London: crowded public transport, inflated price tags and the grey, polluted sky that looms over the city. A place I always knew I would have to move to but not necessarily find suitable. I would have to swap the comfort of my quaint home-town to the daunting fashion capital where all my career aspirations would come true – questionable.
Irrational fears have a tendency to consume me from time to time and the worries I held about the ‘big smoke’ were second to none. So when I was forced to face them whilst enduring my first ever experience working within the fashion industry, I was killing two birds with one stone.
Simply questioning the opportunity to work with Fashion Scout at London Fashion Week was not an option, so my absurd fear of pigeons and the tube escalators had to be confronted. To eliminate any additional stress, I researched the difference in using an oyster card opposed to a contactless one and carefully planned all my routes. It was the 15th February and I boarded my train with my folder, planner, and schedule in hand, on my way to the city. This was all I had been thinking, dreaming and panicking about for days, and now I was actually here. Waterloo train station is definitely number one of my list of most stressful places ever, nonetheless, with the indispensable Google Maps, I managed to find my way onto a bus and on my way to the ironically “budget” Travelodge hotel.
I had only ever visited the congested, tourist parts of London, yet I found myself on my first morning of my London commute walking through Kings Cross in awe of how docile the streets were. I got the underground, hoping the person in front of me is going the same route. I followed the crowd, noting the signs and hopped on my tube and off to Holborn I was. Of course, I had my headphones in and stood looking slightly moody and half asleep as to fit in with the rest my fellow commuters. I rushed off the train, ensuring not to slow down and to stay in this ‘girl means business’ persona, I found I actually quite liked.
But first a quick detour, it was time for some serious fuel as my student self was definitely not prepared for the 7am wake-up, Starbucks it was. Once I arrived in the beautiful Freemason’s Hall, I saw groups of people all busy getting their equipment out and ready. An array of Mac Books, lenses, notepads and memory sticks filled the media room as we got stuck into the first day of fashion week.
Friday and Saturday were by far the busiest days with full-packed schedules and back-to-back shows, but being thrown in at the deep end is always a positive aspect for someone like me, that needs a shove rather than a push when facing new experiences.
I was immersed in what became like a routine.
Hurrying to get the right room for the upcoming show, arriving 15 early to get a good place, waiting an additional 15 minutes as the show is running late, being in awe of absolutely everything about the show but remembering to make concise notes, taking a few quick videos for reference, then rushing back down the gorgeous, jade-green marble staircase to the media base to start reliving the show and typing it up. As I recollected the assortment of colours, fabrics, embroidery work and more, the words flowed as I thought hard about the concepts behind the collection.
Being able to experience a show first-hand, a showcase of imagination and hard work to then recreate it for others to read was the most unbelievable experience and I am so glad I smashed my city stigmas – even if I still can’t walk down the road without making 180 to avoid a pigeon.