When you think about high fashion, you probably think of Paris, France. This city is home to some of the best-known haute couture fashion houses and it is where many style trends are set. The women of Paris are also known for being beautifully dressed. In fact, many Parisians consider style an art form and this appreciation for fine clothing is an integral part of the culture there. Twice a year, fashion insiders from around the world come to Paris to view the upcoming lines from their favorite designer at Paris Fashion Week. This extravagant and exciting event also draws a large crowd of top buyers, fashionistas, celebrities and fashion journalists.
Saving The Best For Last
Paris is the last stop on a four-city circuit of major Fashion Week shows that takes place in the span of about a month. The other locations on this whirlwind tour include New York City, London and Milan. While all of these Fashion Weeks are truly important, Paris Fashion Week is seen by some as “the best of the best,” since this city is where fashion is truly born and as such, many of the most famous designers choose to show their work there.
The designers’ shows in Paris are held at the Carrousel du Louvre, which is the bottom level of the Louvre museum and is a setting worthy of this elegant event. As many as 20 shows are held each day throughout the week-long event.
Finding The Perfect Mix
Over the years, Paris Fashion Week has become known for its role in taking ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter fashion to new heights and artistry, without losing touch with reality. To try to accomplish this precarious mix, many of the best known fashion designers provide creative exhibits on the runway (which is called le podium in France) that flaunt their creative visions in larger than life form. They then follow up by inviting buyers and the press back to the showrooms to view much more wearable versions of these items.
And while places like New York and London have a strong commercial bent, in Paris there is more room for taking clothing styles in new and over-the-top directions. These high-end concepts are said to make an important contribution to the evolution of the fashion field. For instance, hem lengths, fabrics, colors and mood can all be established for the upcoming season even when the clothes aren’t made to translate well to real world wear.
What To Expect
If you plan to attend Paris Fashion Week, you can expect to be “wowed” by what you will see there. Designers go to great lengths to put on theatrical displays that will live up to the expectations of the audience. Since most people who attend the best fashion shows expect the unexpected, this can take quite a great deal of planning and ingenuity not only to be able to pull of something totally new, but also to be able to do it quite successfully two times a year.
Some of the well-known labels that you will see on le podium include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Nina Ricci and many others. In addition, you will also find a host of other less-known or up-and-coming brands.
Drawing The Audience In
It is not just the clothes presented during the designer shows that are designed to take away your breath with their cleverness. Some designers also incorporate unusual and eye catching props to draw the audience into their worlds. One noteworthy approach to this end was seen recently at the Chanel show, where a special Merry-Go-Round was created using Chanel jewelry, shoes, hats and other accessories in place of the horses. This unusual display had attendees talking about it long afterward.