An opportunity to sit front row during London Collections: Men is a dream – liaising with celebrities, the endless parties, the finest clothes. But what would you actually do in that situation? Most of us would probably take too much champagne, ask the movie star next to us to ring our parents and say hello, take photos of everything and everyone every 5 seconds etc. Just in case you ever find yourself in this surreal situation and don't want to get chucked out by a trendy bouncer, we have provided some dos and don’ts when sitting with the fashion elite – prepared by fashion week veteran Simon Chilvers, Assistant Fashion Editor of The Guardian.
Topman Design AW12 - www.catwalk.com
1. Always ask celebrities or editors first before you take their picture – it's just good manners. There is nothing worse than being shouted at by a burly security dude in front of the FROW.
2. If you sit next to or behind a celebrity, try and look vaguely in a good mood. I was behind Tinie Tempah at a show once and he was papped to death, and the picture of me gurning in the background ended doing the rounds on the internet and I looked a right weirdo.
3. Just because a designer is hot-right-now doesn't mean you should wear their clothes if they're not actually your bag. Ditto the latest trends. There is nothing worse than spending a whole day at the shows in an outfit that you've picked out because it's a bit of a "look" but not really your look. I always mix a few new things with some old wardrobe faithfuls so there’s a balance.
4. Going backstage after a show and soaking up a bit of that atmosphere is one of my favourite parts of the job. I love seeing the model boards, which are basically all the outfits photographed on the models and pinned onto a board in the running order of the show. Another perk is talking to the designer about the ideas behind the collection, the fabrics they've used and so on.
5. It's physically impossible to go to every single show or presentation during London Collections: Men, so you have to work out what you really want to see. I have to decide which shows I think are going to be good to report on for the newspaper as well as making sure I'm seeing new designers, things that I know will cement trends and collections that I think will have influence. Also, it's always worth going to one thing you think you won't like.
6. In London, I'm always excited to see what the designers at MAN will do because so many of my favourite London menswear designers have emerged from this group show. Ditto Topman Design because it's important to see what trends the high-street is backing for next season.
7. Take lots of photos of things that excite you but not so many that you forget to watch the show itself.
8. Don't be afraid to talk to the people who are sitting around you but also know when to take the hint if they're on their phone/emailing/writing etc.
9. Never pass up a canapé. Ever. Ditto a glass of booze.
10. Go to the loo whenever you get the chance. There is nothing worse than drinking too much water/coffee/champagne and then being stuck in a queue/show that's running late/hideous traffic.
Topman Design’s show will be on Monday, 7th January at the Topman Show Space at 12:00. For more information - http://tpmn.co/10T9Iq0
You will also be able to interact with bloggers and celebrities through our innovative London Collections: Men app and get an incredible 360 degree view of the show. See you on the front row...