Why I packed my gym kit, I have no idea! I seemed to have romantic plans of escaping the melee for a peaceful run around the city every day. After just completing day one - with blisters on my sparkly feet (yes I wore my beloved new Gucci glitter boots) - and falling gratefully into my bed, I could reflect that I was being just a little optimistic.
I love Fashion Week! Wherever you are, but particularly London, the City just transforms into a riot of colour and energy. It fizzes with glamorous PRs, fashion-loving Celebrities and Paparazzi. There is a veritable sea of sunglasses no matter the weather, (indoors and out) and eye-catching street style. I swear that people who normally live in plain clothes spend months planning the most outlandish but wonderful outfits, then emerge like butterflies from a chrysalis, to strut like press-hungry peacocks, desperate to be bathed in the warm glow of a camera flash. The people watching is far more interesting than any reality TV.
London and Paris are my favourite locations - Paris for the glamour and romance that just seeps into every pore while you are there, and London because it always feels like you are watching something new and exciting unfold.
There are two groups of shows. The ‘on-schedule’ shows and presentations, which are the powerhouse brands such as Burberry or JW Anderson. The top models will be walking, and they will be situated in big budget venues such as the dedicated British Fashion Council Showspace on the Strand, or Claridges Ballroom and be as slick and glossy as you would expect.
Then you have the off-schedule shows, which a bit like off-West End Theatre, can be incredibly exciting as this is the hothouse for all the emerging talent, and there is always that feeling (and hope) that you may just witness the birth of the next Lee McQueen.
I like to do a mixture of both, and had a packed schedule for the three full days that I attended LFW. The shows are situated all over town, and inevitably run late as final flourishes are altered and PRs hold out for VIPs to arrive at the last moment. So you end up spending your day running behind, legging it from one part of London to another, panicking that you are going to miss the show, only to discover that they too are running late and so the craziness continues.
It is a crazy, exhausting few days, and “Fashion Week Flu’ is a ‘thing’ in the industry; everybody is so shattered the following week they fall victim to any germs hanging around, probably caught while pressing the flesh at one of the after-partys or jostling in a queue to get in (it can be quite the hustle). That said, it is the most exhilarating experience and I always look forward to it, and come away energised, full of inspiration, excited about the talent, and having been reminded just why I love this business.
Fashion isn't an industry, it’s a disease - in that those who work in it, are some of the hardest working people out there, because they are so utterly driven by the passion for what they do. Compared with some of the legendary people I had the pleasure of meeting this time, I am a relative newcomer, but I too have been totally consumed by the ‘bug’ and am very happy to live and breathe it.
As usual, I attended wearing most of my many career hats; I spent my time viewing the collections as a stylist; forging new friends and contacts as a Fashion Editor; interviewing the designers as a television presenter and writing my reviews as a - you guessed it - writer.
There were some really, really exciting shows that warrant far more space for a write up than I have left in this article, so I’ll be back later this week with my round-up of the most exciting moments, together with the key trends we can expect to feature in Autumn/Winter 2018.
If you have any style questions for Miranda, or would like to collaborate, please visit www.mirandaholder.london for more information.