Hey there good lookin’! It may seem to you like a load of senseless strutting, preening and pouting but sometimes looking good can actually make you feel good. CALM Ambassador RKZ gives us the low down on LFW…
London Fashion Week brings some of Europe’s biggest industry names, brands and taste-makers all under one roof. Or in this case, a car park. Now more than ever, Europe’s fashion capital has become a frenzy of the coolest, craziest fashionistas you’re ever likely to see in the space of five flat white-fuelled days. From catwalks, to rainy Soho streets, to Instagram, to the world—there really is no place like London when Fashion Week comes to town.
In the midst of camera flashes, broody poses and branded-Mercedes drivers screaming bloody murder at pedestrians, you’re quite likely to hear groans of the ‘in-crowd’ wishing Fashion Week was still held inside the beautifully pale walls of Somerset House. As a creative who’s seriously contemplating moonlighting as a street style photographer, I’m all for the switch to Soho. It’s a lot more gritty, a lot less pretentious and people really go all out.
Bwoy Wonder at London Fashion Week. Image by RKZ
I swiftly came to the conclusion at my first Fashion Week outing that if you dress the part (or completely blag it), you’ll have at least twenty budding photographers take pictures of you. On Day 1, I dressed quite normally—oversized, all black, very much day-to-day me. Nada. Day 2, I switched the game: red and white houndstooth overcoat, brogues, clear frames and a beard even Odin would have been envious of. Safe to say, I was snapped in as many pictures as I took. It really does wonders for your ego.
RKZ at London Fashion Week. Image by Alice Cooke
There was more of a point to me shooting under the rainclouds this year, however. I was tasked in covering street style—but more specifically—men’s street style. Over the last few years, the men’s fashion scene in London exploded to the point it commanded its own dedicated show (London Collections: Men). You’d be sound in anticipating there’d be as many male fashionistas as there would be female.
As a photographer, I’ve always been drawn to detail and composition. I love the subtleties that bring out personality, taste and emotion. There’s something incredibly exciting about shooting here as you’re never quite sure what to expect, where you’ll get it, and how it’ll turn out. The amount of times I had images ruined due to forgetting to change exposure or—thanks to the new, densely-populated location—someone stepping into my frame in the last second. It brings back similarities to shooting on film: point, shoot and pray it turns out okay. Deciding not to do things half-heartedly, I brought my film camera along for the ride too. We’ll see how those exposures turn out in a few weeks. I’ll say the blur was intentional, ‘artistic’, etcetera.
Micheal Angelo at London Fashion Week. Image by RKZ
I managed to get as many shots of stylish male fashion designers, photographers, followers and influencers strutting their stuff as I did the women. Men are doing more to look after and take care of their appearance, and themselves, in this day and age which is massively important. Little things such as forcing yourself to get out of bed and get dressed in the morning can have a massive impact on your mood, productivity and self-confidence. I find when stuck in a negative head space, dressing up and taking care of my appearance makes me feel a little better. It also makes me feel a little less sorry for myself (sweats have a horrible tendency to do this). Looking good won’t exactly change your mood entirely, and may not even necessarily make you feel good, but little things most certainly go a long way.
For me, fashion has become an integral part of my every day. It’s very easy to get caught up in negative situations and it’s a great way to deal with it. You put on your armour. You protect yourself against what the world plans to throw at you, you brush it off and you embrace YOU. Why make a statement, when you can be one? I’ve always said that every individual should consider themselves a brand. People—unfortunately—very much still judge based on initial impressions, so give them something to look at. People say fashion is extremely materialistic and to an extent this can be true, but still waters always run deeper than you think.
@RKZUK on Twitter
To see RKZ’s London Fashion Week Photography, head over to RKZUK.com. Find out more about RKZ in the March issue of CALMzine.
About the author
RKZ (pronounced ‘Ricks’) is a 23 year-old musician from Luton, England. He began his career in 2007 as a rapper – being influenced by Hip Hop…
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