London Fashion Week 2019.2

It’s London, England, and for the second of this city’s two annual Fashion Weeks, we rejoin the glitz and glamour….in the midst of a traffic-choked pavement just across from Australia House, where passersby mingle with glamorous tryhard fashionistas and bloggers and youtube influencers, everyone has a camera, large trucks insistently indicate their intention to turn left at an intersection filled with models, and if you’re really (really) lucky, you might score a free fashion magazine or iced lolly to tide you over til next week when you can cancel the diet and fatten yourself for those long winter months.

Here’s how it went down, on the days I went. (Day 1- below) (Day 2- further below) (Day3 - Extinction Rebellion, even further below) (Day4 - rain but we persevere) (Day5 - right at the bottom, I had less than an hour before an appointment elsewhere)

DAY 1 : Friday, 13th September.

“Hey, nice to see you! We notice you’re wearing a grey hoodie and t-shirt. Please don’t pose with us”

“Hey, nice to see you! We notice you’re wearing a grey hoodie and t-shirt. Please don’t pose with us”

“This    IS    me smiling…. I    AM    happy to be here, okay? ”

“This IS me smiling…. I AM happy to be here, okay? ”

“Doesn’t ANYONE have a blog or Instagram? Damn… I’ll take Facebook if I have to, but not by choice”

“Doesn’t ANYONE have a blog or Instagram? Damn… I’ll take Facebook if I have to, but not by choice”

“You’re making a statement about something… but I’m not sure what it is. Do you have a pamphlet?”

“You’re making a statement about something… but I’m not sure what it is. Do you have a pamphlet?”

“All I really want to know is…are these Vegan balloons?”

“All I really want to know is…are these Vegan balloons?”

“Now what would possibly make you think any deal I propose isn’t entirely fair and balanced?”

“Now what would possibly make you think any deal I propose isn’t entirely fair and balanced?”

“Yeah, but deep down, does anyone REALLY know what Jay-walking is?”

“Yeah, but deep down, does anyone REALLY know what Jay-walking is?”

Somehow I managed an in-camera special effect shot it would probably cost millions to fake. I’m not quite sure how I did it, or whether I should take my camera in for a service or something…

Somehow I managed an in-camera special effect shot it would probably cost millions to fake. I’m not quite sure how I did it, or whether I should take my camera in for a service or something…

“I’m basically a belt away from perfecting this camouflage… and no I won’t pose for you”

“I’m basically a belt away from perfecting this camouflage… and no I won’t pose for you”

“We’re capturing this scene in at least 9 dimensions, so you might want to step back, like, at least six dimensions if you don’t want to be filmed.”

“We’re capturing this scene in at least 9 dimensions, so you might want to step back, like, at least six dimensions if you don’t want to be filmed.”

“Everyone I’m photographing looks so young…. I think this camera is broken.”

“Everyone I’m photographing looks so young…. I think this camera is broken.”

“Pout a bit more!” ”Look a bit more to your left!” ”Raise Your chin just a little!” ”Guys - is it possible we’re photographing a streetlight?”

“Pout a bit more!”
”Look a bit more to your left!”
”Raise Your chin just a little!”
”Guys - is it possible we’re photographing a streetlight?”

Good news : blank indifference is still the most appropriate attitude for London Fashion Week.

Good news : blank indifference is still the most appropriate attitude for London Fashion Week.

“Everyone out here is so… so… UGLY. How do I make them not be so ugly?”

“Everyone out here is so… so… UGLY. How do I make them not be so ugly?”

If you’re reading history books centuries from now, and photos from this time period don’t have all guys dressed like this, then I hate to break it to you but those books are fake. We all dress like this in 2019.

If you’re reading history books centuries from now, and photos from this time period don’t have all guys dressed like this, then I hate to break it to you but those books are fake. We all dress like this in 2019.

“It’s the earrings, right? Everyone’s been staring at them…”

“It’s the earrings, right? Everyone’s been staring at them…”

“I’m younger and prettier than you, and you’re getting older all the time. Please keep photographing me”  Damnit. Okay.

“I’m younger and prettier than you, and you’re getting older all the time. Please keep photographing me”
Damnit. Okay.

“She hasn’t moved for three hours, but we can all see her. So as a ninja I’m not sure she’s that effective…”

“She hasn’t moved for three hours, but we can all see her. So as a ninja I’m not sure she’s that effective…”

Real ninjas dress in black. Prettier ones don’t have to.

Real ninjas dress in black. Prettier ones don’t have to.

“Take one guess where my pocket-watch is….”

“Take one guess where my pocket-watch is….”

It looks fantastic, but sadly only when in full sunlight in a world that’s monochrome. Otherwise it looks okay.

It looks fantastic, but sadly only when in full sunlight in a world that’s monochrome. Otherwise it looks okay.

DAY 2 : Saturday, 14th September.

“Wait a minute, Helen, I think I’m about to be used in an impromptu Fashion Week photoshoot by a social influencer of some renown…. oh wait. Never mind. He’s shooting Pentax.”  Hey, I was shooting with DUAL Pentaxes at this one.

“Wait a minute, Helen, I think I’m about to be used in an impromptu Fashion Week photoshoot by a social influencer of some renown…. oh wait. Never mind. He’s shooting Pentax.”
Hey, I was shooting with DUAL Pentaxes at this one.

“Actually I’m quite relieved that those anti-fur protesters have never really had a problemw with feathers”

“Actually I’m quite relieved that those anti-fur protesters have never really had a problemw with feathers”

“Okay, make it look all of rehearsed, spontaneous, quirky, intelligent, calculated and instinctive” ”…..” ”Okay, and now point the camera the other way”

“Okay, make it look all of rehearsed, spontaneous, quirky, intelligent, calculated and instinctive”
”…..”
”Okay, and now point the camera the other way”

“And so, by reducing the amount of denim used in jeans by 30% as shown by these tears and rips, I think you’ll find it’s more environmentally friendly by at least that amount. And because it’s ‘Art’, you can charge four, maybe five time more. You’re welcome.”

“And so, by reducing the amount of denim used in jeans by 30% as shown by these tears and rips, I think you’ll find it’s more environmentally friendly by at least that amount. And because it’s ‘Art’, you can charge four, maybe five time more. You’re welcome.”

“An update on that Saudi oil sheikh who wanted to buy my cheekbones last year…. sadly that deal fell through so I’m stuck with them. For now.”

“An update on that Saudi oil sheikh who wanted to buy my cheekbones last year…. sadly that deal fell through so I’m stuck with them. For now.”

“The plants? They’re… um… totally for private medicinal use.”

“The plants? They’re… um… totally for private medicinal use.”

“You had SIX skittles for lunch?? Yeah… you hang your head in shame. You’re a disgrace”

“You had SIX skittles for lunch?? Yeah… you hang your head in shame. You’re a disgrace”

“And nobody’s photographing me? I’m out of buttons to unbutton, people!!”

“And nobody’s photographing me? I’m out of buttons to unbutton, people!!”

You’re right. These new Japanese backpack designs really are getting ridiculous.

You’re right. These new Japanese backpack designs really are getting ridiculous.

“You may properly address me as “Your Excellency”, “Your Honour”, or “Madam Chief Justice. ”  Middle Temple Hall is currently doing a 100 Years Of Women In Law exhibit, and it runs til January 2020. It’s totally worth checking out.

“You may properly address me as “Your Excellency”, “Your Honour”, or “Madam Chief Justice. ”
Middle Temple Hall is currently doing a 100 Years Of Women In Law exhibit, and it runs til January 2020.
It’s totally worth checking out.

“They guys back at the design studio are still working on integrating lights, music and lasers. Come back next Fashion Week and you’ll see how they went.”

“They guys back at the design studio are still working on integrating lights, music and lasers. Come back next Fashion Week and you’ll see how they went.”

“If your fashion blog doesn’t have 6-digit subscribers, I’m not even looking up”  Sure, my twitter followers may contain some Russian bots and a large percentage of passionate Indonesian political dissidents who have never commented on a single post I’ve made.. but each and every one of them is precious to me.

“If your fashion blog doesn’t have 6-digit subscribers, I’m not even looking up”
Sure, my twitter followers may contain some Russian bots and a large percentage of passionate Indonesian political dissidents who have never commented on a single post I’ve made.. but each and every one of them is precious to me.

“Justine? He never even stopped texting when I walked past. Am I losing my allure, or are the purple shoes just a little bit too much?”

“Justine? He never even stopped texting when I walked past. Am I losing my allure, or are the purple shoes just a little bit too much?”

“Okay, I’ve pulled the front doorbell, now hand over the pizza the guy didn’t order”

“Okay, I’ve pulled the front doorbell, now hand over the pizza the guy didn’t order”

“What do you mean you know I’m Bruce Wayne? HOW??”

“What do you mean you know I’m Bruce Wayne? HOW??”

“Okay, you’ve taken a photo of me. Can I get back to my Cabinet Meeting now?”

“Okay, you’ve taken a photo of me. Can I get back to my Cabinet Meeting now?”

“Hey, Buddy. My eyes are up HERE”  Right. Sorry.

“Hey, Buddy. My eyes are up HERE”
Right. Sorry.

“And you’re certain ‘Lithuanian Goatherder Style’ ISN’T in?” ”…..” ”Well, yeah, but if nobody else is wearing it, doesn’t that make me Cutting Edge??”

“And you’re certain ‘Lithuanian Goatherder Style’ ISN’T in?”
”…..”
”Well, yeah, but if nobody else is wearing it, doesn’t that make me Cutting Edge??”

“See You Tomorrow. Please.”

“See You Tomorrow. Please.”

DAY 3 : Sunday, 15th September.

“If you upload a photo of me using that monochrome filter, so help me I will    CUT    you Doreen”

“If you upload a photo of me using that monochrome filter, so help me I will CUT you Doreen”

“This isn’t fashion - these are my chore-clothes. And yes I need help carrying my shopping bags.”

“This isn’t fashion - these are my chore-clothes. And yes I need help carrying my shopping bags.”

Not-quite-so-candid-street-photography.

Not-quite-so-candid-street-photography.

“If I get hit by a car crossing this six lane road, I don’t care if it’s a bus… just tell them it was a Maserati”

“If I get hit by a car crossing this six lane road, I don’t care if it’s a bus… just tell them it was a Maserati”

“There, there. Not every hashtag is a winner…”

“There, there. Not every hashtag is a winner…”

“I defy you to say even one insulting thing about what I’m wearing”  Actually, I can’t. The earpiece of that man in the background is so off-putting it’s all I can think about.

“I defy you to say even one insulting thing about what I’m wearing”
Actually, I can’t. The earpiece of that man in the background is so off-putting it’s all I can think about.

“Of course I take my architecture photography seriously. And that doric column is totally flirting with me”

“Of course I take my architecture photography seriously. And that doric column is totally flirting with me”

“London cyclists are a total menace, and this jacket has multiple crumple zones for safety”  Frankly, I think London’s pedestrians should be given nail-studded baseball bats to deal with them.

“London cyclists are a total menace, and this jacket has multiple crumple zones for safety”
Frankly, I think London’s pedestrians should be given nail-studded baseball bats to deal with them.

“Grandma got distracted watching Murder, She Wrote and just kept knitting.”

“Grandma got distracted watching Murder, She Wrote and just kept knitting.”

Star Bursts at f22 are real, baby. (Is that sexy? Can it be sexy?)

Star Bursts at f22 are real, baby.
(Is that sexy? Can it be sexy?)

“Cows are colour-blind, so all your criticism is invalid ** ”   ** apparently red-green.

“Cows are colour-blind, so all your criticism is invalid ** ”

** apparently red-green.

“The ‘crop’ as you call it, is doing well, and will both feed a family of vegetarian mice AND keep them safe from the elements over winter.”

“The ‘crop’ as you call it, is doing well, and will both feed a family of vegetarian mice AND keep them safe from the elements over winter.”

“Yeah, could you turn left? I’ve got one of them fashion blogs and stuff.”

“Yeah, could you turn left? I’ve got one of them fashion blogs and stuff.”

“Any similarity between me and your grandmother might be worth investigating further…”  I’m not calling anything I see at London Fashion Week “suspicious”, but on the whole it can be more confrontingly terrifying than (say) London’s Frightfest.

“Any similarity between me and your grandmother might be worth investigating further…”
I’m not calling anything I see at London Fashion Week “suspicious”, but on the whole it can be more confrontingly terrifying than (say) London’s Frightfest.

“Get ready for a bit of surprise… though by the standards of the hairstyles of some of you, perhaps not so much…”  There are things under those dresses that might… erm… surprise you.

“Get ready for a bit of surprise… though by the standards of the hairstyles of some of you, perhaps not so much…” There are things under those dresses that might… erm… surprise you.

“Just take a photo, instagram it and read it later, grandpa”  Extinction Rebellion have struck LondonFashionWeek! Again! (I missed the first one)… and they did it without loud hailers, speakers playing the sounds of dying animals, or throwing paint at non-vegans. Nicely done.

“Just take a photo, instagram it and read it later, grandpa” Extinction Rebellion have struck LondonFashionWeek! Again! (I missed the first one)… and they did it without loud hailers, speakers playing the sounds of dying animals, or throwing paint at non-vegans. Nicely done.

“If you’ve captured our dance on video, feel free to mix in music of your choice. Also… how best to put this… the planet’s kind of at stake.”

“If you’ve captured our dance on video, feel free to mix in music of your choice. Also… how best to put this… the planet’s kind of at stake.”

“What do you mean “How’s The Gluten Harvest This Year?” How would I know??”

“What do you mean “How’s The Gluten Harvest This Year?” How would I know??”

“Ugh. Another f**king cynical London Fashion Week journal. So passe. So jejune.”

“Ugh. Another f**king cynical London Fashion Week journal. So passe. So jejune.”

“Frankly, the kind of people who would get annoyed at me wearing this on the bus are the kind of people whose fashion criticism I value least. Next question?”

“Frankly, the kind of people who would get annoyed at me wearing this on the bus are the kind of people whose fashion criticism I value least. Next question?”

“Stay away from them, Muffy. They’re not cool.”

“Stay away from them, Muffy. They’re not cool.”

“If you were trying to get a photo of that guy’s cool white soul patch, I can only apologise. But also, I think your camera has a preference that’s different to your own”

“If you were trying to get a photo of that guy’s cool white soul patch, I can only apologise. But also, I think your camera has a preference that’s different to your own”

“It’s totally out of control… this wearable tech is ridiculous”

“It’s totally out of control… this wearable tech is ridiculous”

Shoes.

Shoes.

Shoes ??

Shoes ??

Shoes!!

Shoes!!

…and socks !

…and socks !

I’m so glad that London Fashion Week is here to tell me these things.

I’m so glad that London Fashion Week is here to tell me these things.

“I've just joined an online chat group. There’s these two wieners standing outside London Fashion Week” ”They sound lame” ”Yeah… totally lame”

“I've just joined an online chat group. There’s these two wieners standing outside London Fashion Week”
”They sound lame”
”Yeah… totally lame”

“Hospital surgery theatres are far too unfashionable… I’m aiming to change that”

“Hospital surgery theatres are far too unfashionable… I’m aiming to change that”

Damnit… prior to today, that was exactly the tattoo I was thinking of getting.

Damnit… prior to today, that was exactly the tattoo I was thinking of getting.

“You can caption this photo however you want, but I assure you it still won’t go far enough”

“You can caption this photo however you want, but I assure you it still won’t go far enough”

I’ve looked at this photo for about 2mins, and not only do I wish I hadn’t, but I still have no idea what to write. But just in case you missed it, her ear is painted blue. Look again. It’s still blue.

I’ve looked at this photo for about 2mins, and not only do I wish I hadn’t, but I still have no idea what to write. But just in case you missed it, her ear is painted blue. Look again. It’s still blue.

DAY 4 : Monday, 16th September.

“But I can’t be BOTHERED to look like I can’t be bothered….”  It’s Day 4, and even the calculated insouciant boredom of the models is starting to show strain.

“But I can’t be BOTHERED to look like I can’t be bothered….”
It’s Day 4, and even the calculated insouciant boredom of the models is starting to show strain.

“Well obviously I don’t look anything like the photo ID of myself that I’ve got on me. Does he think I’d EVER wear the same thing twice??”

“Well obviously I don’t look anything like the photo ID of myself that I’ve got on me. Does he think I’d EVER wear the same thing twice??”

“Well, you make it obvious NOW that I should have made a hole in the lips of my shirt for it to vape though, but where we you yesterday? Oh, that’s right. Not cool enough to hang out with me and any of my cool friends.”

“Well, you make it obvious NOW that I should have made a hole in the lips of my shirt for it to vape though, but where we you yesterday? Oh, that’s right. Not cool enough to hang out with me and any of my cool friends.”

“Dear Mom. When I walked out, you shouted at me that Fashion Journalism would never help anyone. Well…. it’s keeping my dry, Mom. IT’S KEEPING ME DRY.”

“Dear Mom. When I walked out, you shouted at me that Fashion Journalism would never help anyone. Well…. it’s keeping my dry, Mom. IT’S KEEPING ME DRY.”

Parents with young children with good pattern recognition and puzzle solving skills might want to have them avert their eyes for this t-shirt. On the other hand, I think it might be one of those states in America?

Parents with young children with good pattern recognition and puzzle solving skills might want to have them avert their eyes for this t-shirt. On the other hand, I think it might be one of those states in America?

“The Hobbits have almost made it to Mt Doom, mistress….” ”Excellent”

“The Hobbits have almost made it to Mt Doom, mistress….”
”Excellent”

“Pretending your hand is missing isn’t going to get you hired as a minority, Janet” ”Okay, but what if I had a hook coming out of the hole in the jumper?” ”How will that help??” ”I could threaten people with violence to achieve my ends…”

“Pretending your hand is missing isn’t going to get you hired as a minority, Janet”
”Okay, but what if I had a hook coming out of the hole in the jumper?”
”How will that help??”
”I could threaten people with violence to achieve my ends…”

“What does a fashion icon have to do to get a whisky in this place?” ”…..” ”Okay, what about a sambuca?”

“What does a fashion icon have to do to get a whisky in this place?”
”…..”
”Okay, what about a sambuca?”

Responses from people to my claim of having a fashion blog range from the hopeful to the skeptical. It might be because I insist on wearing a grey hoodie when photographing people at London Fashion Week.

Responses from people to my claim of having a fashion blog range from the hopeful to the skeptical. It might be because I insist on wearing a grey hoodie when photographing people at London Fashion Week.

By the early 22rd Century, plants will reveal their sentience and employ people to carry them around. (At which point Brazilian loggers will just start setting fire to humans. Just… because)

By the early 22rd Century, plants will reveal their sentience and employ people to carry them around. (At which point Brazilian loggers will just start setting fire to humans. Just… because)

“I bet you want to ask what happened to the other earring.”  Me :  “What hap--?” ”It doesn’t matter”

“I bet you want to ask what happened to the other earring.”
Me : “What hap--?”
”It doesn’t matter”

“I think I smell smoke, and the scratching noises from the other side of this doorway I’m meant to be keeping clear are getting a lot more insistent” ”Oh, please, babes. This is ART. People will understand.”

“I think I smell smoke, and the scratching noises from the other side of this doorway I’m meant to be keeping clear are getting a lot more insistent”
”Oh, please, babes. This is ART. People will understand.”

“You’ve almost certainly called the wrong number, ma’am. But keep talking. I’m very interested in seeing where this conversation goes.”

“You’ve almost certainly called the wrong number, ma’am. But keep talking. I’m very interested in seeing where this conversation goes.”

“Gregor, far be it from me to question in what backwater rural village you learned about fashion or photography, or got your camera from…. but I’m looking stunning and he’s looking somewhat adequate, and what exactly are you pointing your camera at?”

“Gregor, far be it from me to question in what backwater rural village you learned about fashion or photography, or got your camera from…. but I’m looking stunning and he’s looking somewhat adequate, and what exactly are you pointing your camera at?”

I believe the approximate translation of this expression goes something like:  ”Thank you, however I do not believe that your fashion journal could be of any value to me, Good Sir”

I believe the approximate translation of this expression goes something like:
”Thank you, however I do not believe that your fashion journal could be of any value to me, Good Sir”

“No, we didn’t ask what it was for. We didn’t ask because whenever we do it takes two weeks to get a reply, and the reply is always “don’t ask”. “  (okay, I admit I didn’t make up that comment, it’s from the movie ‘Aliens(1986)’, but then I wasn’t responsible for this sculpture either.)

“No, we didn’t ask what it was for. We didn’t ask because whenever we do it takes two weeks to get a reply, and the reply is always “don’t ask”. “ (okay, I admit I didn’t make up that comment, it’s from the movie ‘Aliens(1986)’, but then I wasn’t responsible for this sculpture either.)

“It’s super-cute, and its loyalty is beyond reproach, but it does tend to get very jealous if you show affection to any other handbag you also own.”

“It’s super-cute, and its loyalty is beyond reproach, but it does tend to get very jealous if you show affection to any other handbag you also own.”

“There’s no use in being so upset, Frank. I won the bet, so I’m wearing the trousers.”

“There’s no use in being so upset, Frank. I won the bet, so I’m wearing the trousers.”

DAY 5 : Tuesday, 17th September.

“They’re three shoes wide but I still think they could be flared further….”  Time to shamble off to 180 The Strand, and the pavement outside BFC Showcase, one more time.

“They’re three shoes wide but I still think they could be flared further….”
Time to shamble off to 180 The Strand, and the pavement outside BFC Showcase, one more time.

“It’s inspired by the xenomorph egg from Alien!!”  Well, it’s certainly cheerful.

“It’s inspired by the xenomorph egg from Alien!!” Well, it’s certainly cheerful.

“My moustache keeps altering the camera settings… I don’t know what to do about it.” ”Shave the moustahce?” ”I’d sooner see you in hell, my friend”

“My moustache keeps altering the camera settings… I don’t know what to do about it.”
”Shave the moustahce?”
”I’d sooner see you in hell, my friend”

“He loves it when I take him for walks…. more so now that I’ve drilled air holes for him to breathe through”

“He loves it when I take him for walks…. more so now that I’ve drilled air holes for him to breathe through”

“A dozen of you guys are photographing me just rearranging my hair? Well… looking at all you I can see why this is your fantasy…. so I guess it’s okay”

“A dozen of you guys are photographing me just rearranging my hair? Well… looking at all you I can see why this is your fantasy…. so I guess it’s okay”

“You say the thing I’m leaning on was once useful as more than a public urinal? Tell me more, grandpa”

“You say the thing I’m leaning on was once useful as more than a public urinal? Tell me more, grandpa”

“If you were a true gentleman, pahdner, you’d wait til that yellow-top lady walked past so as not to overshadow the subtlety of my urban cowboy gear…”  - believe me, the footpath on the final day was massively overcrowded - not just with desperate wannabes wanting a final tidbit of fame to tide them over for the next six months, but also tourists, workers, mothers with prams and anyone else who sees a huge crowd blocking a footpath and thinks to themselves “I should totally walk through the middle of that”.

“If you were a true gentleman, pahdner, you’d wait til that yellow-top lady walked past so as not to overshadow the subtlety of my urban cowboy gear…” - believe me, the footpath on the final day was massively overcrowded - not just with desperate wannabes wanting a final tidbit of fame to tide them over for the next six months, but also tourists, workers, mothers with prams and anyone else who sees a huge crowd blocking a footpath and thinks to themselves “I should totally walk through the middle of that”.

“I’ve had six offers for my jacket, each more outlandishly generous than the last…. get my suitcase and drive it over here immediately!!”

“I’ve had six offers for my jacket, each more outlandishly generous than the last…. get my suitcase and drive it over here immediately!!”

This broadcast of My Favourite Military Despot was filmed in front of a live studio audience.

This broadcast of My Favourite Military Despot was filmed in front of a live studio audience.

“The Turin Hairstyle? I like it, I might steal it, and my associate Gustav has already beaten you to registering the trademark, copyright, and instagram handle.”  damnit I gotta stop putting my ideas on the internet.

“The Turin Hairstyle? I like it, I might steal it, and my associate Gustav has already beaten you to registering the trademark, copyright, and instagram handle.” damnit I gotta stop putting my ideas on the internet.

…. and remember, wherever you are, and whatever you do, every footpath is a catwalk, and every day is fashion week. Peace, out.

…. and remember, wherever you are, and whatever you do, every footpath is a catwalk, and every day is fashion week. Peace, out.


Well… that was quite a 5-day adventure, and after it I can only say I’m totally spent, with two weeks to go until London Film Festival, which will hopefully be part of a 14-consecutive-day adventure I can come out of the other side of with some of my sanity intact. (Here’s hoping!)

Until then…. *air kiss air kiss*

Previous Fashion Week Journals :

2010.1 ,2012.1 , 2013.1 , 2013.2 , 2014.1 , 2015.1 , 2016.1 , 2016.2 , 2017.1 , 2017.2 , 2018.1 , 2018.2 and 2019.1 .