Dispatches from the Front Row

Originally in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of SMU Look.

By Kristin Wertz

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MORNING

6 a.m. Wake up call. Hit snooze three times.

6:30 a.m. Wash face, shower and try to find an outfit that makes me look like I was born for the “frow” (front row); a hard task since London Fashion Week is notorious for its eclectic and eccentric street style.

8 a.m. Catch a cab to The Strand for the first show at 9 a.m. so I’m not late. Being the first show of the day, it might actually start on time.

8:35 a.m. Arrive early and wait in the queue. It’s freezing. I look at the name on my ticket (the one given to me by a kind soul who was leaving town and didn’t need it). I think: Remember your name is Sarah Baker”, from Temporary Showroom.

8:45 a.m. I’m in! I grab some free coffee from the baristas stationed in the reception area; of course, the doors aren’t open yet. It’s a perfect opportunity to mingle with some people in the industry. I make conversation with the gentleman behind me in the queue who happens to run an up-and-coming publication. We exchange contacts.

8:55 a.m. The doors open. I walk into the show space and take my seat in the second row. Damn, I’m not in the first row but it’s OK because I’m still at London Fashion Week! (Insert “eek!” face emoji.)

9 a.m. The show does not start on time. Sit. Wait. Snapchat. Wait. Instagram. Wait.

9:15 a.m. Antonio Berardi show starts. I’m impressed; great tailoring and unique cuts. I give it an “A.”

9:35 a.m. It’s over. I grab more free coffee.

9:50 a.m. I decide I’m going to try and get into Erdem at 11 a.m. because, why not?

10:40 a.m. People are queuing. The woman with the clipboard asks to see my ticket. I don’t have one. I tell her I’m a student from Central Saint Martins looking to see the show. She allows it.

11 a.m. I’m standing at the back this time, but wow! I can’t believe that worked.

11:05 a.m. The Erdem show starts, not too late this time. The collection is full of unique prints and garments inspired by traditional attire from various cultures. It’s definitely distinctive, but a bit repetitive. B+.

11:20 a.m. The show ends. Next on the agenda is a presentation at 1 p.m. And now, I wait.

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MIDDAY

12:50 p.m. Another queue. I’m Sarah Baker again. The invitation says, “no stiletto heels please.”

1:10 p.m. Doors open for the Dilara Findikoglu presentation. I should have known this was going to be a weird show by the iridescent red invitation. It’s in a small room with models dressed as demons. The garments are more creative than the earlier shows, but I can’t get over the devil horns. C+.

1:25 p.m. I head back to The Strand for the Shrimps presentation and run into my classmates trying to get in. Luckily I have tickets, but I’ll try to see if I can bring them along. I can’t.

1:30 p.m. A paparazzo asks to take my picture. More paparazzi follow suit. Pose. Pose. “Smeyes.” Smirk. I’ll take it.

1:40 p.m. The Shrimps presentation starts at 1:30 p.m. Ooh, they’re giving out free Guinness. The models are on a stage this time, much more professional than before. The clothes are dainty and girly with lots of pearls. They have a press release. This will be helpful in writing a review. B+/A-.

2 p.m. I leave Shrimps. There are more photographers. They want more posing. I’m not opposed.

2:15 p.m. I meet up with classmates and decide to try and get into Christoper Kane at the Tate Britain at 3 p.m.

3 p.m. No luck. The security guards aren’t very nice.

3:05 p.m. Waiting time. Grab some more coffee. No food.

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EVENING

5:50 p.m. I get into the Ashish show with ease. My classmates try to get in. Apparently, the security guard asks for back up. Yikes.

5:55 p.m. I’M IN THE FRONT ROW!

5:56 p.m. Wait. Snapchat. Wait. Snapchat. I eavesdrop on the interview going on next to me. Wait. Instagram.

6 p.m. The Ashish show starts perfectly on time. The show is as great as I expected: lots of glitter, controversy, glitter and a good sound track. A++.

6:30 p.m. It’s over. I head to my last hurdle of the day: Burberry.

7:10 p.m. My classmate has a wristband from helping at a show a few days before, and I use this to pass the first security checkpoint. I tell the scary guard that I’m on the guest list. My classmate, excuse me, colleague, is escorting me through.

7:12 p.m. I get yelled at by one of the women with the clipboards for not having a ticket. I’m told to get out of the area. I don’t. I stay next to the door with a few photographers pretending to be press. I would say writing this makes that true…

7:14 p.m. I see Naomi Campbell and can almost touch her. I don’t. Play it cool.

7:20 p.m. Jourdan Dunn walks within inches of me. Fans are screaming.

7:30 p.m. The music plays and I can hear it form right outside the door.

7:31 p.m. I ask the security guard I befriended over the past 20 minutes if there is any way to get in. He apologizes, but the answer is “No.” I still rate Burberry. I give it a “B” since I got further than I thought I would.

9 p.m. I pass out from exhaustion and prepare to do it all again tomorrow.

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