If you’re a true-blue fashionista, you would take your style cues from Fashion Week. You would study and scrutinise fashion trends as set by the movers and shakers in the fashion world. Fashion Week, as suggested by the name, is a fashion industry event that lasts for approximately one week. During this week, fashion designers and brands from all over the world get to display their latest collections in runway shows, while buyers and the media learn about the latest trends. Most importantly, these events let the fashion industry know what's in and what's out for the season. The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world: Milan, Paris, New York, and London. Some others include Berlin, Barcelona, Boston, Copenhagen, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, São Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Hong Kong.
The first New York Fashion Week (NYFW) was held in 1943, with the sole purpose to distract attention from French fashion during World War II, when workers in the fashion industry were unable to travel to Paris. Prior to this, fashion designers in America had been 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. Press Week was a success, and magazines like Vogue, which were normally filled with French designs, subsequently began to feature more American innovations. NYFW now sees big names like Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren participating. Since then, Fashion Week has grown bigger and bigger, so much so that they are held in numerous cities and in grand fashion. It is now the biggest fashion event to look out for twice a year. The schedule begins with New York, followed by London, and then Milan, and ending the events in Paris.
London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the highest profile fashion events in the world and one of the ‘big four’ international catwalk influencers. The event is organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC) and funded by a number of sponsors, including Vodafone. There are 60 catwalk shows on the official schedule, as well as further 45 shows off schedule. Milan Fashion Week, established in 1958, is owned by The National Chamber for Italian Fashion, a non-profit association which disciplines, co-ordinates and promotes the development of Italian fashion and is responsible for hosting the fashion events and shows of Milan. Famous designers that participate include Prada, Gucci, Versace and Moschino.
Paris Fashion Week is held in Paris, France with Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections showcased by major fashion houses such as Guy Laroche, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Isabel Marant, Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga, and more each year. Dates are determined by the French Fashion Federation. Currently, Fashion Week is held in the Carrousel du Louvre, as well as at various other venues throughout the city.