Yesterday, after staying up all night and then getting on a 4am coach, I was given the brilliant opportunity to take photographs at London Fashion Weekend, the aftermath of London Fashion Week that gives the general public the opportunity to watch catwalk shows and shop for designer goodies, as part of the Canon team. I've never attended London Fashion Weekend before and so, with team members from Canon guiding me, I was rushed through the compact bazaar around the showroom and into the photographer's pit alongside 20 or so others, with barely any time to take in my surroundings. When I photographed at Graduate Fashion Week I had the freedom to sit in the crowd and take photographs at my own will; here, I had to quickly secure my 50cm x 50cm spot and make sure that I didn't get in anybody's way (or suffer a deadly elbow in the back if I did).
My brief was to take 5 beautiful photographs from each catwalk show I attended, to send to Canon for juding in a competition that could win me a Canon 650D and a chance to photograph at London Fashion Week next year. The first catwalk I photographed was the 'Trends' show, a 30-45 minute display of the upcoming A/W trends. Catwalk presenter Zoe Hardman talked the audience through each style - Kitchen Chic, Sergeant Indigo and Lady Brocade, all put together by resident stylist Miss Molly - before the models came walking down the aisle, at which point I had to rapidly arrange my aim, zoom and focus before snapping away. These are the 5 photographs from the 'Trends' show that I put forward to Canon.
The second show I attended was a designer highlights show by Issa, a London dress company with many celebrity fans. Put together by Issa's creative director Daniella Helayel, the collection featured bold prints inspired by Moscow and, more specifically, Red Square. Bold colour combinations and a sophisticated, feminine silhouette were noticeable in each design, and the Russian-style motifs really made the collection stand out. I spent this show in a different position to the last, stood up in the middle of the pit as opposed to crouched uncomfortably at the front. Using both a 70-300mm and a 24-70mm lens I managed to capture close-ups of the models as well as an overall sweeping gaze of the room. These are the images I chose to send to Canon from the Issa show.
After the Issa show, I had the time to look around London Fashion Weekend as a whole. What I found was 35 or more designer label pop-up shops, each crammed into a small room within Somerset House. In one wing of the building I found myself with a free can of coke and the opportunity to pose with a Jean Paul Gaultier coke bottle for a photo that would be immortalised on a postcard I could take away, whilst further down the hall discounted off-season designer clothes were being sold to the crowds of well-dressed fashionistas; meanwhile, in the small area surrounding the show space, the Vodafone Lounge was hosting a Q&A on what goes on behind the scenes at a cover shoot for the team behind Elle Magazine. It was a great atmosphere and was filled with a myriad of gorgeous, intricately-designed clothes (way out of my price range, of course), and I really hope to go back next year. Or, fingers crossed, maybe I'll have the chance to experience the realfashion week...
I'll leave you with some of my other photos, which didn't quite make it to Canon but are still favourites nevertheless.