Paris Fashion Week

Bi-annual apparel trade event held in Paris

Categories

Fashion and Textiles  
Summary

Paris Fashion Week is a series of designer presentations held biannually in Paris, France with spring-summer and autumn-winter events each year. The event is popular worldwide for the iconic theatrical presentations by Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. Dates are determined by the French Fashion Federation and Paris Fashion Week is held at venues through the city. It is widely considered the most prestigious of the Big Four Fashion Weeks. In addition to ready-to-wear shows, there are men's and haute couture shows, which are held semiannually for the spring/summer and autumn/winter seasons.


History

In the early days of Parisian fashion.. fashion designers such as Charles Worth and Paul Poiret considered the potential of showcasing seasonal collections on the runway. At the same time, Lady Duff-Gordon was doing something similar in London. Poiret finally came up with the idea pf combining commerce with celebrations and hosted opulent balls where guests had to adhere to a strict dress code. 

Throughout the Twenties and Thirties, Paris became made its niche on the global fashion landscape with iconic presentations by Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet. The focus was less on socialising and more on client-centric concise presentations. Per Vogue: "In 1945, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture stipulated that all couture houses had to seasonally present at least 35 night and day pieces. Garments were only available as made to measure, with a long process of ordering and fitting."

Paris witnessed the rise of US-based fashion designers at their first Press Week in 1943. Per Vogue: “…the French capital had a secret weapon: Christian Dior. In 1947, Dior’s first collection — Corolle, which was attended by huge numbers of fashion press and was allowed to be photographed — helped to reset the sartorial agenda with exaggerated silhouettes. In the 1960s, another name — one who’d cut his design teeth at the house of Dior — would emerge: Yves Saint Laurent.”

The first recognized Paris Fashion Week was held in October 1973 and organized Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear, and Men's Fashion into one grouped showing by the Fédération Française de la Couture. The event was a fundraiser held at the Palace of Versailles to restore the palace. The amount aimed to reach to repair the palace was estimated at US$60 million and the fundraiser was started because the French government had stated they could not handle the cost of the renovations. It was overseen by the founder of New York Press Week, now New York Fashion Week, Eleanor Lambert with Versailles curator Gérald Van der Kemp.

Both American and Parisian fashion designers participated in the event including Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Oscar de la Renta, Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent. The French designers showed various themes while the American designers, due to errors in measurement conversion, collectively held one showing under the common theme of Paris. 

Per Vogue: “The first official Paris Fashion Week happened in 1973 with the formation of the Fédération Française de la Couture, and opened with the game-changing Battle of Versailles Fashion Show. This fight — of the sartorial variety only — saw the historic tensions between Paris and New York fashion brought to life on stage…"

According to French law Fashion Week does not allow models of a body mass index size zero to walk the runway. The purpose of this ban is to deter models from trying to attain an unhealthy beauty standard as it leads to eating disorders. Paris Fashion Week also prohibits employing models under eighteen years of age. After steps taken by luxury brands like LVMH and Kering, it is stated that “No model under 16 years will be recruited to take part in fashion shows or photographic sessions representing adults.”

From that historical moment in Fashion, the shows became more bold from Thierry Mugler’s 1984 showing at Le Zenith stadium to Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic conical bra, which was made famous by Madonna when she wore his designs for her 1990 Blonde Ambition World tour. luxury fashion brand Chanel’s resurrection under the helm of Karl Lagerfeld in the Eighties led to memorable runway shows while the emergence of Japanese designers including Yohji Yamamoto and Comme Des Garçons led to revolutionary styles.

There was no looking back. The Nineties witnessed the presence of British designers from John Galliano, who became artistic director at Dior in 1996 to Alexander McQueen at Givenchy. In July 2019, Stella McCartney collaborated with French luxury group LVMH to endorse sustainable luxury fashion.

Per Vogue: "Today Paris’s shows are more dramatic than ever. As custom-built sets are now the norm for many brands, PFW has seen backdrops replicating train stations and supermarkets, airports and merry-go-rounds. Plenty of these ambitious settings came courtesy of the late Karl Lagerfeld’s tenure at Chanel, each season attempting to top the last."


Vision

Paris Fashion Week is held in the heart of the French capital and aspires to present collections that are crafted with a balance between creativity and wearability. This season Paris adopted a more restrained, classic, and minimalist approach as compare to the iconic theatrical collections of past seasons.


Key Team

Bruno Pavlovsky (FHCM President)

Delphine Arnault (Christian Dior)

Pietro Beccari (Louis Vuitton)

Francesca Bellettini (Saint Laurent)

Delphine Bellini (Schiaparelli)

Riccardo Bellini (Chloe)

Etienne Bourgois (Agnes.b)

Cédric Charbit (Balenciaga)

Anouck Duranteau-Loeper (Isabel Marant)

Catherine Jacquet (Lemaire)

Axel Keller (Dries Van Noten)

Elsa Lanzo (Rick Owens)

Pierre Mahéo (Officine Générale)

Séverine Merle (Celine)

Stefano Rosso (Maison Margiela)

Guillaume de Seynes (Hermès)

Sidney Toledano (Givenchy / LVMH Fashion Group)

Pascal Morand (Executive President)


Recognition and Awards
Paris Fashion Week is recognised as one of the most prestigious fashion events in the world, showcasing the latest collections of both fashion designers and luxury fashion brands.

Products and Services

Apparel and accessories bi-annual exhibition ad showings in Paris


References
Paris Fashion Week
Leadership team

Bruno Pavlovsky (FHCM President)

Delphine Arnault (Christian Dior)

Pietro Beccari (Louis Vuitton)

Francesca Bellettini (Saint Laurent)

Delphine Bellini (Schiaparelli)

Riccardo Bellini (Chloe)

Etienne Bourgois (Agnes.b)

Cédric Charbit (Balenciaga)

Anouck Duranteau-Loeper (Isabel Marant)

Catherine Jacquet (Lemaire)

Axel Keller (Dries Van Noten)

Elsa Lanzo (Rick Owens)

Pierre Mahéo (Officine Générale)

Séverine Merle (Celine)

Guillaume de Seynes (Hermès)

Sidney Toledano (Givenchy / LVMH Fashion Group)

Pascal Morand (Executive President)

Industries

Fashion and Textiles

Products/ Services
Apparel and accessories designer presentations
Headquarters
100 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – Paris – France
Established
1973
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Mon Feb 26 2024
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