Every spring, the most prominent fashion designers come together to showcase their fall collections to the press, stylists, celebrities and the general public. Each February the four fashion capitals of the world—New York, London, Milan and Paris—host week-long fashion shows, in that order, by various designers and their latest inspirations. This is called fashion month.
Aside from the glamorous lighting, celebrity-filled seating charts and the perceived frivolous conversations that surround the events, fashion month serves a significant purpose in which it contributes about 1.2 trillion dollars to the global economy.
As fashion, modeling and the commercialization of art began to further develop throughout the 20th century, fashion month grew from simple fashion illustrations to a full-blown press week that hosted fashion editors in small rooms during the press previews.
Eventually, the small basements and rooms of the 20th century turned into runways and meticulously produced shows. Today, the shows welcome top designers, models and social media influencers. Fashion shows even host up to 300 people at a time, depending on the scale of the event.
With the shows being invite only, the fashion world still exists as an elite industry that is built on brand development and the illusion of exclusivity. Producers of the shows work together to create systematic seating charts and inspired ambiances. With the more prominent editors and celebrities sitting front row, other contributing members of the industries such as journalists or stylists then follow.
As New York Fashion Week kicks off the month, the city becomes restless with jam-packed shows and various fashion lovers showing off their unique street style. London follows as it offers a diversity of brands throughout the week. Following London, Milan puts on exquisite shows that often bring out high-brow attendees. The month commences with Paris who hosts some of the oldest fashion houses to exist such as Dior and Chanel.
While the fashion industry stands to share and commercialize art, its fiscal impact is significant as products and events of the industry, such as fashion month, creates numerous employment opportunities that require a range of education and talents.
A common perception of fashion month is that it is dissonance of models, music, social media influencers, high-brow editors and an astronomical expense of money. With some catwalks being over the top, to some ensembles leaving viewers bewildered – such as the often shared and mocked collection of Viktor & Rolf’s 2005 ready-to-wear pieces – some find fashion week to be a carnival where everything is essentially over the top.
However, as designers strive to leave an impact on the general society by creating not only the actual pieces but assisting a team to help bring their entire vision to life, they offer works of art that contribute to the global economy.
Fashion houses and their designers work hard to communicate a vision of prominence, style, class, authenticity, romance, edge and honesty.
Fashion month essentially allows for what feels like an endless conversation for those who work within the industry. It is a constant current of inspiration and curiosity as buyers, editors and even the general public often look forward to how upcoming trends are to shift the style dynamics for months to come.