The Industry: Fashion Week

Fashion week is upon us again, designers from around the globe, New York to Milan, will soon be trotting out their latest creations. That also means the fashion world will be in non-stop overdrive for the next month. But why is fashion week such a buzzed about event, and how did it even all start?

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A Balenciaga Fashion Show From The 1950’s, Via Life

Well it all started in Paris — of course, the most fashionable city there is. The fashion show first appeared in the mid-19th century, but it was nothing at all like the shows we know today. The fashion shows of Paris at this time were all about haute couture. These shows were small presentations for esteemed clientele which allowed them to view a collection before scheduling private appointments. But then the French government formed an organization to regulate its illustrious couture industry, requiring a certain number of presentations and individual looks in a year, which began a regular schedule of fashion presentations.

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A Dior Couture Show From the 1960’s, Via The Cut

Fashion shows (like every other trend started in Paris) soon spread across the world. They became particularly popular with retailers, who held fashion shows in their salons for their best clients to show off the latest arrivals. But then in the mid-20th century, in the midst of World War II,a fashion publicist named Eleanor Lambert gathered around 50 designers in New York to show their designs at the Plaza Hotel to journalists from around the country, and the modern fashion week was born.

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The Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Runway, Via Stylecaster

Since the first “fashion week” in 1943, fashion week has constantly changed and grown (much like fashion itself). Nowadays, fashion week is a behemoth of an event, and the actual fashion shows can be just as grandiose. And in fact, fashion week is not even a week anymore, but a whole month. There are four major fashion weeks each September and February: first New York, then London, Milan, and finally Paris. Four long, fashion-packed weeks, that have not only retailers and fashion editors hopping from one fashion capital to another, but now the front rows are filled with celebrities and bloggers and everyone inbetween.

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The Star-Studded Front Row At Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2014, Via Us Magazine

While fashion week is ultimately still about the sales, networking with retailers and editors alike is only a part of the happenings. Fashion week has now become a place to be seen and get noticed, which has lead to the big buzz around the shows every season. Street style is the biggest product of this trend, everyone from the bloggers to the buyers (and even people who weren’t invited) bring out the best and the boldest pieces from their wardrobe to stand out from the crowd and get their picture snapped by the hundreds of cameras gathered outside each show.

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Anna Dello Russo’s Street Style in Paris, Via Hipstersleek

So this fashion month, from the first show in New York to the last show in Paris, expect all the fanfare if not even more. Expect some crazy trends to be born on and off the runway, as well as some you’ll want in your closet instantly. So while the intimate salon showings of Paris couturiers may now only be a part of fashion history, there’s certainly something thrilling about the enormous event these fashion weeks have become. What these shows will become in the years ahead is just as much a mystery as what we’ll all be wearing then, but it’s guaranteed to be just as glamorous, because you know fashion will always love a little glamour.

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