London fashion week: when expectation meets reality

Like many, my aesthetic obsession began from a young age with magazine clippings, scrapbooks, and heaps of pritt stick. Although there was a dark dark period in my life filled with matching velvet tracksuits and then there was the collection of Spice Girls t-shirts.
I worship the holy trinity: Anna Wintour, Oscar De La Renta, and Mario Testino, and I abide by the rules of the bibles – Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. 
I’ve never had a precise style that I could call my own – until very recently – and I used to wear whatever I felt comfortable in as opposed to being ‘on trend’. 
However, the pressure mounted significantly prior to jetting off, and the girl with two wardrobes of clothes suddenly had nothing to wear. 
My style has developed overtime to become suave, structured, practical, and has been influenced by the urban jungle around me. 
I like clashing bespoke pieces with loose-fit jumpers and classic Airmax, which is both functional and convenient for getting around the city. 
Buying a whole new wardrobe for one weekend wasn’t an option, so I chose to be smart about the looks I wanted to create, and the budget I had. 
I invested in key pieces that I felt would not only stand out, but would carry me through the autumn/ winter season. 
Good-fitting suit pants not only go from day to night, but can be teamed with a pair of trainers for a toned-down and edgy street style. 
Knitwear in bold block colours is a necessity during the chilly days outside the show space, and can be draped over your shoulders inside for added elegance and sophistication. 
My favourite piece that I invested in is the Warehouse AW15 waterfall sleeveless trench coat. 
If, like me, you like to change things around, sleeveless jackets are a great investment because you have the creative room to play around with different textures and colours to layer underneath.
The cropped suit pant – Topshop €52
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The knitwear – Asos white collection on sale from €90 to €40
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The waterfall sleeveless jacket – Warehouse €97
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Heels need not apply: Unlike our intimate city setting, London is spread out into many different districts and sometimes with rush hour traffic your only option may be to walk. 
I brought one pair of heels with me which got worn for a whole three hours. Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes that can be worked into your outfits. 
London is incredibly more laid-back than Dublin in terms of fashion, with a large emphasis placed on street style, so most people opt for a pair of trendy sneakers or leather loafers.
If you can’t get tickets to the any of the main shows, don’t panic, because plenty happens outside of the catwalk and it’s enjoyable to walk around the streets in the vicinity of the main venues. 
Whether you’re there to look, to buy, or to report, your most valuable asset is your ability to network with the people around you. 
The show space is a massive area next to the runway where selected international designers hangout and display their latest creations. It is here you’ll find industry leaders and like-minded people to connect with and grow your contact list.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to collaborate with designers that have not yet entered the Irish market. 
London Fashion Week is what you make of it, but either way be sure to put your best foot forward with confidence, and don’t forget to smile for the cameras.