image via elle.com
Well, are you ready? It's that time of year again, the night before London Fashion Week, and having freelanced for publications for around 5-6 seasons now I can finally say that I've got the knack of preparing everything I might need to survive it.
I can't quite believe that 6 months ago I was standing in the courtyard at Somerset House melting under a turtle neck trying to keep cool whilst the weather was pretending that it was still summer. But here we are, on LFW-eve, and it seems that those oversized knits might actually come in handy this time round because it's freezing! But then again, at least it isn't as cold as New York...
If you haven't managed to get hold of any tickets this season it's always worth heading down to Somerset House to get a feel for the vibe and watch live streams of the shows. So whether you're living in London, staying in a hotel, or just popping down for a day or two, here is a list of the things you need to take to stay organised at LFW.
Obv. Organise them. Get a different plastic wallet for every day and put them in there in order of their time. Make sure you pay attention of where the shows are! My first time at LFW I didn't realise Eudon Choi was not being held at the BFC show space, resulting in a rush-hour cab across town and arriving looking flustered and gross. Totally not chic. Also, if you have off-schedule tickets for Fashion Scout then arrive super super early. The shows are always over subscribed so even if you have a ticket there's a chance you might not get in.
Folder or Portfolio
It doesn't need to be big or fancy (or it can be, like in this picture!), it just needs to be able to hold all of your tickets and print outs to keep things safe/organised/dry. It's also great to keep all press-releases from shows safe in for reference in your show reports.
I find there's something a little bit cringe about giving business cards out sometimes at fashion week. Get ready for people to judge just a little bit. "Is the font right? Is it printed in high-quality enough card? They definitely didn't get theirs done at Vistaprint..."
It always reminds me of the business card scene in American Psycho. But in fairness, it needs to be done and it's a great way to keep in touch with people. Get everyone's you can, keep them in your LFW ticket plastic wallet and always follow up with a nice-to-meet-you email next week!
Another huge mistake I made at my first LFW was not investing in one of these. By about 2pm I was down to 2%. They will save your (and your phone's battery) life. Make sure you charge it up every night to make sure it won't let you down on the day And make sure you bring your phone charging cable with it too!
Print everything out like maps, schedules, and if you're accredited with the BFC, your fast track pass to get access to the designer showrooms. If you're going to be super busy with events, shows, lunches and brunches with brands, screenings and talks, then also print out a personalised schedule to keep you on track.
Fashion & Beauty Monitor App
For those of you who prefer things to be all digital, Fashion & Beauty Monitor LFW App. It provides the full schedule of London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2015 catwalk shows, presentations and parties. It's totally free, gets updated live, and users can plan their personal schedule by saving events into the My FW folder, set pre-show reminders, find venues with interactive Google maps for each event and click through to the Fashion and Beauty Monitor news page and social media channels.
Basically, it's a LFW Personal Assistant in your pocket.
Because London = Rain. And rain = bad hair and makeup. No thanks.
Lip Balm & Moisturiser
One of my favourites is Burt's Bees beeswax lip balm in peppermint. It's probably going to be chilly and you don't want your lips getting dry. Moisturiser will also freshen your makeup up if it starts to get a bit cracked or cakey from all the cold winds. My favourite is Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion. Just adding a little bit around the eyes and cheeks can freshen you up to have a dewy look.
If you like to keep things a bit more old school, keep your Filofax or diary with all the events on you at all time to make sure you don't miss anything.
Because London = Unpredictable. You never know, the sun might come out.
Also comes in handy if you've gone too hard at one of the parties the night before...
In case you miss the press bus or don't fancy getting the tube places, Uber will be your best friend. For those who aren't familiar, it's an app that will get a cab to arrive and pick you up from exactly where you want it to. You can see how far away the driver is using their countdown, and see the vehicle on the map, plus it gives you the name and registration of the driver. Use the Code x7f99 to get your first ride free!
One of the best things about LFW is the amount of inspiration you get for articles or blog posts, so write it all down! My notebook is filled with pages of random notes of what I've come across at events and ideas on how to develop them into more detailed stories. And obviously it's necessary for recording all of your LFW show notes for writing up show reports.
It sounds stupid, but you'll be surprised how easy it is to forget. A notebook is no good if you can't write in it!
Necessary for taking pictures if you're there writing for an assignment, commission or article.
Hardly needs explaining! You don't want to miss a moment because your camera ran out of battery...
Believe it or not, but at my first day at LFW ever, I arrived with my DSLR fully charged and ready to go, but with no memory card. Luckily there was a Maplin's on the Strand, but it was £15 spent unnecessarily! Format your card first to make sure you have enough room for all of the photographs.
For anyone who doesn't know London, download the City Mapper app. It'll tell you exactly how to get from A to B by using transport, walking, getting a cab... it's all covered.
Whoever said diamonds are a girls' best friend was totally lying. Blister plasters are. If you're not going to play the sensible game in flats, then I promise these will come in handy. Normal plasters will never do, so get hold of some special blister ones from Compeed!
Enjoy fashion week everyone, hope to see you all there!