That One Time I Went to London Fashion Week

September 16, 2014
OLYMPUS PEN EPL7 LONDON FASHION WEEK

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Remember a couple of months ago, when I did that street photography class in London?

It was with Olympus (and Jessops) and I got to try out one of their fab new cameras and learn some really helpful tips and tricks from pro photographer Cleveland Aaron.

A few of weeks ago, Cleve messaged me on Twitter about “something” happening during London Fashion Week with Olympus. He didn’t know any details but he thought I might be interested and did I want to go along?

I said yes. (Obviously)

He sent me over an invite and I slotted it into my diary, not really knowing what I was getting myself into, but figuring it would be good fun anyway.

On Saturday, I was a bit early arriving so I grabbed myself a coffee and I stood opposite Somerset House for a bit, soaking up the LFW vibes and sniggering at the crowds of street-style photographers scuttering across the road, backwards and forwards in a group, to take pics (seriously, it’s hilarious to watch.)

Then I trundled on down to the ME Hotel and the lovely ladies in the hotel foyer showed me downstairs, past rails of gorgeous-looking clothes and stunning models having their hair done, and introduced me to Mark, the Marketing Manager for Olympus UK.

I was handed a glass of champagne and one of the new Olympus PEN E-PL7 cameras and told I could spend the afternoon playing around with it and getting a feel for the settings. YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

I liked it. I reaaaaally liked it.

They’re promoting it as the perfect camera for bloggers and I can totally see why. With the same level of settings and clarity of a classic DSLR, and the similar size and lightness of a digital point-and-shoot, this camera is truly awesome.

It’s beautiful, with a really vintage feel to it, and comes in three colour combinations. I worked on the cream and beige one but I think I actually prefer the classic black and silver. It’s faaaar more portable than my chunky Canon but has the same ability to interchange lenses (all today’s pics were taken with the kit 14-42mm lens).

The aperture and shutter speed settings are easily adjustable with the control dials on the top. It has wi-fi connection, so you can send your photos straight to your phone for uploading. It even has a flip screen similar to the legendary (and physically huge) Canon 600D! Perfect for taking selfies, beauty shots or self-portrait outfit pics.

You can actually make the screen touchable and take photos just by tapping the screen. So much easier when you’re trying to shoot fast (like when you’re taking catwalk shots!)

And it’s only £500 (I say “only”, cos that’s actually not bad for a top level camera, and I think it’s totally worth the price) I’m telling you, it’s the camera that bloggers dreams are made of.

Fashion and celebrity photographer Jay McLaughlin gave us all a few tips on the technicalities of taking catwalk shots, which were really helpful. It’s bloomin’ hard to take crisp pictures when the models are walking so fast!

Even with his help, a LOT of mine were blurry. I took a whole bundle of photos on the day and only a handful are usable. But as he said: that’s why digital photography is great. Cos you can take as many as you like!

So I did. Over 700 of them in fact…

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I should probably talk about the fashion now shouldn’t I?

The shows were both fantastic.

Basharatyan V (which I keep having to look up the spelling of as my brain keeps going dyslexic over it) is a collection inspired by Italian coffee, fashion and the Mafia. Plenty of sexy, androgynous, dark suits mixed with slinky red, gold and white dresses and adorable coffee cup prints like the one above.

Ethologie by Jasper Garvida was inspired by the landscape of the desert safari: all tones of sand and white and blue, patchwork-printed fabrics and simple, structured shapes with gold and wood accessories for the day. The evening pieces were fabulous creations of black and silver with plenty of sequins and glitter. Super snazzy!

I think that, at a push, the Jasper Garvida was probably my favourite show. All the pieces looked wearable, feminine and very stylish.

Plus, who can find fault with a designer who takes a selfie at the end of the catwalk?

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Now, this may come as a shock to some of you, but I’m not really a fashion blogger. (Surprise! You’d never have guessed it would you?)

But I’m really, really not. Fashion is not my forte. I love it and I wish it was. But I’m just not great at it. So for me, this was an awesome experience that I reeeeally never thought I’d get to have.

Mark took a brilliant pic of me which I think sums up my first time on the FROW brilliantly: everyone else is looking down the runway, looking at the beautiful model and the gorgeous clothes…

And I’m facing the opposite direction taking a photo of a little girl and her pink iPhone.

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I think I loved the people-watching more than anything else.

Everyone is dressed either beautifully or (let’s be honest here, people) insanely. The street-style hounds are hilarious. The photographers at the end of the runway are a grumpy bunch (seriously). The buildings are gorgeous. The clothes are beautiful. The models are stunning. And the whole vibe is just electric!

Thank you so much to Olympus for inviting me, and to the whole team who were so lovely and welcoming despite my clear new-ishness to the whole scene. I had an absolute blast!

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really reaaaally like that camera!

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