Friday, 12 September 2008
London Fashion Week - The Blaggers' Guide
London Fashion Week starts on Sunday and we are all geared up for battle. Yes, it can be a tough old time what with competition for tickets, seats and goody bags but hey, we're old pros so we've compiled this 'fashion week for dummies' guide to surviving the event. Unless you're top of the masthead at one of the glossies, chances are you won't get a ticket to every show. And chances are also that the shows you really want to see (Luella, PPQ, Charles Anastase) will be hugely oversubscribed. So you'll need a bit of 'show smarts' about you to navigate the complex code of blagging the tents. Here's how:
1. Dress the part. It's naff to 'dress up' for fashion week but you should make some effort. Try a couple of under-the-radar trends but leave the Mulberry or Chloe It bag at home. If on the other hand, you want to be photographed for a streetstyle blog, Elle or The London Paper then make sure you pile on the plaid, some ridiculously ugly 6-inch statement heels or an outlandish cape by one of the off-schedule designers.
2. Make sure you have your fashion week kit with you at all times. Said kit should contain: A) A large folder or envelope to be hugged self-importantly to your chest as you approach the entrance to a show. If you're an assistant at one of the big 'books' (Elle, Vogue, Harper's), make sure you write the magazine's name in big letters on the envelope/folder. Hell, why not write it anyway? B) A bottle of Tippex and several packets of coloured star and dot stickers of various sizes - essential for upgrading those pesky 'standing' tickets and thus bypassing the 'standing' (read: losers) queue.
3. Even if you don't have tickets for all the shows, make sure you go to the first show on each day. As long as you go to the first one you can usually tag along with the crowd and get into the next show...and the next...and the next.
4. The courtesy bus is your saviour, make sure you get on it. No on-schedule show will start until the key press and buyers are there and chances are, they'll be on the bus. If you're on it too you, can bundle in with them.
5. Be brave! Don't be shy, literally hang on to the coat tails of whichever fashion VIP is in front of you. Back in the day, we blagged into many an Alexander McQueen show on the coat tails of Michael Roberts, Andre Leon Talley and Hamish Bowles (not all at the same time). What fun! And they didn't mind one bit.
6. DON'T make eye contact with the security. At the crucial point of passing the gatekeepers, keep eyes focussed straight ahead, hug your envelope to you, plus a folded piece of A4 paper (it could be a ticket. A very thin one...) and clamp your phone to your ear. Have an imaginary conversation if you can do it convincingly. Don some dark glasses if you need an extra fashionista prop.
7. The key to blagging is safety in numbers so always bunk in under cover of a crowd or a friend with a legitimate ticket. Once inside, march in with a purpose and head straight to the back row.
8. Stealing seats is naughty. But if the show is about to start and there are empty seats in the back rows then take them. (Tip: the view is often better at the back and you'll get out quicker too. Granted, you won't be within gawping distance of Kelly Osborne but hey, you can't have everything.)
9. If by some fluke you find yourself sat next to a celeb, it's not cool to get your cell phone out and start snapping. Play the aloof card and let the photographers wonder who you are.
10. Seen a lone goody bag? By all means grab it if it's going spare but don't start raking through the contents there and then. Tacky! Take the whole thing or leave it for someone else. Do you really need another bottle of water and lipgloss anyway?
[Pic: The Sartorialist]