Yesterday, I walked past a line for London Fashion Week with my best friend. A queue I wasn't a part of, yet one I had been many times before. Looking at a very vivid reflection of myself from years past: the queue was still the same but the girl had changed.
I was sixteen when I went to my first London Fashion Week show a part of the press. I grew up and spent the next five years being the youngest, shyest girl in the room to chatting to designers backstage. From straining my neck trying to see the models walk down the catwalk to sitting front row and from being behind the lens to in front of it. I lived and breathed Fashion Week until my lungs began filling with empty air and the thrill of the late nights and early mornings no longer lived up to the definition of Me.
I gained friends, freebies, a sniff of the people I’d previously only ever seen on my tv screen and a taste of the rewards I could have from hard work. Hook Magazine didn’t just appear out of nowhere, it’s been over half a decade of dedication, exploration and trusting when the time is right to move on. For every second I spent on the side of the catwalk, I believed with all of my heart that it was because I wanted to be a fashion writer. I became a fashion writer. Named by the British Fashion Council as one of the top ten fashion writers of Autumn/Winter 15 and a largely successful blog - formerly known as louisvuittononthehook. Fashion was always there for me, even when people weren’t. It carried me through heartbreak, illness and loneliness. I was the best at it and no one could take that away.
Fashion seasons kept coming around but I did not. They served their purpose but I came to realise that if I kept up appearances, it’d be like trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans two sizes too small. This is my second season where I’m sat in my pyjamas on the sofa instead of being at an after party full of free champagne and people wearing clothes that cost more than my rent. I realised I was never afraid of change but people around me so definitely were. By choosing to not attend Fashion Week, would people assume I was no longer as cool or successful? They’d just have to wait to find out.
The truth is, I grew up. I followed my heart and ended up on a path - not so far away from fashion - but not focused on fashion. I wanted more and knew I had a deeper part of myself to offer the world. As I grew into the woman I am today, I realised a lot of my politics didn’t match up to those the hierarchy of fashion wavered. If I’d tied myself down to do Fashion Week season in, season out, I wouldn’t have achieved half of the things I can now say I have. And I certainly wouldn't have been able to live so honestly in my truth. I also didn’t want to end up resenting something that gave me so much confidence, fun and experience and so out of choice, I took a step back. A lot of people would kill for some of the opportunities Fashion Week gave me, but my interests changed and I had to follow them - I wouldn’t be able to create soul-fuelled, meaningful content if I didn’t. And I’m happier than ever during this chapter, this era of healing, magick and power that has lifted Hook into a whole new dimension.
Dear Fashion, you’ll always have a place in my heart. And I know I’ll return to you one day. I trained hard and worked harder to become a Fashion Writer and that girl still echoes with every forward step I take in my sparkly shoes. I may have taken a step back from the madness of Fashion Week but it remains a part of who Hook Magazine is and what it stands for louder than ever. It gave me resilience and made me a fighter and in my heart, fashion is still a medicine worth taking. But for now, I’m staying clear of the fashion flu and making sure the only bug I’m catching is the love kind. Love for life, self, others and anything in-between.