While New York, London, Paris and Milan are all known for their own wonders and charms, they are all united by fashion. These cities house the runways that designers send their clothes down season after season, as we now see through the Instagrams and Snapchats of this generation’s supermodels. Through the glamour and romanticism of these fashion shows, however, some of us non-fashion spectators find ourselves suddenly concerned by the details that go into the spectacle. Here are 10 thoughts you may be having while watching fashion shows, if you’re not doing so from the front row.
1. Who Are All These People?
The who’s who of a fashion show is maybe the most important part aside from the clothes themselves. Typically the front row is packed full of editors from various fashion publications (Anna Wintour, of course), stars the label has dressed before, brand ambassadors, influencers, friends of the designer and stylists with high end clients.
2. How Do I Get Invited?
Getting invited to a fashion show as a non-celebrity will usually require you to be a blogger of some sort or an intern working for a major fashion house or publication. These things really aren’t open to the general public. In recent years, with the help of social media, the access to shows has begun to democratize which is how you are able to watch them from the comfort of your couch.
3. Who Buys These Clothes?
For as many beautiful gowns that go down the runway, there are also a number of pieces that can make you question what fashion really is. The clothes are larger than life and over the top – not anything you’ve ever seen a regular person wear to work or lunch at any point in your life. But the pieces do actually make their ways into the closets of some very wealthy people who do go to the sort of events that require one to be a little bolder in their style.
4. How Much Does All Of This Cost?
Fashion shows are expensive. Every aspect costs money from the clothes to the venue, the models and hair and makeup teams, not to mention the lighting, music and cameras. It is not unusual for big brands like Marc Jacobs and Chanel to spend over $1,000,000 on a single show. For that price tag they better hope someone buys the clothes. That’s why the fashion industry is so stressful.
5. How Long Does This Go On?
Each city gets a week to showcase designers which totals up to a month of fashion shows across the globe. This, however, only accounts for one season of styling and is only for women’s clothes alone. Once you account for couture, bridal, resort and menswear weeks, it seems that just about every other week has a show going on.
6. Why Do They Do This?
For the people who shop at street stores like Zara or maybe just Target, this can all seem like a bit much – frivolous even. But designers are influencers in their own right. They look at society and use their clothes to map culture as each changes year to year. Sometime this progression is slow but over time it becomes more clear. This is the case when you look at fashion decade to decade like comparing the fashion of the 80s to the 90s. The designs that go down the runways will influence the clothes made by the stores and brands you do shop at because it’s all about trends.
7. Who Are All These Models?
Most of us can spot Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss and the rest of the Victoria’s Secret girls coming down the runway. But none of us really ever pay much attention to the rest of the models who work the catwalk. It’s easy to forget that this is an entire billion dollar industry with so many players in the game. Fashion employs millions of people, most of which go unknown.
8. What Happens Now?
What happens after the show ends depends entirely on who you are. If you’re the designer you take the night off to celebrate and then are probably already worried about the next season’s show by the following morning. If you’re in the audience you’re either ordering the clothes for your client, predicting trends for your publication, reviewing the show or catching a cab to the next show.
9. What Do They Do The Rest Of The Year?
Design. It sounds pretty straight forward but when you are part of a machine that uses so many people, resources and finances, there’s absolutely no time to waste. Fashion is one of the fastest moving industries. It doesn’t work to do things at your own pace.
10. Is It Necessary?
This is a topic of hot debate right now. Some people think the shows are too expensive and take focus away from the clothes. With improvements in technology some people wonder if it’s necessary for anyone to even be physically present at the show. But for the true die-hard fashion lovers and those who tend to call themselves traditional, there is no other way to do it. Fashion Weeks are icons in their own right. Some of the most important moments in fashion history have occurred on those runways.