Fashion from the beginning of time: from Press Week to Fashion Week
The date to note is the 15th February 2013. No, this is not a mix up with Valentine’s Day. It is for those fashion lovers, the time of the year where top designers have A-listers and famous models stride down their runways. Yes, ladies… It is London Fashion Week.
Fashion Week has been around since what seems like forever. It all began in 1943 with New York Fashion Week. Originally this all came about to divert attention away from French fashion during the Second World War, when workers in the fashion industry were unable to travel to Paris. Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert was the figurehead who organised a “Press Week” event showcasing American designers for fashion journalists. With Press Week’s success, magazines like Vogue began launching new American designers’ careers. This indeed marked the pivotal moment in upcoming fashion trends.
Eleanor may take all the credit for conceiving Fashion Week, but fashion shows in America were debuted as early as 1903 in New York City. The Ehrich Brothers created the country’s first fashion show, enticing middle-class women into stores. In-house fashion shows became quite the rave, aiding in extra promotion for departmental stores and their brands. These “fashion parades” were even compared to the Parisian couture salons.
Today, Fashion Week occurs twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world: New York, London, Milan and Paris, with New York starting it all off. These Fashion Weeks are an opportunity for buyers to preview designs and trends – months in advance. From January until April, designers debut their autumn and winter collections; September through November is for the spring and summer.
Some Fashion Weeks such as Miami Fashion Week focuses on swimwear, Prêt-a-Porter Fashion Week on ready-to-wear clothing and Bridal Fashion Week, on the blushing bride choices, is genre-specific.
Fashion Week is not just restricted to New York or London; other significant locations are Copenhagen, Australia, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dallas, Dubai, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Madrid, São Paulo, Toronto and Lahore.
Magazines such as Vogue have a member of staff attend these shows, disclosing to the public what should be in your wardrobe for the upcoming season. Many a time not only are celebrities like Kendal and Kylie Kardashian partake on the catwalk, but several have front row seats: Kayne West, Rachel Zoe and Kate Moss are just a few of the familiar faces sitting upfront. Celebrity turned designers such as Avril Lavigne and Katie Holmes unveil their first ever collection at this opportune moment.
Fashion Week is not just a show; it is a weeklong party for those in the industry and a chance to schmooze. Remember the movie The Devil Wears Prada? It’s all true ladies. See London Fashion Week’s schedule and catch the action.
Photo: Kimberley Larmouth