Talk and Tea

A First-Timer’s Guide to London Fashion Week

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As one of the fashion world’s ‘big four’ annual events, London Fashion Week is a high-profile hub of the press, buyers, and bloggers, all jostling for the best seats and top scoops of the five-day fashion fiesta. However, for us mere mortals, there are still plenty of fashionable frolics worth lapping up in London this February. With 60 catwalk shows on the official schedule, there’s just as much action going on away from the agenda, with 45 off-schedule shows and presentations.

Ready-to-wear clothes and accessories are showcased at the Exhibition running in tandem with the catwalk shows, whilst the capital gets whipped into a fashion frenzy of famous brands hosting their own off-site events during the week. Strut your stuff Coco Chanel once said: “A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.”10-inch stiletto boots, Pacman space helmets and Wizard of Oz-inspired witches caps might have them coming on the runway, but ultimately brands and designers need to buy in from you.

London Fashion Week

 Fashion photographers are just as interested nowadays in street style as outrageous outfits and competition for attention is fierce. Head into the heart of London Fashion Week at Somerset House and strut the best of your stand-out street style. If you’re more of a sideline spotter than a fiery fashionista, it’s still worth a visit for potential star sightings and premium people watching opportunities alone.

Where: Somerset House, South Building, Strand, and WC2R 1LAWhat: The British Fashion Council’s Courtyard Show Space with a series of a catwalk and exhibition shows by top designers and fashion houses. When: Friday 15 February – Tuesday 19 February 2013Nearest station: Charring Cross Unleash your inner art critic London Fashion week is about much more than just supermodel spotting and catwalk modeling. Cultural hubs all over the city are embracing the buzz of fashion week.

 Check out a new fashion frontier at the unique Topshop Show Space at the Tanks in the Tate Modern, around 800 meters from Blackfriars train station. Alternatively, official London Fashion Week Lingerie supplier, Triumph, is holding an exhibition entitled ’1886 by Triumph’ at the new Mayson Triumph.

A host of historical lingerie lines from the 1800′s to the present day will be on display, whilst exclusive shopping opportunities, talks from a host of industry professionals and even cover shoot photography sessions are available to the public, free of charge.

 Where: Mayson Triumph, 71 Monmouth St, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DGWhat: A flurry of freebies, art and invaluable advice from fashion and beauty industry professionals When: Friday 15 February – Tuesday 19 February 2013Nearest station: Covent Garden Get a slice of the action is watching from the fashion fringes not enough? Well, the good news is you can now rub shoulder pads with the fashion set at the London Fashion Weekend, whilst checking out the newest up and coming designer looks, hot off the catwalk.

Packed full of big names and emerging design talent, the London Fashion Weekend is a must-attend event for any aspiring trendsetter. Experience fashion on the runway, shop for one-off designer pieces and bag yourself an exclusive tote from British designer Radley. You might even end up on camera, being interviewed by TV presenters and fashion writers. Where: Somerset House, South Building, Strand, London, WC2R 1LAWhat: London Fashion Weekend When: Thursday 21 February – Sunday 24 February 2013Nearest tube station: Charring Cross Shop till you drop The spirit of London Fashion week spreads throughout the capital, with special events and displays appearing all over the city.

Forest Hill is hosting its own pop-up fashion week, whilst creative pop-ups such as the Swatch project store on Oxford Street will be showcasing spring/summer collections and hosting a variety of live art projects from 15 February. For a must-have slice of the London look, don’t miss the Cambridge Satchel Company pop-up shop at Seven Dials, Covent Garden.

Fashion editors and celebs love these customizable bags and the company has collaborated with fashion stars including Come des Garcons. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, check out Google’s inspiring summary of owner Julie Deane’s meteoric rise to fashion fame.

 Where: Keep your eyes peeled what: Pop-up perfection when: Ongoing Nearest tube station: Get lost exploring lovely London. Grab your designer gear, book some cheap train tickets, get yourself to London and fake it ’till you make it… What’s your favorite thing about London Fashion Week? Featured images: Anna McKay is a fashion blogger, journalist and a freelance writer living in London.

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