them at the last minute.
From my observation, they seem to be quite disorganized. Sometimes they even send more invites than the amount of available spaces which results in people not getting in despite being invited.
You can also apply for an accreditation from the British Fashion Council (New Registrations -> Create New Application), which gives you a press pass for the whole fashion week.
Being accredited by the British Fashion Council doesn’t necessarily give you access to the shows and you still need to contact the press office of the individual designers. What it does give you is access to press lounges, networking and potentially good seats at the shows that you get invited to.
There are also certain requirements you need to meet if you want to apply for accreditation, e.g. a minimum 35k Instagram followers or over 15,000 monthly unique visitors on your blog and you will be required to provide evidence of this. These requirements may vary every season.
HOW TO SURVIVE LONDON FASHION WEEK
The London Fashion Week experience can be very intense, hectic and surreal. I must say it’s not for the faint-hearted; it’s actually pretty exhausting.
But what did I actually do and how did I cope with the numerous challenges of London Fashion Week?
Those five days were filled with attending catwalk shows and presentations.
For some shows I had a first row seat and for others I didn’t get a seat at all.
I didn’t get into one of the shows I was invited to (Pam Hogg) but then I got into some other shows and presentations which I had not received invitations for, e.g. the STARSICA show.
London Fashion Week is anything but predictable!
Early mornings and late nights are the norm which means getting very little sleep.
The morning shows tend to start around 9am and the evening shows finish around 7pm but they are often followed by after parties which end late at night.
These after parties are not to be missed as it’s a fantastic opportunity to network with the designers, models, photographers, press team, other bloggers etc. Plus they are a great fun and usually take place at very cool and exclusive venues.
The harsh reality of London Fashion Week is that shows never start on time and it’s not possible to attend them all.
I moved around London in Ubers in a desperate attempt to make it from one event to another on time but I missed some of them anyway due to the delay of the previous show.
Sharing an Uber is a great idea as it works out much cheaper and you will be always able to find people heading to the same show as you.
Queuing for hours in the cold whilst still trying to look fabulous can be tricky. The shows then usually only last about 5-10 minutes and are over in a flash!
My feet and back hurt like hell after standing in lines for hours and sitting on uncomfortable benches at the catwalk shows. My advice: wear flats! You will be in pain anyway but it won’t be as bad as if you wore heels.
If you insist on wearing heels, have a pair of flats in your bag to change when the pain becomes unbearable.
On a positive note, I met some great people in those queues who became my close friends.
Finding time to eat during London Fashion Week is also challenging to say the least.
On some days there was just absolutely no time to grab something to eat and I did not eat until late at night.
Be warned that not everyone will be super nice. To give you an idea what may happen, I was shouted at by a photographer after one catwalk show that “my elbow was sticking out during the show”!
To that photographer – I hope my elbow is in ALL of your pictures!
The items that you should always have in your handbag during London Fashion Week are: healthy and filling snacks, such as protein bars (not eating all day is never a good idea), an umbrella (because it’s London!), tissues, a bottle of water, portable charger and business cards (because you never know who you will meet at an event).
Taking a professional camera is not necessary in my opinion as the mobile phone cameras these days are great.
Don’t stress over taking lots of pictures at the catwalk shows as you can always request press release images from the press team after the show. Sometimes they are being automatically to everyone who was on the guest list.
So just sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
Overall, despite some unamusing moments, I enjoyed the experience.
I attended some wonderful fashion events which gave me a lot of inspiration and I made new friends so it was definitely worth it.
I’ve learnt some valuable lessons, e.g. it’s physically not possible to go to every single show. Prioritising some shows over others and making your schedule realistic will allow you to truly savour the London Fashion Week experience.
WHAT TO WEAR TO LONDON FASHION WEEK
London Fashion Week is not only about the shows as the best style moments happen off the catwalk. The authentic fashion flourishes outside, on the streets.
For these five magical days London becomes home to a greatest festival of style.
The streets turn into catwalks filled with fashion lovers, fashion addicts and fashion victims, curiously observed by the passers by and hunted by the photographers outside the venues.
The more loud, flashy, creative and in line with upcoming trends your outfit is, the more chances of getting “papped” and featured in one of the London Fashion Week street style round ups. Colourful coats, statement sunglasses and hats always seem to draw a lot of attention.
I would not recommend spending a lot of money on something you will wear only once. A good solution is renting designer clothes.
You can rent some truly unique designer clothes from Wear the Walk.
Visiting your local charity shops is also a good idea as you might find some real vintage or designer gems there.
It’s very important to prepare your outfits in advance for all five days as you will not have time or energy to do it once the fashion week madness takes off!
Check out my LONDON FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE post featuring the best dressed fashion week guests, including celebrities and bloggers, for inspiration on what to wear.
MY LONDON FASHION WEEK LOOKS
Looking back at my choice of attire, I went for a very different vibe each day.
I did not go for very flashy outfits just to draw the attention of photographers as I wanted to feel comfortable and stick to my personal style.
Now you know exactly how to get into London Fashion Week and survive it.
Hope this post gives you an idea on what to expect and helps you prepare for the madness so that you can get the most out of this most prestigious fashion event.
Thank you so much for reading!
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