Towards the end of World War II, Eleanor Lambert organized and staged the first official “Fashion Week” in New York. No one knew it at the time but this event in 1943 was going to start a trend that firmly set New York as one of the fashion capitals of the world.
The original idea for the New York Fashion Week came about because the fashion press corps could not travel to Paris whilst the war was on. This gave Eleanor the idea to showcase American designers and gave the American fashion industry a vital boost – previously they had to compete with French designers and generally found that the magazines of the day tended to feature the work by French designers.
Because of the first Fashion Week, fashion magazines started to feature American designs. Fashion week is nowadays celebrated worldwide but the emphasis is placed on the four main fashion centres, each with its own special qualities – Paris for Haute Couture; London for being at the cutting edge of fashion; Milan for a stylish and elegant approach to fashion; New York is widely acknowledged as the overall thread that brings everything together. Different companies now vie for the honour of sponsoring these wildly popular events.
The New York Fashion Week was not always held in Bryant Park. Originally Fashion Week was held in various different locations and the runways were created from whatever was at hand. Now though, Fashion Week is being set up in several stylish marquees. Of course, as Fashion Week focuses on fashion for the upcoming season, one annual show is not enough. A lot of cities host two Fashion Weeks a year – one for the Spring and Summer collections and one for the Autumn and Winter collections. Fashion Week for the layman is a glamorous affair that gives a chance at fashion, in terms of dress; hair; make-up and celebrities.
For those in the fashion industry, however, it is a vital part of earning their bread and butter – in the fashion industry; you cannot be seen to sporting a look that is out of date. Of course, unless you are in the fashion industry, chances are you will only get to see the fashions in magazines, etc. because spectators are restricted to those in the fashion industry who receive invitations.