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A vegan at London Fashion Week


This week, I went to London Fashion Week.

Seriously.

I was invited as a guest by someone who'd never met me. It was quite obvious that she'd never met me, as  if she had, she might know that my idea of fashion is having a clean hoodie on and my trainers laced up. A fashionista I am not.

Still, as a journalist, I occasionally get invited to events I would never normally be able to get tickets, or be able to afford to get tickets, to - football matches, private viewings of art exhibitions, cocktails at posh bars, all that sort of stuff. Think of it as a supplement for the terrible wages journalists get paid - we don't get much cash, but we do get fun.

The unlikeliness of someone so fashion-ambivalent as me getting an invite to Fashion Week meant I had to go.


I strapped on some boots, some daft jewellery and a bored sneer and hoped to blag my way through.

The first catwalk show I saw was Caronline Charles, the second Jean-Pierre Braganza (a dress from that show is pictured in the corner, taken on my crappy phone).

Watching the shows was strangely exhilerating - like observing a new type of dance from a rainforest tribe that had just made contact with anthropologists from the West for the first time. It was so completely outside the run of my quotidian life, I couldn't help but find it fascinating.


In between the two shows, the look-at-me types had appeared: men in smurf hats and three inch cork-platformed boots, people of both sexes wearing sunglasses depsite the lack of sun, even into the toilet, a woman dressed as a Victorian ghost.

At this point I retired to the Somerset House feeding and watering hole, Tom's Kitchen, for brunch.

My good Fashion Week hosts had informed the people at Tom's Kitchen that I'm a vegan some days in advance. Nevertheless, when I turned up, I was approached by a slightly baffled looking maitre d'.  "What do you want for brunch?" he said. "Some fruit? A salad?"

I felt like asking for unicorn tears or dinosaur scales just to see what he'd come up with, but instead asked for a tweaked version of one of the omni dishes on the menu: tomatoes and mushrooms on toast.

Great big portobello slabs arrived, with juicy, lightly-salted tomatoes.  The toast was not the wholewheat stuff promised, but hey, who's complaining? The kitchen had rustled up unexpected some bubble and squeak for me and a metric truckload of espresso and bucks fizz so I felt entirely less than hard done by.

Having gorged myself on what the maitre d' described as "like a full English, only with no bacon or eggs", the kitchen brought out yet more food, in the form of a big bowl of fruit - strawberries, oranges, kiwi and apple.

I'm normally far more interested in the art on display at Somerset House than the fashion, but having been amply fed and watered I wandered off to check out the jewellery, frocks and other creations on show.

Silly, beautiful, elitist but interesting nonetheless. Fashion Week almost convinced me that clothing is a form of art, after a fashion.

Almost.


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