As a student in London, I’m living in the fashion capital of the country, some might say the world. This is one of the many reasons I was adamant I had to come and study in London. Never in a million years, though, did I dream of getting a press pass to attend London Fashion Week. But it turns out that student media is regarded as highly valued publicity for designers, and that the tightly packed rows either side of the catwalk are not just full of fashion editors, bloggers and buyers, but student journalists too.
My first London Fashion Week was last season, SS12, and took place in September 2011. I attended on behalf of Fashion Hacks, the fashion branch of Wannabe Hacks, a website for aspiring journalists. Turning up on the first day was scary. For a start, I had swapped my heels for my flats on the bus there. So at 5ft 7in I was a good few inches shorter than anyone else crossing the courtyard at Somerset House. Collecting my press pass made me feel a bit better. I suddenly felt like I fitted in a bit more (even though I wasn’t wearing vertiginous heels, a neon pleated skirt or carrying a Proenza Schouler bag).
But once I got the hang of it, attending shows wasn’t daunting at all. Sitting alongside the catwalk when the lights go up at the start of a show is so exciting. Knowing that you are among the couple of hundred people to see a designer’s creations for the first time is a privilege and I got such a buzz from running to the press room to file show reports to be published online in double quick time (you can tell I’m the daughter of a hardened reporter!)
This fashion week, AW12, I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m here with my student publication, Cub magazine, and attending shows, tweeting, taking pictures (like Carlotta Actis Barone's show, above) and filing copy is fun. My latest challenge was being asked to interview designer Bernard Chandran, after his show. I had a slight hiccup when I had to argue my way into the show in the first place - the show was so packed that the organisers shut the doors and refused to let anyone else inside. But the show was spectacular and Chandran was absolutely lovely – I think I got pretty lucky for my first interview.
So to conclude, London Fashion Week isn’t scary. Yes, it is full of ludicrously well dressed people in heels, but looking at what everyone is wearing is great fun too. In fact, waiting for a show to start is probably one of the few times that it’s fine to stare at complete strangers. When it comes down to it, what is important is what the designers have spent months and months creating. And there is some incredible talent about.