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L’Histoire de Mode #2~Fashion Week

 

 

Fashion Week History

In 1943, the first New York Fashion Week was held,

with one main purpose: to distract attention from French

fashion during WWII, when workers in the fashion industry

were unable to travel to Paris. This was an opportune

moment – as for centuries designers in America were thought

to be reliant on the French for inspiration. The fashion

publicist Eleanor Lambert organized an event she called

‘Press Week’ to showcase American designers for fashion journalists,

who had previously ignored their works. The Press Week was a success,

and, as a result, magazines like Vogue (which were normally filled with

French designs) began to feature more and more American innovations.

Until 1994, shows were held in different locations, such as hotels, or lofts.

Eventually, after a structural accident at a Michael Kors show, the event

moved to Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, where it remained

until 2010, when the shows relocated to Lincoln Center. However, long before

Lambert, there were fashion shows throughout America. In 1903, an NYC shop, called

Ehrich Brothers, put on what is thought to have been the country’s first fashion show,

to lure middle-class females into the store. By 1910, many big department stores

were holding shows of their own.

It is likely that American retailers saw that they were called

‘fashion parades’ in Paris couture salons and decided to use the idea.

These parades were an effective way to promote stores, and improved

their status. By the 1920s, the fashion show had been used by retailers

up and down the country. They were staged, and often held in the shop’s

restaurant during lunch or teatime. These shows were usually more theatrical

than those of today, heavily based upon a single theme, and accompanied

with a narrative commentary. The shows were hugely popular, enticing

crowds in their thousands – crowds so large, that stores in New York in the

fifties had to obtain a license to have live models. Nowadays, access to

New York Fashion Week is by invitation only, and only fashion magazine

editors, fashion magazine journalists, models (and ex-models)

and celebrities are invited.

Other buyers are restricted to the showrooms and stores, and the

articles in the magazines. The dominance of the big four has been

criticised for benefiting industry participants. For example, buyers,

journalists, models and celebrities can limit their travel and simply move

from one city to the other over the four week period. This arrangement

has been criticized for stifling manufacturing employment in the UK

and design talent in emerging fashion hubs such as Los Angeles.

 

Fashion Week Schedule

New York, London, Milan and Paris each host a fashion week twice a year with

New York kicking off each season and the other cities following in the

aforementioned order.

There are two major seasons per year – Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer.

For Womenswear, the Autumn/Winter shows always start in

New York in February. Spring/Summer shows start in September

in London. Menswear Autumn/Winter shows start in January in Milan

for typically less than a week followed by another short week in Paris.

Menswear Spring/Summer shows are done in June. Womenswear Haute

Couture shows typically happen in Paris a week after

the Menswear Paris shows.

Over the past few years, more and more designers have shown

inter-seasonal collections between the traditional Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons.

These collections are usually more commercial than the main season collections and

help shorten the customer’s wait for new season clothes. The inter-seasonal

collections are Resort/Cruise (before Spring/Summer) and Pre-Fall (before Autumn/Winter).

There is no fixed schedule for these shows in any of the major fashion capitals but

they typically happen three months after the main season shows. Some designers show

their inter-seasonal collections outside their home city. For example, Karl Lagerfeld

has shown his Resort and Pre-Fall collections for Chanel in cities such

as Moscow, Los Angeles and Monte Carlo instead of Paris. Many designers

also put on presentations as opposed to traditional shows during Resort and

Pre-Fall either to cut down costs or because they feel the clothes

can be better understood in this medium.

Some fashion weeks can be genre-specific, such as a

Miami Fashion Week (swimwear), Rio Summer (swimwear),

Prêt-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) Fashion Week, Couture

(one-of-a-kind designer original) Fashion Week and Bridal

Fashion Week, while Portland (Oregon, USA) Fashion Week

shows some eco-friendly designers.

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Jewelry S/S ’11~1930 by Chris Jackson

 

Photos: Chris Carr, eatthecakenyc Model: Bridget Ploof, modelmayhem.com/bridgetp Stylist: Christopher Jackson Jewelry: 1930by Chris Jackson

New Photos Coming Out from Day II

Find the Video Look Book under the new

page:Look Book. The rest of the photos

will be in under the Jewelry Page.

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