Reflection on London Fashion Week

Meadham Kirchoff, London Fashion Week, Autumn Winter 2011

Meadham Kirchoff put on a great catwalk show.

If it weren’t for the traumatic flight/customs/body scan/lost luggage issues, I would definitely say that my trip to London was a great success, and a lot of fun. I was worried about standing around a lot, but I managed to skip all the line ups because I told the PR’s I was pregnant, and that also guaranteed me decent seats. And it didn’t rain every day, which was nice.

It was also nice to go to some shows again, when I lived in London we avoided fashion week like the plague, but as a visitor, it is great fun. And even if a show’s garments aren’t brilliant, the whole spectacle of a well-organized fashion show is quite exciting, as is the people-watching. Here are a few things I noticed during my London Fashion Week trip.

Meadham Kirchoff, London Fashion Week, Autumn Winter 2011

More pics from the amazing Meadham Kirchoff show.

1. London Fashion Week is very well organized. Maybe the New Yorkers would disagree, but compared to the way it was run a few years ago, this season was almost seamless.

2. There are computer stations in all of the official venues. These are for press, who feel the need to blog or tweet real time. When I sat down to use one (I was searching something on Google Maps) I noticed that everyone else was also doing something like that… Most people can tweet from their phone, and would you really write a blog post in the middle of a fashion venue? Probably not. But the whole concept is great.

Holly Fulton, fur, London Fashion Week, Autumn Winter 2011

Amazing fur trims at the Holly Fulton show.

3. There was fur everywhere. On the catwalks, in the showrooms, in the stores, and on the LFW guests. Britain is definitely the European country that is most anti-fur, but it seems that most people have calmed down with their anti-fur stances. Britain is also the most “pro-eco fashion” country in Europe, and I guess they are stating to understand the green argument around fur. Either that, or people are cold.

4. Celebrities invaded the fashion shows. Really tragic, D-list celebrities, and what was particularly disturbing was that many of them occupied front row seats at the shows. While I am completely aware that celebrities have become an unavoidable part of the fashion industry, it is very disturbing when you see really rubbish ones, the celebs that are known for absolutely nothing, getting all of the attention at fashion shows. It is sad, for the designer who bothers to invite them, and for the industry, which has been completely devalued because of this.

Pixie Geldof, Jamie Winstone

Pixie Geldof (left) and Jamie Winstone (right.) Girls who are famous because of their fathers, and therefore attend fashion week.

The PPQ show had gaggles of teenage or early-twenties girls in their front row. I didn’t recognize a single one of them (which is no surprise as I never recognize anyone) and they sat in the front row giggling, chatting, and barely paying attention to the clothes. They cheered when the first look came out (this is not a rock concert, girls) and some were singing along to the music. It made me want to cry.

The Giles show was even worse. I was sat behind Pixie Geldof, who, in addition to being very badly dressed, was surrounded by paparazzi the entire evening. I’ll bet they took more photos of her than the actual clothes, which is a highly disproportionate amount of publicity for someone who is only famous because of her father, and who has accomplished absolutely nothing in life. She was with a guy, who had no clue what was going on, and every time a friend of hers turned up, the other front-rowers were forced to move over to make room for the said friend. She also chatted to her mates during the whole show.

House of Holland

House of Holland's front row: Jo Wood, Jade Parfitt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Nicola Roberts. Are we actually supposed to care about these poeple?

While I understand that brands do this for the publicity, and celebrities do it to be photographed, I still think it is an extremely sad state of affairs.I  am not surprised that despite Giles being a very established designer, he isn’t one of the select shows featured on the American Vogue website, whereas smaller brands like Richard Nicoll are. Richard Nicoll and Mary Katrantzou‘s shows were both void of ridiculous celebrities, and instead you had front rows of serious fashion industry people who were there for a reason other than publicity.

I know I write about this all the time, but it makes me so sad that the fashion industry had been completely devalued by the celebrities who have invaded it. Sometimes I wonder why people bother forking out for an education in the field, they’d be better off leveraging their father’s fame, or trying to sleep with someone whose father is famous. That’s more likely to get you a foot in the door these days…

Images: Pixie Geldof, Jamie Winstone, Henry Holland front row, all catwalk images from London Fashion Week website.