There is a lot more to fashion week than just the catwalks; street style, galleries, and after parties (I'll blame being heels all day for not going to after parties, not that I wasn't on Alexander Wang's guest list or anything...). If you can't make it into all the shows then there is still a lot of experience to be had. Walk around in Soho and your on a pavement catwalk. Or, going to some of the limited time exhibits available, like LVSeries3. These were my big two and it was an eyeopening experience.
Soho street style
If you really only creep ‘fashion week street style’ on instagram and vogue, as I did before attending my first fashion week, you might have a bit of a skewed idea of how street style works, as I did as well. I do still believe that London has some of the best street style in the world just on an everyday basis, I literally feel I have to step up my game even if I’m just running to Starbucks, however if you want to be spotted for your street style during London fashion week there is a place to go, and that was the new hub of the week, the car garage in Soho.
The street outside of the garage was blocked off for all the show goers and ‘street-style walkers’ (as I’m now calling them), and all of the other people just watching the ordeal. The people who were there to get their photo taken were dressed spectacularly; there is no doubt in that. However, I stood there for about an hour and was fascinated, while not knowing if I was really enjoying what I was watching. If you were a ‘street-style walker’ you would come in you most fire fit and stand on the street. Fellow ‘street style walkers’ would take your photo vice versa. And while this was all good fun, and I don’t mean to put down any one who participates in it, from someone still outside the fashion week world I couldn’t help felling a little betrayed. Yes these outfits were on the street, i.e. were street style, but they were worn not by choice and passion but more to be photographed. I think in London of all places street style should come from ordinary people, who dress for themselves because they really do enjoying waking up that little bit early in order to try on ten different outfits before they get it just right. I know that for myself getting ready is sometimes more fun than going out. I may be getting street style all wrong, and I hope to learn more about it quickly, but I think that if you really want to see true street style around fashion week time you’ll find in coffee shops and from those who still have to take the tube to get between shows.
Louis Vuitton Series 3 EXHIBITION
Louis Vuitton is luxury, and the highest level of it. The brand has managed to be a household name without dimensioning its creativity and demanding standards of perfection. It is easy when we see LV bags on the street, with their signature fabric, to remember that their designs are continuously evolving. The Series 3 exhibition reminded the viewer of the evolution, and of why the brand is still one of the top in the world.
The exhibit has been widely advertised in London, in tube stations, on buses, on billboards. With this mass advertising what amazed me and impressed me most was that the exhibit was free to the public. Yes you could pay for a private tour and there was a café inside, which I specifically went back a second time just to go to because the first time I went it was closed for a private party. For the most part though, this exhibit was for the viewer to experience and understand the behind the scenes of the brand, and not to simply turn out a profit. Which is extremely refreshing!
By walking through the Strand street doors you are entering the workings of the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2015 collection. From the building the show was held at, to the catwalk, to the making of the bags, and back to the classic LV pieces that are the backbone of all collection. The artisan is a major concentration in the exhibit. With three separate rooms dedicated to watching the handwork that goes into making the clothes, bags, and a single shoe. This focus causes the viewer, at least it did for me, to appreciate the efforts that go into these luxury goods. I myself don’t quite have the budget to buy LV luggage the way I would shop at Primark, so it is good to physically see just what makes the difference in a designer label. When you watch a women, who will take 30 hours to finish, hammer in the leather than it takes the product to the next level of appreciation.
There is also a lot of fun! With interactive working tables and walk in closet, which before entering the guild I was ease dropping in on described as “every girls dream room”, there is plenty of time to experience the joy of the collection. It closes on the 18th so if you are around London be sure to make the stop, it is even doable in a lunch break, and take a free poster on your way. See you LV at Series 4, maybe next time I could be sent and invite.