Monday, September 18, 2006

London Fashion Week Day One

From the Noir Collection

Woke up at 7:00 this morning to get all my stuff together and make it over to the fashion tent media registration area for 8am. Yesterday when told that no international photographers were being served we were told to register at 9:30am today. That didn't make a lot of sense to us photographers as the first catwalk was going to be starting at the same time. At the very least I figured I'd get there early to get in the front or near the front of whatever line formed.

Sure enough there were a bunch of other international photographers in a small mob looking to get their media badge. We were told that a "Janine" would be handling our accreditation and she wouldn't be in until 9am. Like most of the other photographers I kind of felt taken aback by the lack of organization for something supposedly taking place in London. This is London for God's sake! People from all over the world are calmering here to take pictures to promote London designers and we get the short end of the stick. I'd hate to say it but there's better organization in Toronto. A much smaller city on the world wide fashion scale.

An outfit by Ben de Lise

I suppose the thing that really got to me was the sign that stated media badges would cost £25. It wasn't so much the amount but nothing prior to this sign mentioned any money exchange. It was a good thing I just happened to have some cash on me. To get out of the line, or mob, go to a bank machine, and come back would have made me miss the first show.

It was obvious that most of the other photographers thought whis was a last minute snafu but since we literally traveled across the globe, we either paid the amount sum, shot fashion week or went home with nothing. The BFC had us knowingly or not. One photographer actually walked away, banning London fashion week all together claiming there was no fee for other fashion weeks around the world. (Note: Toronto Fashion week charges $35 CAN).

Bringing up his displeasure to a person at the front desk he was instructed to write a formal letter to the BFC. I don't think that was the answer he was looking for. I'm sure there will be a lot of angry letters and articles in various magazines as to how the London Fashion Week was a mess with the photographers of international press.

Let's face it, we photographers are there to help promote the local designers. Trying to get accreditation is one hoop, getting permission from the individual designer is another hoop, making one's way to another country, dealing with airport security another hoop. By the time we get to the tent for a registration process that should have happened weeks ago via mail the internet or fax of course we're going to be a little upset and may have short fuses. My suggestion to the BFC. Signage. Line up here. Speak to so and so for this or that. It would take the load off the people at the front desk from getting asked the same question.

Colorful makeup accents the Manish Arora Fashion line.

That said when "Janine" finally showed up, just after 9am, I would have to say that she handled everyone in a calm orderly fashion. There were a lot of us. To be honest I didn't want to be in her shoes. It would be like answering the phones in a complaint department. People are calling because they have problems with the company and they're going to want to dump on you. Your only fault was picking up the phone. Janine was like the goddess of grace under pressure to be sure. Her and the people under her were very pleasant (at least to me - mind you I'm a nice bloke anyway).

Eventually I got my media badge and with enough time to actually shoot the first show. That being the Noir collection.

"Hey, it's Armani! Quick grab a shot!"


Anonymous said...

Great pics, shame about the clothes. Impressed you recognised and caught Armani.

P.S. your blog is now in the Google Reader box on my custom IE homepage.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You're now living the dream of every Canadian boy who grew up watching Fashion TV every Sunday evening. Way to make it happen.