Attending and working at Fashion Week in one of the most recognized cities in the world is something I could have only dreamed about doing. Let me begin by saying that this was not all glitz and glamor (although there was a great deal of it)—I worked harder than I ever worked in my entire life. But, I found that it is true when they say that you don’t mind working hard for a job you love to do. It’s absolutely true! I’m a little afraid to add up all the hours I worked over LFW because I know it’s not a very pretty number.
Basically the event runs over a course of ten days (5 days for womenswear, 1 day for menswear, and 4 days to open the stands to the general public). Every day, the designers have a stand where representatives from the company will show clothing from the current collection to potential buyers, bloggers, and magazine editors (a.k.a. we kiss their butts). Catwalks, exhibitions and private events also show throughout the day where visitors can gain entrance if they have a certain pass or ticket. I had an exhibitors pass so I got to wander around pretty much everywhere and sneak my way into a catwalk show one morning… amaze!
As far as the people, everyone walked around like they were famous, and during London Fashion Week, they most likely were famous. But because I don’t really know many stylists or editors popular in the UK, I could have easily been drinking champagne (yes, there was champagne… lots of champagne) and rubbing elbows with the best of them. My PR girl self was eager to network and find out everyone’s business, but I was there to work, and didn’t have much time for mingling.
Most of my time was spent printing up extra copies of biographies and press releases, delivering them to press rooms around the Somerset House, and e-mailing everyone that stopped by our stand to thank them and send out a digital lookbook. The best part of my job was getting to walk around in Henrietta’s clothing. Not just for fun, but to get photographed and end up on fashion blogs and style websites. This is not only amazing for me, but promotion for Henrietta Ludgate as a brand.
The weekend was a little less exciting because the crowd was less fabulous and famous, just a bunch of fashion wannabes essentially who couldn’t get an invite to the real fashion week! But, in their defense there were loads of designer clothes at amazing discount prices. I myself got a hot pink sheer maxi skirt and a blue sheer blouse with a gold sequin collar by Never Fully Dressed for only £50!
Overall, it was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much about the industry and myself and I know for sure that I’m perusing the right career path. Because the past six weeks of my internship have been preparations for London Fashion Week, I really have no idea what I will be doing now, but I am eager to find out! I do know one thing is for sure though; I will be working a lot less. It’s time for me to focus on sightseeing (and some schoolwork…)! We will be making t-shirts that say: “I survived London Fashion Week” – hilarious, I can’t wait to rock it in the states!
On my day off, I really would have just loved to sleep in, but I just hate to see myself waste a day in a place like London, with so many things to do and see! I finally got the chance to see Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. They’re all in walking distance from one another and the London Eye is right over the River Thames and OH MY GOODNESS, it was beyond beautiful! Words just can’t describe, I walked up the steps from the Westminster Tube and BAM! Big Ben is right there, in your face, gigantic and stunning. I don’t think I ever took so many pictures in one place (and that’s a lot of pictures for me)! I already can’t wait to go back and visit again!
This weekend I am going to Amsterdam and I am so excited!!! Photos to come next week!
After hunting for the perfect (i.e. cheap) restaurant, I finally had my first proper English breakfast! It was certainly different than the typical hearty “American” breakfast and consisted of fried eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, a grilled tomato and a choice of either a portobello mushroom or black pudding (I won’t disgust you with an ingredients list of the latter…).
Since I’m a vegetarian and I’m a bigger fan of French toast, we’ll just say that I’m happy I had it, but have no desire to have it a second time.
I also went to Portobello Road, which is about a two-mile long street market selling all sorts of food, clothing and miscellaneous items. I spent probably a good three hours there and walked away with loads of stuff for hardly any money at all! It was so much fun and I’ll definitely be visiting there again.
We also visited Covent Garden, which was a fruit, vegetable and flower market for over 300 years. In 1980, the Victorian halls were transformed into a main tourist attraction filled with shops, restaurants and street performers.
It’s such a lively atmosphere there and we found an amazing cookie place there called Ben’s Cookies…the white chocolate chunk was heavenly.
The Social Programme I am enrolled in took us to see Phantom of the Opera last week at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Piccadilly Circus. It was an incredible performance! The theatre itself is really small, but they really worked the stage and made a great use of space. I haven’t ever seen this particular performance in theatre and I haven’t seen the film version since high school, so I was surprised to find myself singing along with them (in my head), and I could even understand the opera verses!
Before we got to the theatre, we decided to make an evening out of it and go out to dinner too. We went to a really popular chain restaurant called Bella Italia… and I died. I’ve found that the Italian food here is particularly yummy and the chain restaurants are not your average Olive Garden’s, it’s REAL Italian food. I can’t wait until I actually go to Italy—I might never return home.
Went to a club over the weekend, had so much fun and met a cute English boy who saved me from creepy men and danced with me all night long. Found out later his name is Mike and lives in Northern England so I’ll probably never see him again, so sad. The night went from great to awful as I stepped outside of the club in negative degree weather and got lost getting home. That night I honestly thought I was going to die and cried in the middle of the street because I was so cold. Needless to say, I will not be going out again until it gets warmer.
Over the weekend, I finally went to Harrods and decided that I’m moving my family to Kensington. It sounds fancy and it’s even better in person. All the high-end shops, restaurants, and museums are within walking distance from each other and Harrods is smack dab in the middle of it all. I thought it was just another high-end department store, but oh no, this place puts Niemen Marcus to shame.
Step into seven floors of designer heaven stretched over 4.5 acres, where you can buy everything from shoes to clothing to makeup and perfume, all by top name brands. They even sell children’s clothing (designer only, of course), evening gowns (I’m talking red carpet), costly housewares (as in £900 for a fancy bowl), and a whole floor devoted to fine food/wines! There’s also a Harrods gift shop, bookstore, furniture, home entertainment, bed & bath, and almost an entire floor appropriately titled “Toy Kingdom.” There are also an astounding 25 café’s and restaurants inside including Café Godiva, an ice cream parlor, a steakhouse, a sushi bar, and a pizzeria! We went to the famous tearoom and paid an outrageous amount of money for a pot of tea and a couple of scones… but I loved every second of it.
On Sunday, I felt super fabulous because I got to go to an International Fashion Show at the Saatchi Gallery in London called Scoop. It was awesome because I asked a lady at the tube how to get to the gallery and when she told me it was closed for a private event, I got to tell her that I had a VIP pass, BAM!
We arrived at the gallery and walked down a glamorous purple carpet, and once we entered the doors, I knew this was legit. Three floors of fashion and brand representatives treating you like royalty, hoping that you will buy into their brands and sell them in your store. My co-worker and I were at the event representing Henrietta Ludgate (my internship) and because she doesn’t sell other brands in her store, I was tempted to buy for myself! All the top brands were promoting their new collections at discounted prices up to 60% off… but I managed to retain my self-control and left with only the goodies they gave us. It was a fun experience and I got to learn how to approach and sell to customers, since I will be doing the same at London Fashion Week (which officially starts tomorrow by the way, I’m dying).
On Tuesday, I celebrated Valentine’s Day for the first time without a boyfriend (or my daddy) and it was actually one of the best. We went to the Haagen Dazs Café in Leicester Square and I had a Caramel Banana Crepe served with one scoop of Banoffee and one scoop of Dulce de Leche topped with sliced bananas, warm caramel drizzle and caramelized hazelnuts… I’m drooling just thinking about it.
My valentines and I then went to the Odeon movie theatre and saw The Artist, which is a silent movie set in the 1920’s. Everyone has been raving about this film and how great the little dog is, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was so fun and unlike the usual romantic love story. Go see it!
Booked a trip to Dublin last night for mid-March and currently counting down until my trip to Amsterdam after fashion week… can’t wait to start traveling! Keep you posted, I’ll try and take as many pictures as I can at Fashion Week, fingers crossed I can attend a couple fashion shows!