The world’s major fashion capital’s may seem like a long way from our own high street purchases but have a lot more impact on what we wear, than you might realise. Designer’s collections are shown in September and February. In the September shows’, clothing that is modelled is a preview of what will be available for the following Spring / Summer, and clothing that is shown in February previews the Autumn / Winter collections of that year. These collections are then documented by the fashion press, buyers and stylists, and from here worn first by the rich and famous.
After being shown in magazines and newspapers the styles are adopted by the High Street, so usually one year after it is shown, an item will become popular with the general public.
There are four major fashion capitals of the world, as well as many smaller shows, the four major shows are:
Paris – Paris is considered the fashion capital of the world, the crème de la crème of Haute Couture (made to measure) and Prêt a Porter (Ready to Wear). Every designer covets to bring their art and ideas to Paris and the pinnacle is to show in the Haute Couture shows. Paris is home to an array of high end labels from old and established Chanel and Dior to more contemporary Chloe and Celine.
Milan – Milan fashion week is all about classic Italian glamour chic. Designers who show here tend to be influenced by classical cuts and styles, but with the added Italian sex appeal (and ubiquitous Italian tan). Think Dolce Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Versace.
New York – New York tends to show typically American ready to wear fashions. Never at the cutting edge of design or most flamboyant collections, but always simply chic New York tends to show clean, cut natural collections that are easy to wear. New York designers tend to be graduates of the much revered Parson’s School of Art and Design such as Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs.
London – London is known for both being ultra cool and forward thinking some years; or bland and boring other years. Enfant Terrible of fashion John Galliano (inventor of the 1980′s New Romantic style, and current Head Designer at Givenchy / Dior) first showed at London, as did the late, great Alexander Mc Queen who trained as a tailor before studying fashion design. Both Galliano and Mc Queen studied design at Central Saint Martin’s College, London, whose graduates show their first collections during London Fashion Week, much to the anticipation of the fashion press.