Monday, 28 September 2015

London Fashion Week: My Role on the BFC information Desk

During London Fashion Week, I went back to the British Fashion Council to help out as part of their temporary team of interns. The role of the interns varies from staffing the showrooms to tweeting catwalk show starts. As I had been working for the company for the year and already knew how things worked, I was based away from the other girls inside the showrooms and was located across the road at The "Lights of Soho" - Usually a private members club, the BFC took over the art gallery for the week and this was where the registration for Press and Buyers took place as well as any information for sponsors and then the BFC information desk which is what I worked on.

It was an amazing few days and it was great to be part of the interns rather than the one running around like a crazy person making sure everything was going smoothly. In previous seasons, when fashion week had been located at Somerset House, the information desk would deal with both public enquiries to designer information and problem solving, but as Brewer Street Carpark is a completely different layout, the public can't get in unless they are an accredited Press or Buyer. This meant that the BFC needed someone to be able to answer any of the questions outside of the main venue. 

My average day would mainly consist of dealing with Press and Buyers who wanted to register to enter the building - this would be handled by a team of staff sat to the side of me who followed a strict criteria to make sure not just anybody was entering the building. However, as you can imagine with the new venue, there were a thousand more questions that would come my way. For this blog post, I thought I would give you a little insight into this season's London Fashion Week including some information you may not know about the event and what goes on behind the doors of Brewer Street. 

1. The Designer Showrooms.
A lot of people think of London Fashion Week and think only of the catwalk shows - this is literally only part of the event. During this season, the whole 2nd floor of Brewer Street Park was transformed by 'David Collins Studio' into a huge designer trade event with around 160 designers. From Accessories to Ready-to-Wear, the room was filled with colour and amazing creations. The showrooms also included a couple of designers collections fresh from the runway, including designers such as Jean-Pierre Braganza and Holly Fulton. Check out who showcased this season here

2. Golden Square.
As many of you may remember, at Somerset House the courtyard would fill with bloggers and street stylers. As Soho hasn't got the same space, the BFC created an area at Golden Square. This was a great space for the public which included a huge screen with a live feed from all shows on the official LFW schedule. It also had an official Sunglass Hut Photo Booth as well as free popcorn and a HIX restaurant stall selling Fish dogs - yes thats right, hot dogs - but fish!

3. NEWGEN.
If you don't already know about NEWGEN sponsored by Topshop, then you are missing out. NEWGEN is an initiative that the BFC run to support emerging designers. A huge number of designers will apply twice yearly and their designs will be shown in front of a panel of huge industry members; last season this included Sarah Mower and Caroline Rush. The designers will go through a few stages of application, which will then lead the panel to make a decision on 10 designers who will then win the support of the BFC which includes a catwalk show, presentation or installation during LFW. Designers that have graduated from this scheme have included Sophia Webster, J.W. Anderson, Matthew Williamson and GILES - some really big names!!! More information on NEWGEN can be found here.

4. Invite only. 
This was such a common question for me - Where is the (***) show going to be at?? London Fashion Week is a trade event only, the public, unless lucky enough to be invited, can't get in or attend shows. As well as this, unless you are working for the BFC or are one of the designers, you won't be able to find out where the show is taking place either. To get access to the showrooms you need to be an accredited member of the Press or a Buyer and even then, this does not give you access to the catwalk shows. The catwalk shows are invite only by the designer and PR teams, this means if you get the opportunity to go to a show or visit any event at LFW, you are so lucky! The number of people who will come in asking to pay for access or begging their way in is unreal, but it just doesn't work like that. The BFC have created an event for the public - London Fashion Weekend, and although this isn't at the same venue, it includes a huge number of the same designers and catwalk shows from LFW - plus from one huge bonus - you can actually buy the clothes!

5. Open House Events
The Open house events happen inside the Designer showrooms once daily. This season it was always 5-7pm. This is just an event to make the showrooms a little bit more exciting for a few hours - the BFC crank up the music with a DJ, bring out the Scavi and Ray and make it a fun environment for the Press and Buyers attending the showrooms. Each night focusses on a different part of the showrooms - this season it included: NEWGEN hosted by Sarah Mower, Rock Vault hosted by Stephen Webster, Headonism hosted by Piers Atkinson and Noel Stewart and then an full showroom open house hosted by WeAr Magazine.


So, this was just a brief sneak peak into London Fashion Week from where I stood. I will be creating a few more posts during the next few weeks about other exciting bits I got up to, including getting to see two amazing shows - Sibling and Issa. Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

 If you have any questions, please do leave comments! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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