The bluffer’s guide to London Fashion Week

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Get ahead of the international style pack with Alexander Fury’s indispensable crib sheet of what to say, wear and do when braving the catwalk jungle circa spring/summer 2014. Which, in case your calendar claims otherwise, arrives in the capital on Friday..



The ultimate mark of catwalk kudos is five-finger fashion – the ability to filch samples from designers moments after they appear on the catwalk. Anna Dello Russo is your go-to girl, sporting looks still warm from the models’ backsides. It’s the high-fashion equivalent of big-game hunting. Save the big guns for the Chanel show in Paris. And wear shades to shield yourself from the street-style paps.


Expect fashion week to bring glamazons gingerly picking their way across the Somerset House cobblestones in higher-than-high heels? Think again. The press cadre don’t have time for geishagait platforms: brogues and trainers all the way. Easier to run for shows, cabs, cars, planes….


After all that kerfuffle, isn’t there something last season about wearing next season this season? Half the time you see someone sporting something amazing, it’s five-season-old Miu Miu, or sale-rack Fendi .



An abbreviation of “obviously”. Because it’s difficult to finish entire words on such a packed schedule (59 London shows at last count – New York runs into the hundreds). Plus fits better in a tweet #efficient


This season, London Fashion Week is brought to you by the letter “S”. It is S/S 2014 after all. But dropping or adding the 19th letter of the alphabet is all-important. Trousers become “trouser” in fashion – much more decisive, sounds better when shouted across a crowded catwalk. And fashion itself becomes “The Fashions”, all-round terminology for the four-city fashion circus taken up en masse by the Brits. Elle Collections even used it as the title for the tug-out newspaper in their latest issue.


A personal favourite, if only expressed via text: the inevitable flop that happens around the 7pm shows (with two hours of a 13-hour working day still to go). Alas, designers tend to serve champagne instead of turpentine-strength coffee at this point in the day. It does little to help.



They may be coining catchphrases, but children at fashion shows are unacceptable. Natalie Massenet, who tries to cajole all of London into frocking-up come fashion week, said that the shows are a big fancy-pants trade show. No kids allowed.


This excludes the models: shoehorned into too-tight frocks and two-small shoes with pins embedded in every acupuncture no-no spot. A few tears are permitted. One model allegedly vomited at a Dior couture show because her corset was too tight. But for us mere mortals, PR powerhouse Kelly Cutrone’s words stand true: if you have to cry, go outside.


Don’t walk, run. Time waits for no man, nor woman. And I’d rather not be dawdling behind you either. There are fashions to be seen.

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