Jean-Charles de Castelbajac AW 2008 was the collection that really got me excited about the fashion industry. It wasn't the first show I attended – that was Aminaka Wilmont in London earlier that season – but it was the first when the fashion bug really took hold. We were in Paris, the show was in the Louvre, Miss J was sitting across from us and we necked miniatures of Cointreau from our handbags every time the security guard was looking the other way. The live performance by Curry + Coco was stomping (we listened to it drunk in our rooms back at uni every time we were getting ready to go out) and the models danced on the runway, something I'd never seen as a teenager watching FTV obsessively in my living room. We were into maximalist dressing at the time and made cartoon-themed costumes for the fancy-dress after party; I was Le Petit Prince gone gay. It was completely amazing. Both Anna and I bought Rubik's cube JCDC pieces when his store opened in London. I drew an exclamation mark on my face for my birthday party that year.Since then I've gone to lots (hundreds?) of fashion shows, in London and Paris, and sat on the front row, the second row, the third row, stood behind the sixth row, and twice been left standing in the queue outside when you could already hear the audience clapping from within the tent (*cough* PPQ *cough*). I've done womenswear AW 2008 – AW 2012 in London and menswear SS 2010 – SS 2013 in Paris. So this is the first season in a long time I'm not going to the shows. Work takes top priority (even weekends are a no-no). But I'm strangely not that sad about it. For one thing, fashion week takes a lot out of you. There's the initial planning, the emailing, the phone-calls and the schedules. Then the standing (inevitably hungover), the running around until your feet bleed, the ache of SLRs on shoulders and the ridiculously rude security staff at Somerset House. Not to forget the money you spend when you don't have a magazine budget covering your expenses... I'm almost looking forward to my 2am thesis freak-outs now. Don't get me wrong, attending fashion week has been brilliant, exciting and, at times, an honour. But last season in London I really did start to question why I was there, because I just wasn't feeling that JCDC thrill I remembered from my first time in Paris. And I know I'm not alone – several bloggers have expressed the same sentiment to me over the past couple of seasons. That moment was there and now it's passed. Our blogs and our lives are constantly evolving and I'm not completely sure what my runway coverage adds to the online pool of knowledge. When I have the time again I'd love to keep seeing the shows for the designers I'm fascinated by and whose clothes I buy regularly, if they'll have me. But I don't think I'll ever have the urge (or the time) to attempt a full schedule again. I'm still a fanatic, it's just my zeal has become more concentrated.
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