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London Fashion Week - Are You Cool Enough?

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JAMEELA JAMIL
PA

It's London Fashion Week - #LFW is trending on twitter, the BBC are pretending to have a clue what 'on the bias' means, everyone who's anyone is in the front row of something or other and I'm at home listening to Radio 4.

There used to be a time when London Fashion Week left me with cirrhosis, bunions and a bedroom full of half eaten canapés, scented candles and half inched décor from the copious parties, after parties, launch parties and wrap party parties. Not to mention the hours spent in the back of a cab in silly clothes rushing to watch thin people walk in a straight line in drafty warehouses.

This year not one email, invite or even tweet has had my name on it. It seems I am out of fashion, unfashionable, passé - but when was I was ever in fashion - or what Vogue would call 'en vogue'?

As a fat gay bloke who wears ladies clothes I guess London Fashion Week isn't supposed to be for me - none of the clobber fits me, none of the designers will allow me to wear it and none of the PR's want my optimism for 'trend' on the front row but even so... am I missing out?

Why have I been left off the lists this season? Although I don't think many who turn up to LFW are on the list - it's a lot of 'don't you know who I am?' and pretense in patent leather shoes. I'm also not one for blagging my way in and lording it up, I'm a bit old fashioned and expect an invite if I'm invited.

This week I received a one line email from someone at Dazed Digital. "Are you doing LFW this year?" I replied, "I think I am too silly for them". He responded with, "They do take it all rather seriously".

A few seasons ago I was told of a few chubby gays who painted their faces pretending to be me and 'my assistant' to get into shows - this year they'll be lucky to get into China White.

Does a Mulberry handbag full of invites equate to success or does it just mean you're happy to turn up to the opening of an envelope? Although I'd like to think it is the latter, sadly I think popularity in fashion circles is reflected by how many LFW happenings you are invited to. This is a sorry state of affairs but fashion has never pretended to be inclusive; in fact it's possibly the only industry that celebrates its elitism.

I am aware this is my bruised ego talking and if I'm honest I'm a little disappointed I'm not as popular with people in over-priced sunglasses as I seemingly once was. This might look like I've got my knickers in a twist because I haven't been invited to a party - which is only half true - but there is a bigger question to ask here about popularity and the playground politic of wanting to fit in.

I suspect I'm no longer 'cool' - a word which in fashion terms is shorthand for young and possibly interesting. I'm 27 years old and no longer are Dazed & Confused able to flog me as 'up and coming'. Nowadays I roll about stages and talk about gender, naffness and class - I am uncool.

What is it that attracts us to the utopia of cool-ism? Are we genuinely excited by new ideas or is this yet another way of expressing our fascination with youth and being young. When I was a kid the gay looking one from Saved By The Bell was the epitome of cool, it seems that now cool is self-aware, cocksure, lives in E2 and smells of mephedrone.

If being out of fashion means you get to stay in your pyjamas, eat biscuits and watch the telly then I'm quite happy to remain that way. This season I'm retiring from fashion, even though I don't think I was ever in.

Around the Web

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London Fashion Week (Vogue.com UK)

London Fashion Week - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

London fashion week: day three - in pictures | Fashion | guardian.co.uk

London fashion week | Fashion | The Guardian