London Fashion Week style: outside and inside
Backstage and on the streets at fashion shows in London.
London is probably the hardest fashion week to define. I love it; I loved the old Somerset House days before Instagram cannibalized the experience, before influencers and editors came to shows bearing the creator’s marks, when you could walk around this place and stumble upon amazing people standing there, chatting, sipping coffee.
At the time, I could simply request access from a creator’s publicist. It was amazing how many of them said yes. They didn’t pay me, but I didn’t work for them, nor did I have to share my images with them.
If they had space and they liked my work, I was allowed to go backstage, where the filming is completely different from what it is on the street. Space is tight, there are far too many people, and there is an excruciatingly small window in which images can be collected.
This season, in New York and London, I have seen several shows where all the actors are black models. It’s long overdue, and I hope it’s not just a fad, as is often the case with runway casting.
In the end, I realized that I missed the change of pace, oscillating between the street and the shows. Being able to experience all aspects of events helps to better focus London’s identity. It may be smaller than it was before the pandemic, but there are still plenty of people involved.
In a way, it’s odd to think that London is the smallest of the big fashion weeks. It’s always at its best when it’s not trying to directly compete with its bigger siblings, but instead adopts a quasi-punk attitude that tolerates interesting characters and a bit of dynamism.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 18