OK, so maybe you didn’t even expect me to be at London Fahsion Week, or maybe you did, either way, you may have worked it out by now: I’m not there.
I’m actually at home in my pyjamas. I’m thinking about uploading some photos of my trip to Budapest with my boyfriend, I’m thinking about breakfast. I’m debating going for a swim and picking up some parcels from the post office. I’m wondering whether I’ll have time to play Theme Hospital or watch American Horror Story today. I’m not thinking about whether or not I’m missing out on the greatest fashion event this spring, I’m not worried that everyone is having more fun than me, and I’m certainly not jealous of all the fashion-obsessed babes currently wondering if they’ve got hypothermia and if their blistered feet will always hurt this much.
Because fashion week isn’t all fun and glamour and OMG I’M AT LONDON FASHION WEEK NOW I’VE MADE IT IN LIFE.
I remember when I thought that. I remember when I thought all my 22nd birthday dreams had come true when I was asked to work for free, covering some of the shows my ‘editor’ couldn’t get to. I remember dolling myself up and dragging my laptop into town to cover pretty shit catwalks for 5 days straight. I’d include highlights from those 5 days as the McDonald’s I ate for lunch on day two, and the 10pm bath and Deep Heat session I’d have every evening. I’d queue an hour for a show, watch said 7 minute show from the back somewhere and then run to anywhere with WIFI to write it up. I didn’t have a car. I didn’t have a throng of mates to take my photos for me and to lunch with me and party with me.
Sure, there are highlights. Free blowdries and hair cuts thanks to Toni & Guy, a lot of low cal snacks – probably popcorn, and a few mediocre freebies. Maybe a sample size moisturiser that smells like vinegar from a brand you’ve never heard of, if you’re lucky. Oh, and there’s always a healthy flow of Prosecco to help take the edge off.
London Fashion Week, heck, fashion month, have become the all-time most important thing to Instagram. Shit, she’s at fashion week? She must mean something. Her life must be more glamorous than mine. She must be more successful than me. She must be better at life than me. I hate me.
Pretty much anyone can pull on a pair of heels and a bright lipstick and pose sassily on the cobbles at Somerset House and use the #LFW hashtag. It doesn’t mean shit.
OK, so here’s one of the big reasons I’m not at London Fasion Week, aside from the aching body and blistered feet and cold and tiredness – I don’t actually CARE all that much about high fashion. Nope. Sure, I’d like to wear a Marchesa dress and own an Anya Hindmarch bag as much as the next girl, and YES I want to sit FROW at the Burberry show next to Anna Wintour and one of the Beckham boys (surely Brooklyn will be there within a few seasons, right?), but I don’t care abough high end fashion because I don’t get to wear it. I want to know what’s going to be in Primark next month, which sandals New Look will be stocking before my next holiday – not which outfits *might* inspire them.
The other biggie is that, as much as I could get press accreditation and request tickets to all the shows, I’d probably only get a handful and to designers I’ve never even heard of, let alone be able to pronounce. I don’t want to see them, I’m being honest. It’s the high street that has my heart and my excitement.
The truth is, I’m not a big enough blogger to get invited to fashion week through a brand, the way a lot of the girls coming up on my Instagram feed are, and that’s fine. Maybe it’s something to aspire to, maybe it’s something that sounds better on paper than it is in real life, either way, this is me admitting to you all that I wasn’t really invited to fashion week. Not in the way that would have convinced me to go, anyway. As I’ve already mentioned, anyone can go and just hang out and take photos of themselves – but CBA.
I loved this post from Lily Melrose, where she explained that she wouldn’t be going either – that the whole blogger scene at LFW is about bragging and blagging, and it’s too much. She then tweeted a pic of her downloading Sims 4 and I thought, YES LILY, SO MUCH YES.
I suffer from the worst FOMO and social-media envy and comparisson as it is, so why would I make that worse for myself by putting myself in the thick of it? Why would I go and make myself feel like I’m not a success just because I didn’t get accepted for a particular show? Didn’t get gifted by a particular brand? I wouldn’t, I’d rather be at home with my boyfriend and cat, actually living the dream. Not just living the Instagram dream.
I think one of the weirdest parts of the transition from journalist to blogger has actually been the blagging element. I’ve never been much of a blagger. When I was Digital Content Editor I once asked MAC for a replacement lipstick after the one they originally sent me got lost in Mykonos, but I think that’s about it. I’d rather be gracious than have a load of free material posessions.
I don’t think I could ever bring myself to email a brand and say ‘Hey you guys, I’m Hannah, I run a blog – can I have this coat please? xxxxx’. In fact, even just typing that made me feel a bit like my red cherry wheats might move back into my throat (ate them whilst typing this, obvs). Blagging is rife in the bloggersphere, and even some PRs have said I should be emailing other brands I’d like to work with and asking for things because, put simply, I can.
I get the whole ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ thing – hence how I managed to pester Chris into being my boyfriend (not a joke), but in the work place? Nah, it’s not for me.
The way I see it, I didn’t ask for promotions at LOOK, I didn’t beg Metro for a job and I didn’t email people and ask them to read my blog – when you work hard things will come to you. So yeah, that’s what I’m sticking with. I don’t ever want to be the girl who took more than she was entitled to.
If brands want to send me things or invite me to go to fashion week with them or put me up in hotels during fashion week and offer me free cars, then sure, that’s great and I’d be beyond grateful. But until then, I’m not going to brood over it, and I’m not going to travel into London with the sole hope of being snapped by street style photographers and you know why? Because it doesn’t make me happy.
Oh and it’s cold and I’d only spend the entire time feeling awkward and refreshing Twitter every 17 seconds in the hope of looking busy.
And I’m too old and too wise (no, but seriously) to do anything that doesn’t make me happy.