A London Fashion Week Debrief (Big Ben Is Hung ASF)
Vogue World, Mowalola, an Irina Shayk repost, and more moments from the Big Smoke.
After a year and a half of dedicated boyblogging, I have finally “made it." Instagram had confirmed that they were flying me out to cover London Fashion Week, a small town loser dream come true. I was on top of Big Ben, or I mean, the world. I packed my bags with every outfit imaginable and set off for London like the socialite high fashion slur I was made to be.
After a really high and scary time at JFK, I found myself aboard my American Airlines flight headed for the big smoke to explore the world of emerging designers. Upon landing at 9:30 in the morning, it was time to switch into a headspace that was appropriate aka listening to some old Ke$ha. Show confirmations were rolling in, and my workload began to pile up.
Accompanying me on this adventure were three other influencers with Instagram. We are all attending Vogue World. After taking my pic on the carpet, we entered the Theatre Royal, where the air was filled with the scent of luxury and the ‘lack of charm’ of celebrities. Inside, I was greeted by the legendary Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful. My intrusive thoughts were just thinking “queen of bob” the whole time I was in her presence. We headed to the bar for some champagne, mainly to calm my nerves but also to flood all my disturbing and uncomfortable intrusive thoughts.
The champagne flowed, and I felt like a corporate boy enveloped in glitz and glamour, slightly out of my element. I had some encounters with some High End Homo stans (international puss) and even engaged in conversations with some models who turned out to be not only stunning but also personable, a pleasant surprise. We wandered around, struggling to find our seats in the huddled event space, where it was packed as they delayed allowance to seating for an abrupt allocation of time.
A charming British woman working at the venue eventually led us to our seats, and we discovered we had a private box overlooking the stage, the upper seats for the public, and the floor seats. The event attracted a star-studded lineup, including Winnie Harlow, Cole Sprouse, the two faggots from Netflix's 'Heartstopper,' Jodie Turner-Smith, Victoria Beckham, John Galliano, Jared Leto, and many more like more than I can even name more.
The show began with a digital video featuring Kate Moss and John Galliano walking through a hallway in black and white. To my surprise, Kate Moss walked out on stage wearing the same dress, and I almost fainted like Tyra Banks falling on the floor during that America’s Next Top Model moment. Then, FKA Twigs took the stage, delivering choreography, kisses with Cara Delevingne, and vocals that christened the audience. Top models like Anok Yai, Paloma Elsesser, Irina Shayk, and Iris Law appeared, walking around in high-fashion garments in the audience from the Fall/Winter 2023 season, featuring designs from Miu Miu, JW Anderson, Rick Owens, Martine Rose, Schiaparelli, and more.
For the grand finale, supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Chrissy Turlington made a striking entrance in green and silver gowns, strutting around the lower floor. I was utterly captivated, feeling like I had transcended to another world, overwhelmed with emotion, as if I had been struck in the heart on my final day. After the chaos, we filtered into the pre-afterparty where I found Leo Decaprio and most importantly my mom, Michele Lamy. I kindly walked over to her (the only celebrity there with a brink of humanity in the building) to take a pic and smoke some Vogue cigarettes.
With only four hours of sleep that night, London Fashion Week officially kicked off, and it was time to hit the ground running. We drove past Big Ben, with "London Bridge" by Fergie playing in the background, as I anxiously checked my email to find I had been confirmed for the Mowalola show happening later that night. At that moment, I realized it was going to be a long ass day, and after the previous night's experience, I could hardly believe this was all happening. My first two shows were Di Petsa and Natasha Zinko, and I was excited because all the designers were new and fresh to my eyes. New York Fashion Week had become somewhat predictable, with the same designers and house codes season after season. I was craving something new.
Di Petsa's collection celebrated the ethereal woman with belly chains and low-cut dresses that left little to the imagination (cracks were out and not the Hunter Biden type of crack). It was reminiscent of Alexander McQueen, with the iconic Bumster making a return, even though it seemed to divide opinions among the public. Draped satin tops looked like they were melting onto models' skin, and lacing was used to tie dresses together, creating a sensual and daring sight. After the show, I joined some friends for a shopping spree at SELFRIDGES and later made a solo stop at JW Anderson. After some running around, I settled down across from a gay bar filled with grey-haired men (a favorite sight of mine), charged my phone, and sipped on an Aperol Spritz.
Thirty minutes later, I went into Gisele Bundchen-mode, strutting down to Soho Square for Natasha Zinko's show. The show was set in a park, with tents scattered around, and I couldn't help but think we were in for a campy experience.
The show kicked off after a brief chat with my favorite seatmate, Stephen (aka @nevertrustachurchgirl), who was a new friend but a friendly face in London. The entire show experience was exquisite, with the music setting the mood. However, I couldn't help but feel that the clothes were somewhat repetitive and reminded me too much of the Balenciaga aesthetic. Socks over heels, hoodies with boxer briefs poking out of sweatshorts, and models strutting to a fast-paced beat—it all felt like a rehash of what we have seen before. Maybe it was my hunger talking, but I had hoped for something more unique, especially at London Fashion Week, known for showcasing new and emerging designers.
After the show, Stephen and I rushed to our reservation in Soho to grab a meal. I needed to compose myself and prepare for Mowalola's show at 8:30 PM, which was located all the way in East London (we need to centralize shows). I devoured my quesadilla, indulged in light shit talk, and even ordered some more food to go, as I was in a rush and knew I would be hungrier later. As I set off for Mowalola's show, I listened to Playboi Carti and reflected on the whirlwind of experiences of the past few days with my head hanging out the window like any dog would.
The venue was in a warehouse known as The Beams, renowned for its history of hosting raves. Its hallways were constructed from sturdy concrete and brick, and the guiding presence of the Mowalola logo was akin to the moonlight on the Oregon Trail. As we made our way towards the runway, we raced to secure the best spot on the rail, and our astonishment reached its peak when we realized that Kanye West and Bianca Censori were seated directly in front of us.
The spectacle began with a bang. A gigantic red letter M came to life amid ambient lighting and digital, almost human-like sounds that seemed to groan in the background. This was accompanied by the sudden eruption of loud punk rock music, signifying the official start of the show.
The music curation for the show was a whirlwind of eclectic tracks, ranging from Sexyy Red to iconic phrases like "Damn son where'd you find this", a stuttering "China" from an old Donald Trump clip, Paris Texas, Nicki Minaj's "Roman's Revenge," and, most notably, a brand new Kanye track. It wasn't merely a fashion show; it felt like being at a music festival like Lollapalooza. The energy was palpable, and virtually everyone had their phones out to capture the first look.
The first model, Irina Shayk, made a powerful entrance down the extensive catwalk, wearing a striking silver backless halter-style dress that revealed a provocative glimpse of her backside. Her face was adorned with makeup, featuring bruises and tape. The show's title, 'Crash,' provided context as the underlying message was clear: "We run from pain, but we need pain to survive." The sock shoes, heels, and boots were the stars of the night, and sitting behind Kanye, I understood where the influence came from.
Witnessing this show unfold before my very eyes filled me with an overwhelming appreciation for why I was there and the purpose behind my work. My hands were sweating with intensity and I was nervous my new rings were going to fall off that I purchased earlier that day. It felt like I was witnessing culture evolve in real-time. It was incredible to see Mowalola challenge the public with her design by having two models walk down the runway together, sharing a T-shirt and miniskirts—one bearing the Chinese flag and the other the Saudi Arabian flag, symbolizing the restrictions faced by individuals in those countries.
In an era where social media often portrays only flawless attributes, the show was a celebration of authenticity, featuring stained and worn garments that reflected the realities of human existence. This shift had been gradually emerging over the past few seasons, often referred to on the braindead app called ‘X’ as the "poor aesthetic." However, I didn't perceive it as such. Instead, it felt like a rebellion against the curated image, a genuine expression of individuals who had experienced life's ups and downs.
In the age of Twitter and cancel culture, it was remarkable to see a designer incorporate such bold political statements into her show. Trump's China quote being mixed in and out of the music production felt like a push forward, a glimpse into the future, a reconciliation of culture, a new world. It was Mowalola, and she had undoubtedly poured her heart into that runway.
Before leaving the venue, Alyssa and I ventured to the backstage area for a closer look. I bumped into Noah and Chandler, bombed another faggy joke, and then set off to capture some photos of the models, still adorned in their quite literally striking makeup and outfits. After covering every nook and cranny, we left the venue in near silence, but with the broadest grins on our faces, still in disbelief about everything we had just experienced.
We decompressed after with a drink at the bar directly outside, scrolling through our phones to revisit some of the moments we had just captured. On the way to the after, I checked my Instagram notifications to check out my post of the show to see that queen and mother Irina Shayk had reposted my carousel post to her story. I couldn’t have peaked harder in the last 24 hrs.