Fashion Week: ‘My first ever fashion week…’

Even the most jaded, poker faced fashion industry vets started out as a bright-eyed youth excited to get her standing room only ticket. We asked a few seasoned insiders to recall the moment their first entry into fashion’s hallowed runway shows.

Stephen Jones, milliner

‘Fashion week was originally regarded as uncool. It was this establishment [thing] that you would never even dream of going to but I went along anyway. The first real ‘cool’ fashion week show was Vivienne Westwood’s 1981 Pirate show. It was so exciting; full of art, culture, almost anti-punk and foreshadowing the New Romantics. Annabella from Bow Wow Wow sat on the front row with a drawn on blue moustache. It was something that had never been done before.’

 

Tom Pecheux, makeup artist

‘I was assisting at a Chloé show that featured all the supermodels like Christy, Naomi, Linda and Claudia. They all wanted their makeup done by the lead makeup artist or the other assistant that they already knew. No one wanted me so I went to get a coffee.

When I came back Christy Turlington was sitting on my chair. I asked her if she was waiting for someone to do her make up and she said, ‘No, you can do it if you want?’ I was so happy but also so afraid. My hands were shaking the entire time. Christy isn’t only a beautiful model, she’s also a wonderful person.’

 

Fred Butler, designer

‘I was interning for AsFOUR in 2001 when they had an exhibition at Colette during Paris Fashion Week. They took me everywhere with them that week and it involved a lot of partying. As a student from Brighton it was ridiculously exciting. The first night I found myself being interviewed by Jeremy Scott for MTV who was asking me what my favourite thing about Paris Fashion Week was.  Surrounded by the camera crew I couldn’t answer. I was in shock by the whole surreal situation.’

 

 

Elin Kling, blogger

‘When my camera wasn’t allowed to follow me inside the Marc Jacobs show, I simply threw down the camera in my Chloe bag and started filming in secret, the guards almost hunted me out of there. Fortunately, the TV show turned out great.’

 

Leigh Lezark, DJ and model

‘My first London Fashion Week experience was when I walked in Henry Holland show. Now, its great to look back and see him, as a friend do so well and how our relationship has grown—now I do his show music!’

 

Portia Freeman, model

‘Doing a fitting for Chanel Couture with Karl Lagerfeld – who was cracking jokes throughout – is definitely a standout moment. Plus on more than one occasion Agyness Deyn, Candice Swanepoel, Andi Muise and I would run from room to room through the Melia Hotel in Milan wearing just our dressing gowns. Looking back it could quite easily have been something from “St. Trinians.”’

 

Anna Sui, designer

‘I will never forget putting my first runway show together in 1991. It really changed everything. I watched my dream come to life.’

 

Natalie Kingham, Head of Fashion at MATCHESFASHION.com

‘I worked at a Christopher Kane show doing the seating and had the honour of walking Joan Collins to her seat. What a fabulous woman!’

 

Sam McKnight, hair stylist

‘The year 1985 in London was all very ‘Ab Fab.’ There was a lot of attention on all the club culture and the New Romantics. For Katharine Hamnett’s first show we did these kind of flick-up, Miss Moneypenny style wigs. Afterwards Lynne Franks, the PR guru (and my agent at the time) threw Katharine a big party at a warehouse in Covent Garden. Lynne made me go home and get one of the wigs from the show so she could wear it. We couldn’t find the headband that went with it so Lynne ended up using a tea towel wrapped around her head. That kind of sums up the energy of the time. It was just about having fun. The whole thing was incredibly creative.’

 

Lara Mullen, model

‘Having been scouted by my model agency Premier two weeks before the shows, I suddenly found myself en-route to New York with a set of polaroids and my aunty Wendy. Many surreal moments followed which certainly got the adrenaline pumping! From balancing in sky scraper heels at Alexander Wang (my very first show,) to walking the Prada Milan exclusive to Gisele coming to my rescue at Givenchy, after the strap of my shoe broke!’

 

Dani Stahl, Style Editor-at-Large at NYLON

‘Whilst interning at Elle magazine I was writing my senior college paper on Betsey Johnson so my boss took me into the show. I stood all the way in the back and desperately tried to take pictures. I could barely even see but I thought it was the greatest thing that could ever happen.’

 

Henry Holland, designer

‘Blagging my way into a J Maskray show to watch Aggy (Agyness Deyn) open it. I was petrified for her and just willing her not to fall over.’



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