You know there are some events that occasionally crop up, and that you look forward to for months and months? But then they end up being a huge let-down? That is what London Modest Fashion Week was for me.
And I explicitly say for me because I know a number of people people may have enjoyed it. And that is great for them; their opinions about the event are just as valid as mine! But in this post I will talk about my own, personal experience of it. And I will always stay honest and utterly transparent about my views on this blog.
To begin with, the doors were supposed to open at 1.30pm, but didn’t in fact open until over half an hour later. I didn’t really think too much about it at that point, but the event took place in Victoria House in London so I’m sure you can picture how queuing on the pavement outside drew quite a bit of attention. I guess that was intentional, but waiting outside for over half an hour wasn’t a brilliant start. Anyhow, once the doors opened, the first twenty or so people were given ‘goody bags’, the contents of which I will talk about later in this post.
After being given our (incorrect) wristband passes, we then proceeded to wait in another queue for over another half hour. The stalls had not yet been set up, so the only option was to wait in the queue for the catwalk. I was towards the front and could clearly see that signs/ wall stickers were being put up on the walls. I would have thought that after all the promotion of the event, inviting so many bloggers and with so much press present, the organisation of it would have been a bit better? It seemed bizarre to me that we were left to wait in a queue while incredibly last-minute adjustments were being made.
I still wasn’t too annoyed, though over an hour had passed already. Do remember that I was looking forward to this event and was not purposefully trying to find faults in it; I so desperately wanted to enjoy it! So we headed inside and it was apparent that some of the volunteers helping out at the event had either not been properly briefed or simply did not know what to do. We were told to sit in one place by one person, and then later told to sit elsewhere by another… it was all just a bit of a mess. And what do you expect this was followed by? Another half hour of waiting!
Because of the layout of the runway, we weren’t able to see the introduction which was a shame, but whoever was speaking briefly talked about what the company running the event stands for and announced Lindsay Lohan as a guest at the event. Then the show finally began… an hour later than scheduled.
I have to say that I did like the actual shows, and it was great to see collections by up-and-coming designers from all around the world. I attended LMFW in 2017 too, and there wasn’t much of a difference in the style of the show other than the physical structure of the catwalk itself. Though they ran a men’s show this year, there was a surprisingly low turnout in the audience and not many collections, which was a real shame.
It would definitely have been nice to see more variety in the style of clothing, though I think that will come with time. Obviously modest fashion is still a relatively new and growing industry which I predict will continue to become more mainstream. I saw a few comments online about the lack of models from ethnic minorities but with the shows I attended, I found there to be quite an ethnically diverse bunch of both male and female models. What I did pick up on is the lack of larger models, but I know that the modelling industry in general is dominated by slimmer women. My issue with this is the majority of the clothes showcased would not be deemed ‘modest’ if a larger woman wore them – Habiba da Silva explains this really well in this video. It would have been nice to see a more size-diverse group to show that modest fashion is inclusive of everybody and caters to all types of women.
After the first show, we looked around the stalls. There was a mixture of food, clothes and things like candles, perfume and prints. The presence of smaller businesses was nice to see, and I personally prefer seeing products in person to viewing them online. There was definitely more physical space at LMFW 2017 (which was held at the Saatchi Gallery) and I found it a lot easier to navigate last year. Perhaps that also has to do with the fact that there were fewer people attending last year.
There was a talk scheduled to take place about the commodification of religion, which I was really interested in attending – especially with the event itself being a very commercialised fashion show. Unfortunately, however, I don’t know whether this did not take place at all or did not take place according to the schedule so I missed it. And I was also unable to attend the final show; again, this is because the late start meant that everything overran. I think time-keeping is one of those things that is so essential in events like this, and all it needs is adequate preparation and organisation. The reason for my disappointment is I obviously travelled to London especially for the show, and so to not be able to see half of the talks and shows wasn’t ideal.
Back to the goody bag… which there isn’t much to say about. There was a voucher to get £10 off when you spend £70(!) along with a face mask, hand cream, a pen, breath mints and what I think was a nail file. Not what I would call exciting, but I wasn’t surprised after the disappointment of the event, if I’m honest.
And that finished up my honest review of London Modest Fashion Week! Luckily, the rest of my time in London was a lot more enjoyable – see my Instagram for photos of what I got up to.