Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Work

The Natural History Museum, home of London Fashion Week.

I woke up pretty early today to get down to the fashion "tent" located on the grounds of the Natural History museum. It was around 8:30am by the time I showed up at the main gate to be greeted by a bunch of security guards. "We can't let you in. They're still setting up." was their reply to my asking "What's going on?".

The first catwalk was to start at 10:15am. I started to visualize the mad rush of photographers trying to get their badges and places sometime between now and the start of the show. If it was anything like last season it would be crazy.

As a photographer shooting fashion week one should know that usually whatever place you can mark off on the floor is the place you have for the entire week. Good or bad that's your spot.

There are some exceptions...

  1. You can take another spot that belongs to someone else if that person is not there (but will be asked to move if they show up).

  2. You can share a spot with another person of the press should you both be thin enough to share the spot and the other person gives you the okay.

  3. You are a bastard who removes the tape determining who's spot it is and replaces it with your own.

  4. You do not take the tape off of the other person but simply ignore it and take over the spot as your own. Again you are a bastard.
I was the first photographer to show up. Security was not going to let anyone in. Even models and make up artists were made to wait outside the main gates. Some of the models even had contracts that they showed to prove they were working the show and were still denied access.

A model tries to get in by showing her papers.

Around 9am, other photographers started to show up and by 9:30 we were all let in. Because of there being two queues in the photo lounge, one for local press and one for international press, about 15 local photographers managed to slip in front of me and thanks to the unorganized photo shooting for badges about five international photographers managed to get their badges before me.

Getting to the floor most of all the good spots to shoot from were taken. I found out later that even with all the unorganized (but friendly) registration, even if I was the first to get my badge and walk into the room, it would have made no difference. They let people in yesterday at 3pm to mark their spots. This burned me up a little as I showed up yesterday and was turned away because security said they weren't letting in anyone until today. That'll learn me.

Paul Costelloe kicks off London Fashion week

Once registered and positioned in front of the runway shooting today was pretty easy as there were only three catwalks. Paul Costelloe, Caroline Charles, and Ben de Lisi. The number of photographers that showed up were probably lower as well since it's sunday today. After the Paul Costelloe catwalk I managed to go back to the hotel while dropping by my favorite grocery store (Sainsbury's) to pick up some sandwiches. They were half price. Bonus!

The breakfast sandwiches

Caroline Charles

The new and improved photographers lounge

Outfit by Ben de Lisi

Another Ben de Lisi design

After the Ben de Lisi show I met up with Andrew and Josie to go to the Metropolitan, a very upscale hotel. This is where Andrew had gotten a room for the week to showcase his clothing. There were a bunch of designers on the third floor that were part of fashion week who were using the hotel to entice buyers and press to have a hands on look at their wares.

Andrew puts his designs on display

Our first try. A pub that stopped selling food. It was too late.

Robert in a cab as we make our way to Soho

A Vietnamese restaurant in china town.

After searching for a place to eat near the Metropolitan and not finding anything. The places that were close by were packed (like Trader Vic's) or had already closed their kitchens. We took a few cabs down to Soho where we ended up in chinatown and a Vietnamese restaurant. Altough I found the service a little abrasive the food was good. I had the chicken curry dish.

We also noted that the spring rolls were about a quarter the size of the spring rolls in Toronto but they probably contained the same amount of meat. The meat, being pork, had a Spam like quality to it. Who knows maybe it was Spam. Despite the size difference it was still pretty tasty. Maybe it was because I was starving.

Chinatown gearing up for New Years

A Tube escalator

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