Cities on the Fashion Week Honor Roll

Here’s a look at Fashion Week history and highlights from the Spring/Summer 2018 shows.

Designers working on designs for fashion weekDuring various Fashion Weeks, all eyes in the industry turn to the international fashion capitals—New York City, London, Milan, Paris and Miami—to see the newest styles.

In a nonstop parade of parties and runway shows, the hottest designers preview their upcoming season’s collections for journalists, fashion buyers, celebrities and fashionistas.

It’s also a chance for fashion designers to take notes, critique trends and find models who show off their work the best.

Fashion Weeks are held twice a year, usually in February and September, to showcase the spring/summer and fall/winter collections.

New York kicks off the Fashion Weeks, with London, Milan and Paris hot on its high heels. Miami, a newer entry, gets a head start in July before the shows of the other “big four” cities.

Spring/Summer 2018 Collection Highlights

Here’s what some of the world’s top designers previewed on the runways and what fashionistas can expect to find in the stores come spring 2018.

New York Fashion Week
2018 will see us sporting a variety of open-toed shoes, biker-inspired jackets and pants, sheer and sheer paneled tops and bottoms, menswear-inspired suits and sport coats, various head wraps, and thigh-high slits and boots. On our wish list: FentyXPuma’s sheer and white pull-over hoodie worn by the model of the moment Adwoa Aboah.

London Fashion Week
British designers this season incorporated lots of color and vibrant patterns and materials. There weren’t many ball gowns shown this season, however, tea-length and floor-length dresses with heels or sneakers was a prevalent theme. Christopher Kane featured many tea-length dresses and coats in a variety of materials and designs. Many British designers also featured designs with asymmetrical and non-conventional accessories. Case in point: Webster’s wing adorned shoes, pixie-themed handbags and elf-inspired statement jewelry.

Milan Fashion Week
This season, Milan Fashion Week was filled with nostalgia. Missoni had its 20th anniversary and it featured 70s inspired designs with a touch of pastel colors giving a light and airy spring season vibe. Arguably the star of Milan fashion week was Versace’s tribute to Donatella’s late brother Gianni. The line featured 90s inspired designs from Gianni’s heyday with a mix of looks inspired by the millennial generation. Perhaps the most memorable part of the show and Milan fashion week itself was the finale that included the supermodels of the 90s era (I.e. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christianson) wearing chain-mail dresses to close the epic tribute show.

Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week is arguably the chicest fashion event. Many of the haute-couture fashion houses present their ready to wear lines in extravagant ways. This season it was all about mixing high-end and street style. Louis Vuitton showcased many couture-like dresses with sneakers, while Mui Mui mixed structured jackets and dresses with sandals and sneakers. Perhaps the most unique take on mixing high and low was Alexander McQueen’s grunge hair and accessories matched against floral patterns and delicate sheer dresses.

History of Fashion Week

Initially called Press Week, Fashion Week began in New York City in 1943. During World War II, the fashion shows of Paris were canceled because of Nazi occupation making it impossible for U.S. journalists to travel to France for fashion inspiration. Without the influence of French-designed creations, who would American fashion designers turn to?

Enter Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist who saw the opportunity to promote the work of American designers. Lambert invited the media to Press Week in New York as an efficient way for journalists to see the best of the best in one place at one time. This was a chance for American designers to showcase their innovations, gain international attention and thus divert attention from Paris.

Fashion Week Fun Facts

New York Fashion Week

  • Home of the original Fashion Week, which was founded in 1943
  • The first of the “big four” Fashion Weeks held every February and September
  • Outgrew “the tents” of Manhattan’s Bryant Park and moved to the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in 2010

London Fashion Week

  • Founded in 1984
  • Organized by the British Fashion Council
  • Immediately follows New York Fashion Week
  • Held in Somerset House
  • First major show to live stream the event
  • Introduced men’s collections in 2012
  • With more than 5,000 press and buyers in attendance, exceeds coverage of most major news and worldwide sports events

Milan Fashion Week

  • Founded in 1958
  • Organized by the National Chamber for Italian Fashion
  • Immediately follows London Fashion Week
  • Exhibiting designers have included luxury Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Versace and Prada

Paris Fashion Week

  • Founded in 1973
  • Organized by the French Fashion Federation
  • Hosts the finale of the “big four” Fashion Weeks
  • Held in Carrousel du Louvre
  • Showcases the major designers’ collections, including top French designers Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior
  • Previews haute couture, which is only allowed to be shown in Paris, earlier in the year and exhibits ready-to-wear collections during Fashion Week

Miami Fashion Week

  • Founded in 1989; discontinued in 1998 and restored in 2005
  • Traditionally held in July before the “big four” however, this year it will be held in April
  • Highlights trends in swimwear fashion
  • Promotes international swimwear brands from all parts of the world

Sources: Slate, Savoirflaire, What Paris, Time, London Fashion Week, British Fashion Council, Milan Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, NY Daily News, PC World, Houston Chronicle, The Guardian, The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph.Co.UK, Elle.com, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue.com.

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