Being a size double zero, fashion week is actually really glam and easy for me. I’ve been going to shows since I was a wee bairn — nineteen — where I swarmed the edge of Somerset House in an All-Tartan-Everything look, replete with a Freedom for Topshop spiky headband to reflect both my mood and the response I got from PRs when I tried to enter shows. That means it’s been *counts on hands* eight years I’ve been doing the old fashion week game, and I still have no idea how to play it.
Darling, I’ve been to couture week, Milan, Paris, New York (but that was for a holiday), London and the Clothes Show at the NEC in Birmingham, and there’s something rife across all those stunning events: insecurity.
What follows is my inner monologue from the first day of London Fashion Week 2019. An inner monologue rife with insecurity, but also wealth, money, success, fame and a severe case of athlete’s foot...
Wake up and itch foot. Feels good. Decide to skip breakfast and have an extra strong coffee. I like my coffee like I like my men: with a big dick.
Drink dicky coffee and decide, as the clock ticks, that I need to make a radical change to my aesthetic. Like any freelancer in London, money is tight, so I haven’t bought any new clothes since the men’s weeks in January. And I hadn’t bought any new clothes before that since women’s weeks back in September. Gasp! In an impassioned rage — because appearance is everything — I decide to shave off both of my eyebrows. I’ve been wanting to for a while because all the cool kids did it a year ago and it takes me about a year to do what the cool kids do. It looks surprisingly good, like "oh shit I look cool", but then I move my forehead into a frown face and realise when I make any expression beyond deep apathy I literally look like a boiled ham. It’s a disaster. Thank Prada the general mood of fashion shows is apathy, and thank Me (God) it’s sunny so I can wear sunglasses to cover my meaty head.
Text friend to tell them I’m going to be late as spent a while trying to draw on different kinds of brows, none of which work, and decide to own the bald. Choose an outfit: a Raf Simons shirt I bought instead of paying my rent, for which I then had to get a credit card and now I've maxed that out. Some gorj trousers and a spritz of Gucci's Song From A Rose, which my friend who is a beauty editor gave so generously to me.
Meet my friend for breakfast where we talk about fashion, my new book, boys, babies and, of course, Valentine’s Day for which we both did nothing. Decide capitalism is the work of the devil, before we check our FitBits (we don’t have FitBits) and dash to the first fashion show of the London schedule.
ASAI opens and bass literally makes my Raf vibrate. It’s gorgeous. Think tie-dye knits, Withnail and I fits and swampy shoes made from earthy wools. All the cool kids are there too: me. But also actual brilliant icons like Jamie Windust, Munroe Bergdorf, Carrie Stacks. Run into a friend and air kiss, then run into another friend and air kiss, run into two more friends and air kiss. Consider for a sec how glam this is, then go back to complaining about the queues and climate change.
It’s lunchtime, and I have a meeting at — where else? — Soho House because I’m WHAT? Part of the London cultural elite. Lol, I’m kidding, although the meeting was at Soho House and it was really gorgeous. Ran into — how glam? — a supermodel friend on the way and we gave each other an air kiss and I thought about how glam this is, before deciding that money is the root of all evil. Call mum and ask if she’ll go in on one of those new parent’s mortgage dealios and she says no, obviously, because she doesn’t have the money to buy anyone a house. Fuming!! Want a house!!!
Dash to Ryan Lo, somewhere in Bank, and am forced to stand as I’m late. I’m furious — these legs weren’t made for standing, and I can’t see the show because I’m scowling so much that I have to stand for a total of 12 minutes. Wow! This is honestly the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
I’m kidding: I actually like standing because you can see the show better, and you can catch everyone looking at you thinking you’re a fashion nobody. Little do they know I’m about to take over Chanel, once Karl abdicates. The show is a classic floaty femme piece, with girls pushing pushchairs full of roses down the catwalk — worry it’s like a baby’s funeral, which I find slightly odd imagery to invoke — but then think about how pretty the dresses are. All is well in the world and I go to Abokado and then instantly leave because what even is that fucking place?
Scurry to meet a friend in a magazine’s office and she tells me she’s just bought a house (well, a bedsit) and I feel distressed that I’ll never make it. Look down at my shirt and remember that this is all the security I’ll ever need, before calling my rich friend and asking him if he wants to lend me £41k for a mortgage deposit because there’s a gorj little maisonette on my road for sale. He says yes!!!! And so I buy a house!!!!
That was a lie.
The Marta Jakubowski show. Everyone had a flower in their mouth, and the clothes were about finding fluidity in tailoring. Flowing pieces of fabric swept over the body and nipped at the waist where it fastened like a double breasted jacket. Unusual silhouettes mimicked armour, power-play, and softness all in one. The manipulation of cut and pattern make every single outfit one which you have to really think about: how did she make that? How would you get it on and take it off?
Fifth coffee of the day. Ears start to ring, but this is only a good thing as it drowns out the drone of all the paparazzi swarming me as I leave the show venue. Stop for a picture — you know, give them what they want — but it turns out there’s someone much more important right behind me, and I’m told to get out of the way. Feeling dejected and mortgage-less I go to Somerset House and pretend to be rich while realising my lighter has broken, therein begging every smoker I see to borrow theirs.
Something wicked this way came at Matty Bovan’s AW19 show. It was a bustle to get in — a real event — and as the clothes shot onto the runway, the attitude was one of confidence, power. Bovan was looking at folkloric tradition and the Pendle witch trials this season: reflecting on myth and modern magic. It really was modern magic.
A friend’s birthday dinner and I am forced against my will to go to a fucking vegan place. Worried about climate change so decide to cave, and it turns out the food is bloody stunning. It’s a stunning evening: only queers aloud, although somehow — as the bill arrives — it seems I’ve racked up a total of £31 for a bit of bean curd and some shoots. Can’t believe it. Dreams of a house dashed. We steal into the night and go to a straight-person-pub where I can’t believe the state of the toilets. Why are men like this? Why do they piss everywhere? Why do men exist?
Ditch the vegans and meet my flatmates and boyfriend to go to a Robyn x Browns event which was actually very glam. Excited, to say the least, that upon entry they’re giving out free T-shirts from her Bjorn Borg collaboration, but when I realise that the biggest size is a size 10 (which looks like a size 6) I’m baffled, and I can only, sadly, get my hands on a headband for, I dunno, sports??? Decide to cane the free bar so we make a rule that if you go to the bar you grab eight drinks — two for each of us. Had 13 drinks in total. Feel gorj and drunk and end up dancing right in front of Robyn who is DJing, desperately trying to make eye contact with her. In the end we do, and decide the night can’t get better than that and so we walk to the Strand to get an Uber home.
Arrive home, magically, with two McDonald’s meals each and think how glam and disgusting this is. Eat them and watch Friends and talk about how problematic Friends is. At one point a mini onion goes down the wrong way and I have a coughing fit and end up going to bed with my least favourite thing: the hiccups.
Wake up to use the loo, and think about how the world is ending and having a mortgage is pointless because property is theft. Go back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow another day of radical protest and insecurity will ensue as I head back to fashion week.
This has been my inner monologue, thanks be to God.