Rose-tinted vision, a gathering of trampolining nerves, veins rushing with a tide of excitement and anticipation; that was me, this time last year.
My very first Fashion Week. My very first fashion 'anything' really. I'd always been interested in clothes, but had never considered myself worthy of the world of fashion and yet, there I was, taking in the opulence of Somerset House, presenting my 'Press' Exhibition Pass and posing for photographers alongside London's most fashionable journalists and bloggers.
Then of course there's the write-ups and editing, image correcting and formatting and an inelegant frenzy to upload each post for the masses to devour, for it would be a considerable faux pas if it isn't online right away! Okay, so maybe I did (very) slightly hyperbolise the process, but you would be very wrong to assume that fashion writing/blogging is a doddle. It is not. Especially if you're also a wearer of heels - you know the ones, the particularly severe looking ones, those that, spines everywhere fear and curse.
Being a non-bourgeoisie writer of fashion, I do not (and cannot) wear heels to Fashion Week, which means I appear exceedingly passé - especially as my wardrobe is neither en vogue nor valuable. In fact, I could count all the new clothes I've bought in the past three years (not including underwear) on one hand.
Which is just one of the reasons my relationship with fashion is in a tricky place right now. It's like having a boyfriend you adore; constantly in awe of him, making sure you are always listening to him and raging about his qualities to all who can hear. And yet, after striving tirelessly for his affection, he gives you nothing in return and in some cases, fails to even acknowledge you. When you're living to pay your rent and bills and when even taking public transport feels like a luxury, fashion becomes a fantastical commodity, intangible and insignificant. Which is why this, my third London Fashion Week is feeling a little, like a chore and a lot masochistic.
Still, I daresay it will be anything but a mediocre event. At the very least, I expect a collection, a dress or motif to inspire me to write colourful, passionate and articulate prose.
If you are a Fashion Week fresher this season, you may find the pointers below useful.
Akeela's London Fashion Week Checklist
1. Apply for show invites at least two weeks prior to the event. When requesting invites, make sure you address it to the appropriate PR representative - if you don't have a name, research it. Make sure the email contains links of any recent fashion articles you have written. Do not forget to include your address!
2. Get yourself a wall planner to help you organise your itinerary for the week. You may have invites to shows that overlap or shows that are in succession, but at different locations. Studying the details will help you make the most of event.
3. Make sure you have business cards! If there's no time to order some, you can make them at home (it's what I did at my first London Fashion Week).
4. Network! Make use of those business cards; talk to people - make them remember you!
5. Choose your outfits for the week prior to it commencing - believe me, it will save you valuable time!
6. You will be standing/walking a lot during the day - wear comfortable shoes. You'll be glad you did.
7. Necessary items: Notebook, pens and pencil. A fully charged camera (and memory card!) and social media-capable device.
8. Food! Make sure you eat breakfast - you'll thank yourself later. Starving yourself is not fashionable. Also, take snacks and a bottle of water and painkillers.
9. Top up your Oyster card. You may have to rush to get to shows at different locations. Having credit on your Oyster card will help you get there faster.
10.Enjoy the experience!
Follow Akeela Bhattay on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ActuallyAkeela