CHIC CLIQUE CRIB SHEET; Want to Get with the London Fashion Week Gang? Then Learn Who's Who and Strut Your Stuff in Six-Inch Heels, Says Jo Blythe
Byline: Jo Blythe
KNOW WHO TO WATCH
In fashion there are important people, influential people and then there are those who are both - who are part of the inner-inner circle. This is a handful of mega stylists, editors and photographers who lead the way for a mass of hungry, middle-ranking fashionistas and press. 'It's the "inner-inners" who control the major titles and style the biggest designer campaigns,' says one fashion editor. 'They have access to brands and will often work as consultants to big-name design houses. What they wear is a guaranteed indication of what's next. If you see Love editor Katie Grand wearing something at a fashion party, chances are it will appear three seasons down the line. Basically the rest follow like sheep.'
KNOW THE UNIFORMS
Ooh, we do love a fashion tribe. The most contentious being the RSIs (rich socialite interns), marked out for their precocious fashion sense (see Gossip Girl), powerful connections and limitless funds to splash on new designer garb - Tory Burch and Luella are favourites. 'The RSIs are slowly but surely taking over,' says one fashion PR. 'I remember when I was a teenage intern, being so envious of my boss's designer clothes. Now it's the other way round!' Note: they are not necessarily the coolest girls on the block, but they are ambitious and therefore worth knowing - you never can tell whose shoes they'll be slipping into in ten years' time.
Next come the FASHION BUYERS. 'I call them the fashion witches,' jokes Brix Smith-Start, owner of Shoreditch's Start boutique and star of Gok's Fashion Fix, 'because they always wear all black. It's very severe and purposeful - they want to look like they mean business.' The buyers can make or break a designer commercially by giving them their first sales outlet. After all, there's no point being splashed across fashion pages if no one is stocking your clothes. You can't live on PR.
Then there's the MOD (model off duty) look - black tuxedo jacket, elegantly distressed Alexander Wang T-shirt (retail: [pounds sterling]165) and tight ripped jeans. You'll know they're important if they're in a rush - only new girls have time to loiter at limitless castings. The top names have private fittings and wear the hottest bags and shoes - samples left over from shooting next season's big-label campaigns.
Finally you have THE HANGERS-ON: friends of friends, fashion students and assistants who have managed to blag standing tickets. Desperate to prove their fashion credentials, they make too much of an effort and look completely out of place for being so utterly bang on trend - either with head-to-toe current-season branded designer garb or (particularly if they're students) wildly creative, 'ironic' concoctions of vintage and high street.
DON'T BE FOOLED - THE IT-BAG WAS NEVER OUT OF FASHION
The style press would have us believe that, in these penny-pinching times, the [pounds sterling]800-plus It-bag phenomenon is over, but take a look at any fashion show front row and next to the designer-clad feet you'll see a row of the very latest bags by Gucci, Mulberry and Yves Saint Laurent. Why? Because everyone loves a free bag. Leading brands regularly 'gift' the latest design to an elite of editors prior to each season in the hope of currying favour, and, better still, the editors being photographed toting them. Editors frequently oblige.
You can't beat the kudos of wearing a designer vintage original, a YSL tuxedo jacket or original Halston, particularly if the look is being reinvented in current collections. …