This is not my first London Fashion Week (LFW) but it is my first time experiencing it from backstage. For this, I thank my photographer friend Nick Andrews. https://www.instagram.com/lensaction/
I was assisting Nick while trying not to get too distracted by what was happening around. It is a known fact that every fashion show backstage is frantic, loud and crazy. Makeup artists, hairdressers, manicure, and pedicure staff, stage managers, designers, people from the label, videographers and photographers. More than two hundred people confined in one space. Backstage gives me so much adrenaline, especially when every now and then you get that voice ’55 minutes to showtime’. Maaaaaaaa! (Maltese for ‘mum’.)Can anyone back home explain why we call our mothers in moments like these? Maybe it was born in Italy – Mamma Mia. And then Abba took it!! But hey can you imagine Naomi Campbell calling her mother before a show?
The real stars of the show are the clothes but clothes need their accessories – MODELS. Black, white, Asian, tall, not so tall, beautiful, quirky, skinny. All ready and in top form to strut the catwalk. Nick really knows how to capture a moment and looking at him snapping away made me think what must be going through a photographer’s head in moments like these. In this particular job, Nick was taking pictures for TopShop Elite Instagram. It was very hectic: take pictures, run to the desk, download them, choose them, edit and upload on Instagram. You really have to check out right down here what Nick captured at the Topshop Elite Show.
An hour before the show it is time for a quick rehearsal. Each runway is different and designers and show producers opt to make the models walk according to what works best for that space and for the audience to appreciate the garments. Stage Manager calls out the girls in the order they should go out during the show and for the finale. When you are surrounded by forty seventeen to twenty-two-year-old girls, this can be quite a tough job.
Erdem’s show was at a space which, many years ago, used to be Selfridges Hotel. It is in fact located inside Selfridges on Oxford Street. The catwalk was never ending but the way they managed to transform this space was genius.
Celeb models were also in town – Gigi & Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Stella Maxwell and Adwoa Aboah. I spotted the latter in Versus, TopShop Elite, Pringle of Scotland and Erdem.
STALLONE’S DAUGTHER AND WILL I.AM
When a Fashion Week is a proper Fashion Week get ready to brush with celebrities from every corner of the industry. I never knew Sylvester Stallone has a daughter. Her name is Sistine and she is no work of art. She is petite, skinny and shy. She is not ugly but she is not beautiful. Once on the runway, she looked good, however, her walk was a bit ROCKY! Confession Time – When I met her backstage I did hope that her walk would be a bit shaky, so I could use the ‘rocky’ pun on my blog.
The guests and VIPs start to arrive. The buzz increases and so does Security. Due to the nature of the job I had a wristband that pretty much got me everywhere. Will I.AM, (together with Sofia Richie, Erin O’Connor, and Pixie Geldof), makes his entrance donning a very sombre look – dark Topman pants, dark hat, Topshop gray jacket and a black hoodie veil. He was very chatty, and left his diva persona at home. Thank you, Willy for your VOICE.
In the meantime bloggers, fashionistas, wannabes, and friends of friends continued to arrive. This particular show was held inside The Tanks at Tate Modern Modern Gallery. This space has been running since 2005 and has helped to launch the careers of some of London’s most iconic design talent. I was fascinated by the location scouting. They have the incredible ability to make every space look hip, cool and swanky.
FACTS AND FIGURES (size 4 please)
£28billion direct contribution to the UK economy (GDP) from the UK fashion industry, up from £26billion in 2013 (Oxford Economics, 2014)
880,000 jobs supported by the UK fashion industry, up from 797,000 in 2013 (Oxford Economics, 2014)
32,000 miles driven between shows by a luxurious fleet of fuel efficient chauffeured Mercedes-Benz cars
20,000 espressos served and 200kg of Lavazza coffee beans roasted on site
8,500 official tote bags given away on-site at The Store Studios and Sunglass Hut stores
5,000 serves of Scavi & Ray Prosecco consumed by guests at The Store Studios.
Watch out for my next blog about few interesting stuff including my latest discovery ‘All you can eat Data’. Coming soon.