My experience at London Fashion Week - Georgina Barkworth

My experience at London Fashion Week

After witnessing the backstage manic at my first London fashion week show, I have now witnessed all of the roles people play in order to get the images we see on our social media feeds and to sell the designers clothes.

On the 20th September, I was lucky enough to be giving the opportunity to be able to work backstage at the House of iKons London Fashion Week show. We promptly arrived at the venue -the Hilton, Paddington- where we were each assigned to a different role, ranging from assisting designers, models, back stage management and more. After being assigned to be the personal assistant to the main model in the show, my emotions began to overwhelm me. This event seemed to be something that I have been working towards for a long period of time and as the day came upon me, the reality dawned that dreams do come true if you work hard enough.

The model I was assigned to was Miss UK Brazil 2013/14- Paula Saoza. Unlike most stereotypes Paula was the most thoughtful and inspiring woman to work with. Not only did she help me experience life at a London Fashion Week show working with different designers, she also gave me the most useful modelling tips and critiques in order to take my career further.

Prior to the show starting, the models had to go through rehearsals after hair and make-up. Each model had a different hairstyle that was kept the same throughout the show as well as them all having a contoured face and black smoky eyes. I found it so interesting observing the techniques used by the make up artists to unify the models even though they have different features. 

In no time the first show came round, starting at 3pm, this point shattered me! It only became more intense. Being assigned to Paula, I helped her get into the first outfit of the day (out of very many). The models all lined up in running order and the 'selfies' began. PR is essential in order to promote and sell clothes so everyone was influenced to take as many photos as possible post online.

Then the show started. This was manic. Typically you think of assistants running everywhere grabbing heels, accessories, nipple covers, you name it! This stereotype did not stray far from the truth. Each show lasted around 2 hours and that was 2 hours of pure chaos. As on models came off the runway, they needed to be stripped down and re dressed; it was like a robotic system. However you couldn't just sling the clothes off onto the floor, obviously great care had to be taken! Paula had multiple walks in each section and so I had multiplied stress having to get her
changed in a tiny time period for her to be on queue.

After the first show was over, we all had an hour break. However as I'm sure you can imagine, it wasn't a relaxing break to enjoy refreshments and chat about the success of the show. No, this is the fashion industry. Who has time to sit down? This hour break was to prepare the outfits for the next show, for the models to rehearse and have a touch up on hair and make up. With approximately 5 minutes spare, perhaps grab a drink. The madness of the previous show repeated itself during the next show. This one ran similar to the previous, apart from showing different designers collections. 

After the final show was over a wave of relief flooded me. The juxtaposition of the tension during the show and the relief after the final show was ridiculously intense and overwhelming. I felt so emotional that this day of my life, my upmost favourite, was over. I believe I couldn’t have taken advantage of this opportunity more, I learnt so much from the models there, as well as being given the opportunity to work with photographers there in the future and having the chance to observe all of the different roles that contribute to make this event successful was truly inspiring and incredibly rewarding. I feel I'll cherish my day at London Fashion Week forever, I am so grateful for the opportunity- It urges me to work even harder to achieve my dream.



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