Whilst the already established names in the fashion industry have secured their participation in London Fashion Week, students and up and coming designers are holding on to their show invitations as if they are clutching at straws. And in reality that small piece of paper is their pass to the overwhelming world of luxury fabrics, glamorous garments, and crazy designs that could almost never appear on the window of a high street-style shop.
All that goes alongside free champagne and countless after parties. The delirium repeats itself for only five days annually every September and February, but for some reason this charade is the key to a future career and the success of many designers, photographers, stylists, journalists, presenters, hair-dressers, make-up artists, models and of course, the not very aware of what they actually want to do, bloggers, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World, just as in Stanley Kramer’s movie.
Undoubtedly Fashion Week provides the best field for recognition, to those who have just started going up the ladder, as the world’s most influential media, buyers and celebrities are in the capital.
The main access point since 2008 has been Somerset House. The building that once was residence for Kings and Queens is nowadays temporarily used to accommodate the Kings and Queens of fashion. To get a glimpse of the catwalk one needs a pass or an invite, but fortunately for those who had not yet managed to obtain one, the courtyard is completely open to the public providing a chance to see and be seen. The space is filled with buzzing young writers, trying to get a brief interview or quote from some of the big names coming in, photographers and cameras making attempts to catch the hectic atmosphere within the borders of a picture and innovative young designers with their pieces, hoping to get noticed and gain popularity.
This is how street style photographer Tommy Ton had made his blog jakandjil.com famous: “I try to go to as many shows as possible, but then you have to be strategic about who will go to what show. So usually, I will go to all the big shows or at least try to make it for both exits and arrivals. There’s always some shows that some of the other street style
Anna-Mariya Yordanova/The London Fashion Week madness and its benefits/2
photographers don’t know about, so I always keep quiet if I know someone great will be there.” Even though Tommy still falls into the category of a ‘blogger’, he has had the chance to work with people such as Anna Wintour and Anna Dello-Russo, magazines like Vogue and Style – opportunities that could only be a dream to many of the fishes swimming in the sea of photography.
Unlike Tommy, Elizaveta Lirov, who is still in her second year of studying photography at Westminister University, prefers to use the crowd for taking only a few snapshots and making as many contacts as she can.
“I usually bring my camera to Somerset House so I approach someone and take a picture of them that I might never really use, unless it is someone very famous and hand them my business card. I always try start a conversation and tell them about my work . So far I’ve managed to get contacts for Vogue, Harpers’ Bazaar, Phoenix and Love magazine. I find London Fashion Week the best place to communicate with people from fashion industry and a perfect opportunity to be able to present myself.”
Apart from the pretty obvious monetary benefits, contacts and fame is what the planet revolves around nowadays. The more people you know, the cooler you look, the more followers you will get on twitter, the more interesting you become to the public and if you actually make it into this cold world, then the more clients you will have for your product. And even if you do not have one, that surely helps some people’s career of… well just standing and being provocative. Look at Pandemonia Panacea. In reality all she does is stand and...