(The beautiful opening show of London Fashion Week: JJ S Lee)
This season the official London Fashion Week venue has moved from the stately Georgian surroundings of Somerset House to a Brutalist concrete car park in the middle of Soho. Whilst the cobblestones of the former’s courtyard were potential ankle-breakers, the endless ramps of the latter have proved even more calf-stretching (there’s only a very small elevator), so this season I’m sticking to sneakers – boxfresh white Adidas Superstars for choice, and Gucci snaffle loafers for pounding those steps.
Although the shows aren’t nearly as spread out as they used to be (when I first started as an editor some designers honestly expected us to be able to get from Notting Hill in the West to Shoreditch in the East in twenty minutes – that’s like driving from one end of Manhattan to the other) there is still a lot of moving around between presentations so it’s hard to make time to eat. It’s tempting to just stuff one’s face with the free candy and rubbish that’s always kicking around instead of stopping for lunch. So I always, always pack good snacks in my handbag for nibbling on the hoof. (I buy American Kind bars on Amazon.)
That way I never get those horrible low blood sugar moments where I want to snap everyone’s heads off – or just cry with tiredness in the back of the car. I always try to make delicious granola bars in advance, using the recipe from my cookbook Friends, Food, Family: they’re packed with excellent slow-release carbs like oats and barley, along with nutritious and protein-packed seeds and nuts to help keep the synapses popping.
(On my left Martha’s Ward’s divine Alexander Lewis mermaid tulle, and to my right, Susie Lau’s Molly Goddard Confection. I’m wearing Adidas sneakers, an Atterley Road frock (gifted) and a Bulgari Serpenti handbag (gifted))
Whilst New York editors are used to calling Uber for their transportation needs, I prefer to use Hailo. That’s the app that calls you a traditional black cab in London, as opposed to a laconic dude in a Prius with a sat nav. When you’ve got fifteen minutes to get to a presentation on the other side of Mayfair you want a cabbie who has the streets of London programmed into his – or her – head, not into a machine on the dashboard. That way you’ll be evading the traffic jams, not sitting in them.
I loathe blow drying my long hair and resent that I can’t do email whilst I’m doing it, so I always try to get at least two blow outs during LFW so that I can work whilst someone else does my hair (and think of the time it saves in the mornings). I always recommend Blow in Covent Garden: they’re a ten minute walk from the LFW venue, they open at 7am, do excellent makeup and nail touch ups too, and you can be out of the door in under an hour with a bulletproof blow out, and a full face of make up. They’re invaluable: cannot recommend highly enough. www.blowltd.com
Remember that London weather changes all the time. It can go from blazing sunshine at 8am to torrential rain an hour later. Download the BBC Weather app onto your ‘phone and check it at regular intervals. Drowned rat is not the look of the season. (This is my umbrella of choice.)