Why I Don’t Go To London Fashion Week (Any More)

Why I Don't Go To London Fashion Week (Any More) \ LFW \ NYFW \ PFW \ fashion bloggers

London Fashion Week (or NYFW, or PFW): Does the mere mention of fashion week make you think, Yay! Lots of new collections to view on Instagram! Or does it make you think, blah blah fashion week, blah…?

Now don’t get me wrong – if LFW or NYFW is your thing and you love it, I think that’s fantastic. Many do, and as I believe the case is with all hobbies and guilty pleasures, if you like something, then damn well LIKE it (I believe in #iwillwearwhatilike and in the same way I believe people are free to enjoy whatever pastimes they want in life without fear of ridicule or being labelled as nerds or geeks).

But I have to admit that whenever fashion week season rolls around, I tend to switch off somewhat and brace myself for the onslaught of repetitive catwalk posts on Instagram. And the endless street style photos on Who What Wear and other online fashion publications. When I attended a couple of London Fashion Weeks when I started blogging, attending LFW was very much THE thing to do. As was getting yourself photographed in a street style shot that may or may not pop up in Grazia and Cosmo.

 

I was actually forcing myself to enjoy it. I wasn’t admitting to myself that I really wasn’t having a good time… I thought it was all part of being a fashion blogger.

 

I went to fashion week two seasons running (SS14 and AW14), and now I think back I was actually forcing myself to enjoy it. I wasn’t admitting to myself that I really wasn’t having a good time… I thought it was all part of being a fashion blogger. I’d started having some success in terms of recognition with brands and gaining a solid following; I’d just gone full time with the blog, and everything I was reading on other blogs led me to believe that attending fashion week was THE thing I had to do regularly as part of my job.

 

What fashion week was really like

What I must say first is that I attended two LFWs with my lovely blogging friend Anna Lou Elliott and we actually had a really nice time together – I’d somehow managed to get hold of two tickets to a Simone Rocha show (I won them in a local competition that I reckon I was the only entrant in) and I asked Anna if she wanted to come with me. She was a seasoned fashion week goer and I was glad she’d be there to hold my hand, because I was seriously worried about what to do and where to go.

And that was the thing – I was in a major panic about being seen as cool enough to be there. I agonised over what to wear. On my first day I wore a 70s vintage shirt with a classic trench (draped over my shoulders of COURSE), and I really expected some sort of Mean Girls-esque vying for seats once we got inside. To be honest I can’t really remember.

I wrote about my London Fashion Week experience and what it was really like straight after that first time I went, and it’s funny reading back on it now. I definitely think I was trying to enjoy it, but who enjoys THAT sort of stress over what to wear? Or getting stressed just walking around Somerset House, desperately waiting for someone – ANYONE – to take my picture?

 

Why I decided to stop going to London Fashion Week

After doing a second fashion week the following season, where I managed to get invites to a few small shows thanks to Anna, I decided that enough was enough. I’d “done” fashion week. The thought of spending money on going up to London for nothing that paid me back in any way seemed ridiculous. What did I have to show for it? No one wanted to take my picture. No one was really interested in the blurry catwalk pictures I posted on Instagram taken from four rows back. I mean, even then, I wasn’t interested in other bloggers’ super-sharp catwalk pictures on Instagram taken from the FROW… why would I inflict my blurries on my followers? It’s the blogosphere equivalent of showing every single person you know thousands of baby pictures or your holiday snaps… generally people just aren’t interested in pictures of the “you should have been there” moments.

What with the circus that is influencers (because not all attendees are bloggers…) being seen at fashion week – it’s kind of ridiculous now, with the top dogs being given designer clothes to wear, sitting front row and drawing a massive frenzied crowd of photographers. I don’t feel like I’m the only one that thinks it’s all very fake (are they really enjoying it? Isn’t she freezing her tits off in that tulle dress?) – as I just mentioned it’s all a big circus, it’s all for show. Though some – many! – may enjoy that show, and I’m not here to berate anyone for enjoying it, nosiree. It just ain’t for me.

The irony is that now I get sent a LOT of invites to (small) shows. Unless it’s a blanket, not-addressed-to-me-personally email I always send a Thank you but I can’t make it reply. I can’t imagine anything worse than agonising over whether I’m cool enough to be photographed, spending a lot of money on train fare and accommodation, posting things on Instagram no one is interested in, then wondering what to do with all the blurry catwalk photos I’ve taken because I really should put them in a blog post, shouldn’t I?!

I think if I could just attend a few really great shows from the front row (like our own Queen Elizabeth did this week – kudos, your 91-year-old Majesty) WITHOUT all the circus hoo-har and the dressing up and the fake strolling around hoping to be papped, I think I’d quite enjoy it. But I think I’m just too old and grumpy to join in with what’s expected of me.

In the words of the wonderful Frances McDormand at the BAFTAs this week: “I have a little trouble with compliance”.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES OF FASHION WEEK THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE – DO YOU GO? DO YOU WANT TO GO? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS!

Catherine

LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ…

What I Wore To London Fashion Week | Vintage Shirt & Classic Trench
– What London Fashion Week is REALLY Like | My LFW Experience
Ditch Guilty Pleasures: If You Like Something, Then LIKE It

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25 Comments

  1. February 27, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    It sounds so daunting! I would be overwhelmed no doubt. I would be curious just to see what a big fashion show was like once, but can totally see why it’s not really worth it blogging wise what with the expenditure and outfit stress. 🙂

  2. February 25, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go just for the craic really to see what it was about but it just appears to be quite same-y

    Mel ✨

  3. February 25, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    I haven’t been to or been invited to go to a fashion show but I would like to say that experiencing it probably once would be nice but I am also not a fan of big crowds so I am not sure how it would work! Lol In any event, there’s a lot of photos on IG to showcase these fashion shows that I feel like I am not really missing out?

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  4. February 24, 2018 / 11:50 pm

    I enjoyed this post, Catherine. I went to my first fashion week in Vancouver about six months ago – it lasted about five hours and there were two or so very, very short breaks and chips/pop/water/you-get-the-idea for sustenance, maybe 10 designers. Overload – although I was thankful for the opportunity and I was introduced to a few cool new labels. I like personal style blogs and it’s easy, as you say, to become saturated by all the catwalk photos on IG, etc., during fashion weeks around the world, which seem unending. There is definitely still an aura of magic about them that fascinates for most.

    Thanks for the linkup.

  5. February 24, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    OMG Catherine, I know! I’m so glad you wrote this post because I’ve felt this way for ages. I just don’t see the point. Especially when (in my humble opinion – you’ll get that if you ever watched The Good Wife), who really cares what’s on the catwalk anyway? I mean, the most stylish women are those that wear what the hell they want to wear regardless of whether it’s in fashion or not.
    Such a fab post, Catherine!
    Hugs
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

  6. February 24, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to a Fashion Week. Only because I’m curious. I want to see how this fake world is working and why the Fashion business is so focusing on instagrammers and influencers in general.
    It is sad how this business was turning into. It has no more something to do with the art fashion. It’s very sad.
    Great post!
    Mimi xx

    http://blog.mimislogical.com/

  7. February 24, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    Ahh, this made me grin! Same same same! I still get invites for NYFW which I pass on to some lovely mates who adore going over there, likewise, the LFW ones – my neighbours’ daughter goes to them and loves it – she wants to do fashion at St Martin’s so it’s the perfect fit. Meanwhile, am on the sofa in my pj’s! xxx

  8. February 24, 2018 / 12:09 pm

    Catherine, you are not the only blogger I have heard feel the same way about the craze of fashion weeks. For me, I could never handle the crowds and the chaos and the standing around waiting. Ugh. It sounds just horrible. I was invited to one small fashion week in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I politely declined. But I do love to see the amazing fashions that come down the runway and this year for NYFW, I was asked to write some commentary for an online publication (I will be sharing a post on that soon). I sat in my living room in my jammies watching a live stream of runway shows on my laptop. I took screen shots for the articles (which were perfectly clear photos compared to blurry 4th row photos) and I had the best time giving my humble opinion on what I watched. I spent no money on travel and no stress on what to wear (jammies, duh). I think I will never attend a fashion week even if they begged me at this point! Great post!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

  9. February 24, 2018 / 11:47 am

    I have been to a few shows – way back in my Cosmo days in my 20s. I actually went to Paris Fashion Week and saw some lovely shows (Galliano and Lacroix were my favs.) I went along for the beauty news which was fun – the behind the scenes makeup artists and seeing the models was so interesting! I didn’t get the seriousness of the fashion at all – so many ‘mean girls/guys’, lots of uptight people looking down their noses at others and I just thought ‘but it’s only clothes…clothes people!!’ Flipping hell. It would definitely not be my cuppa tea anymore. I like reading blogs with real women and seeing what’s out now in the shops to buy. Great post Catherine! Lisa xx

  10. February 24, 2018 / 11:44 am

    Catherine —girl I will be linking this post on my blog. You inspired me. I AM my own ffashion week! These days I find fashion weak! WTF is « street style » anyway? It’s merely « people dressing to gain atttention to  be photographed ». I’m not into costume except for Halloween. The carpeted aisle between the cubicles at the office is MY runway! You hit a home run with this post kiddo!!

  11. February 24, 2018 / 11:12 am

    Being true to yourself as always! Happy weekend. Love, Lieske

  12. Linda
    February 24, 2018 / 8:50 am

    The only show I would love to go to is Max Mara and that is because I love the clothes! The rest, as you say looks like one big circus. Every one looks the same.The only one with their individual style was The Queen and she looked amazing.

  13. February 24, 2018 / 8:34 am

    That is a terrific quote: “I have a little trouble with compliance” hahaha. I am really a very law-abiding person, but only when I see the sense of a rule or law, when I agree with it. You will have trouble with me when I disagree (my poor employers haha).
    Anothe really funny thought of you made me laugh: “Isn’t she freezing her tits off in that tulle dress?” That could have been my thoughts so many times.
    I agree with you on the shows. I would like to enjoy the circus in Paris or New York or Milan once but only if everything is paid for and I can sit front row. Ain’t gonna happen. But I think even then once would be enough. I have been to Amsterdam Fashion Week a couple of times. (Yes that does exists, and no it isn’t to be compared, but still..)
    It was nice, but usually I see the stuff on the catwalk and think “not wearable”. Apparently I am not creative enough to see the possibilities, the uniqueness. That figures as I am not creative.
    In the past Ron and I have been to a private show of a haute couture designer in Amsterdam. That was fun. Intimate and a good view.
    As for worries about what to wear… hmmm I will have that with any event. As I am getting older, the worries wear off. My closet is big enough to handle most situations and if nobody likes it, tough. So that would be no different to Fashion Week.
    Greetje

    • No Fear of Fashion
      February 24, 2018 / 8:39 am

      Ps, linking back to your link-up in my coming Sunday post.

  14. February 24, 2018 / 8:06 am

    Haha, and here I am thinking that to attend a FW would be fab! Haha, the way you describe it, it seems horrible. But I love to see all the photos on IG. BTW, I placed your button back on my sidebar(I had placed it in my linkup page)! Yes I know, I am shameless.

  15. February 24, 2018 / 7:55 am

    I used to go to NYFW what feels like a lifetime ago, when it was in Bryant Park. Back then, you could politely talk your way into the standing section for major shows. It was magical, and I never got tired of the spectacle…until it moved to Lincoln Center and turned into a three-ring circus with “influencers” preening for the street fashion photographers, people trying to push their way into every show, and so much obnoxious behavior everywhere. NYFW is dying a slow death, and I have a feeling that will happen to LFW as well (maybe not so much Paris and Milan, but who knows). Either way, I am happy to stay home in my pajamas and look at all the runway images on Vogue.com!
    Cheryl Shops | http://www.cherylshops.net

  16. Danish Pastry
    February 24, 2018 / 6:07 am

    I too would find LFW super stressfull! And while I do like seeing Insta images of it I find the big labels are a bit like modern art – a bit abstract! The street style shots mainly make me smile, and not for the right reasons. I like the way bloggers and influencers are becoming more honest about how they feel about fashion week, and yes I can understand there is a certain pressure to attend, especially for those who are new to blogging. That’s why it’s great to read that award winning bloggers don’t see the need to attend. The bloggers that do attend – well as long as they enjoy it, and feel as though they get something out of it, that’s ok too.
    What I do like better is images from the smaller fashion houses (I live in Denmark) like Ganni or by Malene Birger et al. They have items that I can wear and aren’t out of my league price- wise. By the time the trends (I hate that word) are actually in the shops they’ve been tweaked so they’re more wearable for the likes of me. And even then my first thought is “Will this fit in with my style?” I love it when the colours I always wear are on “trend”, because I know I will have more choice!

  17. Danish Pastry
    February 24, 2018 / 6:07 am

    I too would find LFW super stressfull! And while I do like seeing Insta images of it I find the big labels are a bit like modern art – a bit abstract! The street style shots mainly make me smile, and not for the right reasons. I like the way bloggers and influencers are becoming more honest about how they feel about fashion week, and yes I can understand there is a certain pressure to attend, especially for those who are new to blogging. That’s why it’s great to read that award winning bloggers don’t see the need to attend. The bloggers that do attend – well as long as they enjoy it, and feel as though they get something out of it, that’s ok too.
    What I do like better is images from the smaller fashion houses (I live in Denmark) like Ganni or by Malene Birger et al. They have items that I can wear and aren’t out of my league price- wise. By the time the trends (I hate that word) are actually in the shops they’ve been tweaked so they’re more wearable for the likes of me. And even then my first thought is “Will this fit in with my style?” I love it when the colours I always wear are on “trend”, because I know I will have more choice!

  18. February 24, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  19. February 24, 2018 / 4:35 am

    I think the only thing that would interest me with respect to London, New York, your name it, fashion week, were me walking on the runway. LOL. Then there finally were a model that smiles all over the face.

  20. jodie filogomo
    February 23, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    Not that I’ve ever been invited, but the crowds and craziness are more than I think I could handle!! But it’s good that some women love it, because I do like seeing the photos!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • catherine
      Author
      February 24, 2018 / 6:45 pm

      Crazy is about right, Jodie…!! 😉

  21. February 23, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    I’d quite like to go at least once. Maybe in the future. thanks for sharing your post and hosting too! Have a great weekend Catherine. x Jacqui
    mummabstylish

    • catherine
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 11:19 pm

      Oh it’s definitely worth going at least once, Jacqui – but I definitely now feel “been there, done that”…!! x

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