Every February, while the New Year hangover is still fresh (or not so fresh) in the mind, the stylish hordes descend on London for Fashion Week to demonstrate to the rest of us the looks we’ll be rocking next year.
Whether or not you’re part of the parade, you’ll naturally want to blend in with the street style photographers, models, and celebrities -- who will be everywhere.
If you want to be au courant with the fashion scene during LFW (February 19-23 this year), follow these 10 steps to fitting in, getting along, and standing out.
1. Wear as Much Black as Possible
Dress head to toe in black and you’ll pass so far through the point of blending in, you’ll come out the other side looking like the most important person in the room/bar/hotel/front row (delete as applicable).
2. Wear as Little Black as Possible
Isn’t fashion fickle? One minute it’s all "wear as much black as possible," the next it’s "wear as little black as possible." Standing out in black takes work, so pick colours and prints -- then throw in some textures for good measure. Standing out is fitting in.
3. Book the Right Hotel
If you impress at the right party and Mark Ronson, Miley Cyrus, Alexa Chung, and their entire crews are begging to come party at your hotel, you’d better have the right crib to offer up. We’d recommend the Prague Suite (pictured above) at the Anouska Hempel-designed Blakes Hotel. Located in Kensington, it is both opulent and discreet...just like you.
4. Be Busy, Even When You’re Not Busy
If we were at Fashion Week we would already have mentioned at least five times that we’re too busy to be writing this. At Fashion Week, "busy" is currency. Be perpetually late for a meeting -- even if that meeting happens to be with your dentist.
5. Carry Water at All Times
If at any time you don’t have a bottle of water either in hand or in bag, then you have no right being at Fashion Week. The only acceptable substitute is coconut water.
6. Selfies Everywhere, All The Time
Selfie or it didn’t happen is your mantra for Fashion Week and Instagram is your best friend. But don’t smile, either pout sternly or pull a "whacky" face a la Cara Delevingne. Fashion Week is like a vacation -- empty your phone of content before you embark on the adventure because there’s nothing more embarrassing than getting the "Not Enough Storage" message as you’re about to snap a selfie with Stella McCartney.
7. Find a Posse
You may not have the same level contacts book as, say, Taylor Swift or Benedict Cumberbatch, but that shouldn’t stop you rolling with a posse. What you lack in famous front-row friends you can make up for with confidence and strength in numbers.
8. Name Drop
Name-dropping; it’s as old as time but still as good a way as any to pass with the hip crowd. Do it while talking in taxis, bars, restaurants, hotels, and on the street and phone. Like this: “I hear the rooms at the Baglioni Hotel are charming;Rachel Mac’s staying there for Fashion Week.” Everybody (who's anybody) will know you mean Rachel "Mac'" McAdams.
9. Compliment Everyone
Don’t be coy with the compliments. Whether or not you hitched a ride on the crazy-beautiful carousel of Fashion Week, bravely stride forth and compliment at will. A simple “nice white hair and white suit combo” shoutout to any sartorially impressive gentlemen you stumble across will do your credibility a world of good.
10. Visit a Hot Club or Bar
It won’t be easy but the best things in life never are. End London Fashion Week in style with a trip to exclusive Mayfair club Loulou’s. Fashion’s elite will make an appearance during the week but unfortunately the strict member’s club might be a step too far if you’re not, say, Kate Moss. Instead, visit the bar at the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell for some R&R after a weary week of work fitting in.