Fashion Week Survival Kit

October 1, 2012

Daily Digest

Fashion Week Survival Kit

Pictured above: VO5 dry shampoo, Ren’s Tonic Moisture Mist , Stella McCartney’s for Adidas trainers, Proenza Schouler shoes from

In case you hadn’t noticed Fashion Weeks are in full flow, where the world’s fashion buyers, bloggers and editors are getting their first glimpse at the spring summer 13 collections.

Gillian Brett, our woman on the ground in London, who now writes full time for ELLE Magazine UK (while also gracing us with her weekly sartorial contributions), shares the must-have products that have gotten her through the London Fashion Week frenzy.

Fashion Week season involves a lot more than worrying about what to wear. Even if you leave the house looking your best, it’s a long day, involving lots of trekking around to different venues, so survival techniques must be employed. Besides becoming a pro at juggling a notebook, recorder and iPhone/iPad, plus sticking it out for hours in five-inch heels, there is a precise checklist of essential supplies to help keep you looking and feeling as fresh as you did at your first show.


First and foremost is the bag itself. I always go for a cult-carry-all that’s big enough to house a multitude of things without looking cumbersome. My failsafe handbag is my tan Michael Kors Hamilton Tote — it’s one of those timeless numbers that you can use season after season. If I’m wearing a pretty plain outfit or I want something a little livelier, I’ll bring my turquoise Proenza Schouler PS1 bag. Handbags really are the best investments and can complete (or spoil) every ensemble so choose wisely and think long term.


The second most important part of any outfit is the shoes. Again, good shoes can mean the difference between a good outfit and an amazing outfit. is amazing for picking up some statement shoe bargains. I got some gorgeous Proenza Schouler suede and macramé numbers (pictured above) for less than a third of the price just before Fashion Week and they worked perfectly for shows and after parties. Just don’t forget to pop some Scholl Party Feet in your bag too! Even gel pads can’t save your soles when walking (on cobblestone most of the time) from venue to venue.

I recommend sticking a sneaky pair of runners in your bag. I don’t mean mucky Asics, opt for one of Stella McCartney’s range for Adidas (pictured above) and you’ll still look chic as you dash around the city.

Gillian Brett - wearing Sandro jacket, Primark/Penneys jeans, Aldo shoes and bag, rings from Spitalfields market, Ray Ban sunglasses. Photo: ELLE

A Scarf and Hat

Scarves—fashionable and functional all at once. The weather in London can be quite changeable and by the time you get from your 9am show to your 9pm show temperatures can drop dramatically. Missoni is the go-to brand here, though Jonathan Saunders has been the fashion editor’s favourite this season. Hats are also amazing for keeping you warm while ensuring you look cool. H&M is the perfect destination for picking up lots of lovely headwear for very reasonable prices.

Hair and Make-up

When it comes to hair and make-up, a good primer and some dry shampoo are an absolute must. I find Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer incredible for giving your skin a healthy glow as well as keeping everything in place, even by the time you reach the after parties.

A spritz of Ren’s Tonic Moisture Mist (which you can get in Space NK in Harvey Nichols) between shows helps keep your skin hydrated without messing your make-up. For dry shampoo, VO5 do one that smells great as well as giving you hair some oomph, so you still feel fresh even if your do isn’t. VO5 also do an amazing volumising dry shampoo and a miracle-working backcombing spray that is perfect for creating a bit more glamour for after-show drinks but doesn’t damage your hair like dragging a comb backwards through it does.

Mobile Charger

The final thing I always make sure I pack for the shows is a Portable Mobile Charger, so I never ever have to lay off on instagramming. There is so much going on at Fashion Week, not just on the catwalk, that keeping a visual diary is essential for writing show reports/weekly round ups as well as looking back on to remind you why it’s all worth it!

–    Gillian Brett  @Gillian_Brett

Related posts:

  1. Fashion Week: Q&A with Jane Carr
  2. Fashion Week Explained
  3. Fashion Week: Q&A with Jane Carr
  4. Fashion Week Explained
  5. WSW is at London Fashion Week
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One Response to “Fashion Week Survival Kit”

  1. nora Says:

    her outfit looks stunning, love the way she put different pieces together.

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