It is widely known that France has been one of the world leaders of the fashion industry for centuries. It is a French cultural quirk that almost everyone in France is interested in fashion, and most men and women spend a large amount of their free time and income on clothes. Many French people, particularly Parisians, watch Paris Fashion Week on television, and a lucky few even attend.Thus it is no surprise that one of the “Big Four” international fashion weeks is held in Paris. Twice a year fashion week is held in these four cities, in the order of New York, London, Milan and finally Paris as the final city.In French Paris Fashion Week is known as Semaine des Createurs du Mode, which roughly translates to “Week of the Fashion Creators.”
What are the origins of Fashion Week?
The first fashion week was held in 1943 in New York. Due to the Nazi occupation of France, members of fashion industry were unable to travel to France to showcase their designs and review the designs of others. The situation in Paris was so dire that many Parisian fashion houses closed during WWII, including Maison Chanel.American publicist Eleanor Lambert organized the first New York Fashion Week in order to showcase American designers who had long been overlooked in preference of French couturiers. Lambert invited many fashion journalists to the so-called “press week”, which was held at the Plaza Hotel. Overall the fashion show was highly successful and changed the perception of American fashion.In later years several other cities began holding their own fashion weeks, most notably Milan in 1958 and London in 1984. This formed the “Big Four” of fashion weeks around the world: New York, Paris, Milan and London. While these are the major fashion weeks around the world, there are dozens of others held everywhere from Sao Paolo to Tokyo.And while the first Fashion Week was held in New York in 1943, the idea of a fashion show had long been around, used by department stores since the early 20th century to promote their high-end clothes, particularly in France.
What are the origins of Paris Fashion Week?
While New York Fashion Week was founded in 1943, Paris Fashion Week began in 1973 at Versailles Palace, the one-time home of Louis XIV and many other French royals.It is no surprise that Paris is home to one of the world's four major fashion weeks considering Paris is also home to many haute-couture fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Chanel.Many of these shops line the Champs-Elysees, a wide, horse-chestnut tree-lined street in Paris boasting some of the world's most expensive real estate and expensive stores. It is essentially the French equivalent to New York's 5th Avenue. Along with clothes stores, the Champs-Elysees has lots of other luxury speciality shops that sell everything from silks to watches.
Where is Paris Fashion Week held?
Paris Fashion Week is held in the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall located near the Louvre. It is run by the French Fashion Federation (French: Federation francaise de la couture).Like the other “Big Four” fashion weeks, Paris Fashion Week unveils new trends twice a year: the Spring/Summer collections occurs in September and the Autumn/Winter Collections occurs in February.
The tremendous reputation of Paris Fashion Week attests to the French dedication to elegance, fashion and luxury. While it is very difficult to procure a ticket to one of the fashion shows of Paris Fashion Week, it is still fun to be in Paris during fashion week as there are lots of fashion publicists, photographers and even models around the city, as well as a general buzz of energy and excitement.
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