Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Amsterdam Fashion Week. Who?

While some editors are still buzzing over Men’s Collection and others are looking forward to the start of New York Fashion Week, I find myself attending Amsterdam Fashion Week AW15.

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Mingling among a small gathering of the city’s fashion elite, I find the crowd to not be made up of the usual fashion movers and shakers. To put it simply NY, London, Paris and Milan fashion week are like Cher Horowitz from Clueless, stylish, on trend and in the know whilst Amsterdam is more of the lesser known Amber, trying to keep up but not quite ticking all the boxes.

This season I made the decision to include the smaller fashion weeks into my schedule. I am talking about Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin etc. It was this decision that led me to contacting the press office for Amsterdam Fashion Week. Via email I enquired after registering my attendance, their response was a link to buy tickets. I thought I misunderstood, so I asked again, “how does a member of press register”, and I received the same response “You must pay for a ticket”. What?!? Pay? I am no Miranda Priestly, but one thing I do understand is that you are either credited or not. Refusing to pay I decided to contact the PR’s directly which proved to be a success.

When Amsterdam Fashion Week rolled around, my first experience of stepping into the ‘tent’ was for an evening runway show. To my right there was a queue and to my left the press room. Deciding to check out the press room first, I entered and I was greeted by a friendly receptionist. Smiling politely I said my hello and walked in. Taking in the ambience the first thing I noticed was the litter of Coco Vita and Little Miracles bottles all over the countless tables and chairs. Next I cast my eyes over the crowd. Chatting amongst themselves the collection of press seemed to be an endless supply of young bloggers, and as I exited I wondered, “where are the usual magazine girls?”

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Feeling parched for something stronger than the tea and coffee on offer I decided to go and find myself some bubbly, an essential for any fashion person attending Fashion Week in the evening. Bypassing security I went directly to the bar. As I swayed my hips to the reggae music I requested a glass of bubbly from the chiseled barman. His silent response was to point to a booth that was situated next to the bar. Not understanding why he was pointing, it took me a few seconds to realise that he wanted me to go there. Strutting over to the girls sitting in the booth, they efficiently asked me how many tokens I wanted to buy. Tokens? She explained that to get drinks I had to buy tokens. So it is not an open bar? I received a blunt no.  With that news I told her with slight sarcasm that I needed (not wanted) a glass of bubbly. Her face told me that she was not impressed with my joke and I quickly learnt that my British sense of humour did not have a place at Amsterdam Fashion Week. So putting on my serious face I gave her 10 euros for 3 tokens that equalled one glass of bubbly. I made my way back to the bar and got my drink, finally!

With a glass of chilled bubbly for company I stood in the corner and took it all in. This was not fashion as I have come to know it. Where were the big personalities? The stressed out looking fashion assistants trailing behind the editors? The all-in-black PR women on a power trip? The stylish dressers who come out twice a year to wow the crowds? They were nowhere to be seen.  The usual air kisses had vanished and had been replaced with a cold unfriendly air, brrrrhhh. A for effort Amsterdam Fashion Week, but it is with a bowed head that I must agree with my new friend Bono, the stylish fashion blogger that I struck up a conversation with, “No one knows Amsterdam Fashion week is going on, no one celebrates it, including Amsterdam itself”.

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Dutch Blogger Bono | Instagram.com/byBono

-MUCHANETA KAPFUNDE

(EDITOR)