Last updated on Feb 17th, 2020 at 09:51 am

TV & radio presenter Jen Su gives us her personal guide to London Fashion Week

Just flying back from London Fashion Week, South Africa’s go-to girl on global fashion, TV/radio presenter Jen Su has given us her guide to navigating #LFW.

It’s not easy getting those exclusive invitations, front row seats, and backstage interviews, so how does she do it?

“It’s a lot of logistics, that’s for sure, but I’m a meticulous planner,” explains Su. “In my book, From Z to A-Lister: How To Build Your Personal Brand, I talk about the nuts and bolts of branding and how one can use social networking and social functions to achieve goals. In the past year, I’ve shifted my focus to international fashion weeks, and this year I’m honoured to have attended both New York and London Fashion Week.”

Here’s Jen’s guide to London Fashion Week:

1. Apply early

London Fashion Week, as in all other cities – is a trade-industry event and is mainly reserved for press/media, buyers, designers, bloggers, celebrities and influencers. If you fit those categories, you may apply through www.londonfashionweek.co.uk and follow the various links for accreditation. Put a note in your phone calendar about two months in advance, to remind you. You’ll need documentation, examples of your work, and a commissioning letter, so be prepared to get that together.

2. Social media

If you’ve got a following, you can also apply as an influencer. The BFC (British Fashion Council) states a guideline of Instagram fashion content accounts with 35k+ followers, YouTube 80k+ subscribers and 50k+views per fashion-related video, and blogs with over 15k monthly unique visitors with statistics provided from the last three months by Google Analytics.

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3. Friends and contacts

If accreditation is not a possibility, reach out to every fashion-inclined friend or relative you know, who has a contact in London, to see if he/she can get you in as their plus one or connect you to the event organiser or PR.

Post it on Facebook – who knows, a friend of a friend might put you in touch with the right person!

4. Standby queue

London Fashion Week (as in other cities) has a standby queue for those who don’t have tickets but would like to see the show. Again, www.londonfashionweek.co.uk has the show schedule in detail, and some (not all) of the offsite shows and presentations will have availability for a standby queue.

Get there at least a half an hour to an hour before the show and find out if there’s a standby queue. Fashion shows held in the early morning, for instance, sometimes have some “no-shows”, and they will allocate standby guests to come in, after the ticketed guests are seated.

LFW Paul Costelloe

5. London Fashion Week Festival

If you don’t have any connections and just want to buy tickets and see a show, your best bet is to purchase tickets for the London Fashion Week Festival. It follows right on the heels of London Fashion Week, and is open to the public. Tickets start from 20 GBP (approx R327) and feature full catwalk shows, haute couture, and industry insider talks.

6. LFW Guest Club Packages

A very limited number of Corporate Hospitality and Guest Club Packages are available through SME London in conjunction with the BFC, which offer fashion show packages to some of the top shows at London Fashion Week. Be prepared to spend upwards of 495 GBP (approx R8 094) per person, but the packages usually include a high tea or breakfast, premium seats at a top show, and often a reception with industry executives.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Models walk the runway at the Marta Jakubowski show during London Fashion Week February 2018 at BFC Show Space on February 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/BFC/Getty Images)

7. Look out for contests

Follow the social media accounts and check out the websites of your favourite LFW designers, who sometimes will have an opportunity to offer fans a number of free tickets to their shows.

8. Watch the livestream

So you don’t have the cash or the credentials. Most of the shows are streamed live on www.londonfashionweek.co.uk – so make a note in your calendar, and tune in on your cellphone or laptop!

Street style outside 180 Strand, London. London Fashion Week pics by Jen Su.

9. Check out the action at 180 Strand

If you’re in London, you can take a stroll over to 180 Strand, where the BFC Fashion Space is, and take a selfie in front of the big “London Fashion Week” sign.

There are lots of photographers taking photos of street style. Hang out for a while and you might see a celeb or two,walk by. Just look out for the swarm of photographers shouting their names. Without a pass though, don’t expect to get any further than the iron gates set up all around the venue.

Jen Su with BFC Ambassador for Positive Fashion and Model Adwoa Aboah

10. Dress to impress

Wear something fun, funky and accessorise with unusual sunglasses, coats, hats and bow ties. It’s best to wear comfortable, stylish shoes, and there’s no need to wear ballgowns.

11) Simplify travel logistics

The most convenient airline for LFW is British Airways. It’s an evening flight from Jozi or Cape Town to London Heathrow, and you land in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the catwalks.

New toiletry bags from The White Company (available on JNB-LHR flights from the end of this month, and on CPT-LHR flights from 7 March) on Club World provide revitalising spa moisturisers, which keep my skin plump during the flight, and is a great primer for makeup.

Fast track at immigration zips me through Passport Control at Heathrow Terminal 5. Take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington Station, and buy an Oyster Card to get you everywhere on the bus and Underground.

Jen Su on British Airways Club World – direct flights between JHB or CT and London Heathrow

12. Compare airfares and accommodation options

Momondo and Skyscanner are my top choices for finding cheap airfares. Choose a hotel that’s close to Fashion Week, so you have time to rest and change between shows. My favourite is the One Aldwych, which is a five minute walk from LFW and is in the heart of Covent Garden.

13. Have your devices charged and ready

The worst is when you’re sitting front row, the show’s about to start, and you have no battery left in your cellphone. Always carry a portable cellphone charger. My secret to a super steady shot of the catwalk, is my Osmo Mobile by DJI – it’s a fashion blogger’s best friend!

LFW Adwoa Aboah for Burberry