Alternative Fashion Week is a funny old beast, one that I’ve been getting to know rather well over the past week. And really getting to become rather fond of. Every day I rock up at 1.15pm with no idea of what the day’s catwalk show will bring. Generally I come skidding to a halt on my bike just as the stout lady with the microphone finishes giving her daily spiel to the audience, which is a funny old mixture of family, friends, industry pundits (apparently, though I didn’t seen anybody I know) and interested city boys and labourers.
On Tuesday I was still a novice, so I asked the lady at the back with a clipboard if I could sit down – being as I was press and that’s what it said on my ticket. “No.” She told me bluntly. “Not if you haven’t reserved a seat.” Oh alright then.
Don’t hassle this lady. She’s very busy. She ensures that everyone gets out on the catwalk on time.
One major issue with this event is the lack of surrounding information – Alternative Fashion Week doesn’t have much of an online presence and the bumpf that I got sent in the post was basic to say the least. It certainly didn’t warn me that I needed to RSVP or go fuck myself. I always find it amusing how, because of the way I dress and the fact that I carry a big professional camera with me (photographers generally being the scum of the earth and all that), I am treated in a certain way. Oh world of fashion, you do make me larf. Still, I like to travel incognito, so it suits me.
Some of the audience really aren’t going to help you get ahead in fashion – bemused city workers look on.
The band. They’re quite naff.
Now I actually think that the lack of a seat was a blessing in disguise – I spent about ten minutes on day one attempting to watch the catwalk shows front stage before realising that there was far more fun to be had hanging around the back, where a big old melange of models, designers, city workers, pervy middle aged male photographers and screaming organisers raced about like mad things – it made for far more interesting photos, and I got to boss the girls around when they come off stage. (Something none of the other photographers seemed to do. It must be something to do with my background as a fashion photographer because I have no qualms with telling a model how to pose. Though of course the rest of the cameras descended in front of me like locusts once I’d arranged a shot.) So whilst I can report generally on the outfits, I have no idea what any of the catwalk presentations were like. Not that I think that matters – it’s the clothes that are important, right?
“Hello young lady, can I take a photo of you because you don’t appear to have a bra on.” Believe me, there was only a pair of nipple tassles under that jacket.
The standard at Alternative Fashion Week is massively variable but amongst the huge quantity of stuff there are some really interesting designers to be found – ones that I would wager money on becoming successful. So it’s important to give into the undeniable exuberance of the occasion: everyone is quite simply having a ball. Some of the “models” may be slightly ropey, some of the designs outstandingly bad, but the fact that such an event exists to promote up and coming talent is a good thing. It’s just a shame they don’t have more resources to make sure that each designer gets as much promotion as possible: I had real trouble trying to figure out which was which. And that I at least had the choice of a seat if I had wanted.
Model or mum? You decide. Perhaps both. There are all comers here.
Alex Seroge showed a very strong collection.
Great styling from Hayley Trezise.
Over the week I have got better at making a note of who all the designers are, no mean feat when juggling camera, iphone and twitter updates. So if you see your work on my website and it hasn’t been properly credited do drop me a note and let me know. I’ve also learnt a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do at Alternative Fashion Week if you want to make an impression – and that shall be the subject of another post.
Havering College get ready to go on stage.
It’s tough when your bum is hanging out in the street.
Checking through the running order backstage.
Backstage for Eliza Maher.
You can read many more blog posts about Alternative Fashion Week 2010 on this site.
Blog post on Hatastic! on day 1
Blog post on day 2
Blog post on day 3
Blog post on day 4 and second part here
Blog post on day 5 and second part here
Blog post on day 5 Chelsea BA Textiles Show
Plus my 8 Tips for Making a Successful Impression at Alternative Fashion Week
- 8 Tips for Making a Successful Impression at Alternative Fashion Week
- Alternative Fashion Week 2010 at Spitalfields Market: more from Day 5
- Alternative Fashion Week 2010 at Spitalfields Market: a review of Day 2
- Alternative Fashion Week 2010 at Spitalfields Market: more from Day 4
- Alternative Fashion Week 2010 at Spitalfields Market: a review of Day 5