Wednesday, October 7th 2015, will see Paris closing the last of the Fashion weeks for the Spring Summer 2016 Season. Although it is well known in the fashion world the system of how the fashion week works, I know that there are some of you that do not understand the hows and whys of the Fashion weeks.
The Fashion World is categorsised in a way to suggest the price points, aesthetics and the targeted audience There is Haute Couture, Prèt á Porter, Bridge, Contemporary, Moderate, Tweens/Junior and Budget.
In these categories, only two of these categories have seasonal showings, The Haute Couture and the Prèt á Porter.
Haute Couture (French for ‘high tailoring’) is the most expensive, well-made and labour intensive type of clothing manufacture. To be a Couturier, a designer must be invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris.
The couturier has to practice in Paris and employ at least fifteen workers; in addition, hold a fashion show of at least thirty-five pieces in both evening and daywear ,presented twice a year (January and July). Most of these Couturier produce only 1,500 pieces or so a year.
Haute de Couture began in Paris by the end of the nineteenth century, with the English designer Charles Frederick Worth, whom relocated to Paris in 1845.
His designs were most in demand amongst the French high society, for his use of lavish fabrics, trimmings and his attention to fit.He was the first couturier that showed his designs on live models.Prior to this Designers showed their designs only on small dolls. He was the first to design and present seasonal collections
Monsieur Worth, not only launched the first fashion show. He, and his son founded ‘the Chambre Syndicale De la Couture Parisienne in 1868, which is the Association of Haute Couture Houses. Only an exclusive circle of Fashion Houses are allowed to make use of this exclusive label ‘Haute de Couture’.
Because of the intensive craftsmanship, exorbitant costs and the exhaustive process, Designers these days, use Couture primarily as a way to acquire attention for their Prèt á Porter collections. Haute de Couture designs are an elite line of attires, and designed in mind for prestigious clients and famous Hollywood stars.
The birth of the Paris Fashion shows represented therefore the change in the manufactory of fashion, from the idea of a single handmade garment to mass- produced, and the Prèt á Porter collections was borne.
Pret a Porter – Ready To Wear, is a category that describes the use of standardised sizes in a design collection, and hold seasonal showing for the fashion press and buyers.
Designer level clothing is marked by superior fabrics, construction, workmanship, conceptual and abstract inspirations that explore artistic and philosophical ideas.
While Paris was establishing the grandeur of Haute de Couture, in Italy, in November 1951 Giovanni Battista Giorgini (an Italian aristocrat from Lucca) started in Florence the first ‘Italian High Fashion show’ ,with only Italian Designers.
Thanks to the contacts that he had established with the Americans during the second World War, and to his successful international exhibition of Italian craftsmanship at the Museum of Modern Art, in Chigago (1947), Giorgini decided to present in Florence ,at the Palazzo Pitti, a Fashion Show for Spring /Summer 1951 f to international buyers and the presses.
Firenze was for many years the center of Italian Fashion shows.It later became then the headquarter of Pitti Uomo, the most important Fashion show dedicated to this days to menswear.
Meanwhile In 1967,. the now prestigious event of Florence fashion moved to Rome. Roma Alta Moda was born.
This gave Italian designers to compete with the French Haute De Couture .
It was during the Seventies that the Prèt á Porter in Italy had a real exploit with Milan bing the major Italian Fashion city.
This was also due to the fact that many textile industries and designers were establishing their businesses in the Lombardia region. Which made Milan the second most important fashion city after Paris.
Over the years the Prèt á Porter’ fashion shows have became an important social and marketing event . An A list of VIPS, bloggers and fashion editors are crowding the front seats of the Prèt á Porter shows.
The most prominent Fashion cities in the world are sequentially, New York, London, Milan and Paris. They are often identified with 4 distinct styles.
New York with sportswear and casual, London with edgy avant -garde designs, Milan for its stylish looks, craftsmanship and quality and Paris for its Haute couture. In these four cities every year the fashion weeks are held.
Two for the ready to wear ( pret a porter)women collections (February and September); and two for the ready two wear menswear collections (January and June ).Every fashion week show- cases the collections that will be sold in the year ahead.
In September 2015 for example, Designers have presented their women’s fashion collection for Spring /Summer 2016 and in February 2014 They have presented their Autumn/Winter collections for the year 2015 .These collections will be in the shops 6 months after they have been showed.
However, the fashion world it is fast expanding and requires a frequent change of fashion collections and the listing of new designs in a short time. For this reason, in recent years, the Designers present, a little earlier then the official fashion weeks, a small capsule collection that anticipates the official ready to wear collections. To be more precise, we talk about Le Cruise collections or Resort collections for the Spring Season of the next year and the Pre-Fall collections for the Autumn Season of the next year .
This pre- collections are publicised world wide by photoshoots in the Fashion press, and only in rare cases via Fashion shows. This year, Gucci, for the first time presented their Cruise collection for Spring 2016 with an event in New York.