I’ll jump at any excuse to head back to London, and London Fashion Week is the perfect reason to go. There’s something about the flocks of fashionistas flooding the streets of London that creates such an atmosphere of excitement, with everyone there for this great spectacle of home-grown talent – which makes me feel rather patriotic. Like all fashion weeks, you can only make the most of it if you’re well prepared. I wasn’t able to make it this year, but to feel like I didn’t fully miss out I’ve pulled together my curated guide to London Fashion week (and where to get the best Insta snaps too, obvi!). PS. This piece was recently featured on The Newsette – make sure to subscribe to their newsletter for more features by me coming soon!
Plan Your Outfits
First things first, planning. In perhaps the most obvious sense this applies to your suitcase. September in London can be hit with pretty much any weather: there could be a wave of glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high 70’s, but it could just as likely be 50 degrees and pouring rain. So, my advice is to prepare for all possible weather, while still trying to be compact in your packing. For this, layers are your friend. While you’ll be needing your umbrella to protect your blowout, also pack some cute boots, as well as the open-toe Aquazzura sandals you just snapped up in the sale.
My Favorite Pitstops
Pit stops are an essential part of LFW and, for me, provide a wonderful chance to catch up with old friends and network with new business connections. My favorite spot for morning coffee has to be rose-sprinkled lattes at Farm Girl in Notting Hill – perfect for the ‘gram. Whilst you’re there, definitely take a wander through the famous Portobello Market and make sure not to miss Alice’s antiques store on Portobello Road. Westbourne Grove is beautiful and great for shopping: Melissa Odabash’s swimwear store is set in a stunning old church, stop at Aimé for French cotton nighties, Aesop for soap, and Smythson for thank you cards. The Oxfam thrift store there is arguably one of the best places in the city to find cheap vintage designer goods too, dropped off by all the wealthy, stylish locals!
A quick bus ride away (and that’s another tip – ride the red buses and sit upstairs for a tour of London’s pretty chimneys and rooftops!), it’s absolutely worth a visit to Covent Garden, and not only to snap a selfie in the disused red phone boxes that line those streets. The Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House makes for one of the most magical evenings, and a great retreat from the hectic goings on of fashion week. For last minute tickets, check out The Royal Opera House’s Friday Rush– it gives you the chance to purchase a pair of tickets for any of the following week’s sold-out performances each Friday at 1pm!
If you’re hunting for the best views in London, check out Madison’s roof-top bar and tapas, which is made even better by a beautiful view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Or, if you have friends in high places, it’s worth twisting someone’s arm to get yourself a reservation at the brand new Chess Club (designed by Fran Hickman and boasting real chess sets in their restaurant!). For major people-watching, Chiltern Firehouse, which is always filled with celebs thanks to its having the same owner as Chateau Marmont and has the most amazing decor (just be sure to book way in advance, and ask for a booth for the best vantage point). If you fancy a night on the town after dinner, my number one recommendation would be Loulou’s, made for drinking and dancing.
Know How To Get About
Traversing the streets of London can be a challenge even at the best of times, but when fashion week hits, it’s a whole new level of crazy. There are a couple things you need to make your commutes to and from shows as smooth as possible. Firstly, your contactless card – or even better, an oyster card – to speed up your travel time on the tube. Getting to The Strand in the morning, and leaving in the evening, can result in you unwillingly becoming part of a stampede for Temple tube station. But, if you pack some walking-friendly shoes, then you’d be better off heading to another nearby station and walking from there – I’d recommend Holborn, Waterloo (and walking over Waterloo Bridge), or Covent Garden (also bound to be busy, but going here will give you a great excuse to peruse the gorgeous shops!). Secondly, you’ll need a portable phone charger. Your phone is your travel partner: essential for maps, taxis, topping up your oyster card, and not to mention Instagramming! You are not going to be happy if it runs out of juice, so make sure to bring along a charging device to avoid such a disaster.