Paris Fashion Week

The “Big 4” are the four significant fashion weeks that take place in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. But many people might not be aware that Paris is the location of the first-ever planned fashion week in history. The event has been a must-attend gathering for all fashion enthusiasts since its inception in 1973, both in France and around the world. Although “Semaine des Créateurs de Mode” is the official name, the abbreviation “Paris Fashion Week” (or “PFW”) is the one that is most frequently used. Menswear, Haute Couture, and Ready-to-Wear are the three divisions of Paris Fashion Week events. The term “high couture” is an intellectual property (copyright) protected term.

In fact, the houses must meet the strict requirements established by the Chamber of Haute Couture in order to be qualified. There are many requirements included in those standards, one of which is the need to design at least 35 looks annually that must include both day and evening wear. Only a select few houses are given this designation and are regarded as creating “high couture” collections. The French Fashion Federation is in charge of organising the fashion week, which consists of over 100 presentations with both well-known designers and up-and-coming ones from top fashion houses like Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent. Absent store sales, the PFW has a financial impact of €400 million on the French capital.


The French city hosts two editions of Paris Fashion Week each year: one for the spring/summer season and the other for the fall/winter season. The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode sets the dates. The ready-to-wear collections, which make up half of the shows, are never shown before the haute-couture collections. The Carrousel du Louvre has served as the primary venue for Paris Fashion Week presentations for a very long time. A hundred other shows and events take place throughout the city during Fashion Week, including the renowned Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld displays, which have been held in the Grand Palais for some time.


Since designers from all over the world select Paris as the location for their shows, the fashion weeks frequently serve to highlight the cultural diversity of the city. There are usually international designers who present in Paris, such as Issey Miyake from Japan and Elie Saab from Lebanon. Ethnic influences can also be seen in the clothing, such as the Russian furs that parade down Impasse de la Defense or the braided Greek belts and vivid African prints that rule the Louvre.

Paris Fashion Week has been a Mecca for the fash pack since it began in 1973, and these wonderful people deserve fabulous parties, of course. PFW is a perfect excuse for grand openings, promotional events, and opulent parties hosted by anybody who’s anyone in addition to all the serious work (runway events and trade exhibits). Given that Paris is a cultural hub for the fashion industry and has a long history of hosting lavish parties (just think of Louis XIV), the two really are a match made in heaven.

Historical Background

In the early years of the fashion industry, French fashion temporarily eclipsed much of the rest of the world with its beauty and elegance. It was precisely for this reason that the first major precursor to a fashion show was held in August 1914. The American editor-in-chief of Vogue, Edna Woolman Chase, was well aware that due to France's involvement in World War I, business in the couture ateliers in France would most likely come to a halt.Paris was the fashion capital at the time, so if there were no French designs to buy or replicate, there would be no fashion in America and no content for the pages of Vogue.

For a charity performance in the Ritz-Carlton ballroom, Mrs. Chase took matters into her own hands and pushed the best dressmakers to create original designs. Mrs. Chase convinced wealthy women to attend the performance and purchase tickets. She also taught the models how to walk, sway their hips, and swish their hair at the dressmakers’ shops. It became popular. Mrs. Chase’s suspicions about the closure of most French fashion houses during the First World War were unfounded during those years, but they did occur some time later.

A similar situation, albeit more terrible, befell the fashion industry in 1943. Fashion employees were unable to travel to Paris, the world’s fashion capital, because of the Nazi control of the city during the Second World War. Eleanor Lambert, a superpublicist, planned “Press Week” in New York to highlight American designers who had previously been rejected or overlooked by fashion journalists who had been blinded by the brilliant lights of Paris in an effort to divert attention away from French fashion. “Press Week” was such a smashing success that it even beat Vogue, which started featuring more and more American designers in its once French-dominated magazine. Milan Fashion Week debuted in 1979 after Paris Fashion Week did so in 1973. A little more than ten years later, London joined in with a gathering that was held at a parking lot in West London. And the rest, as they say, is history.


Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world because of its many well-known and brilliant French designers. Paris Fashion Week, the culmination of the “Big 4” fashion weeks, attracts a large crowd of models, celebrities, journalists, and other visitors to the capital to witness the most renowned designers unveil their most recent collections. The Paris Fashion Week is a calendar of significant events for the Parisian fashion industry. All enthusiasts who want to understand the latest trends and celebrate the art of couture follow shows and new collection presentations for both the haute couture and ready-to-wear collections very closely. Major fashion houses and up-and-coming celebrities are given prominence during these creative events. One must enjoy the most recent news and outing suggestions to be inspired and fully embrace the spirit of Fashion Week in between show schedules, activities, excellent locations, and good prices. Paris, the world’s fashion capital, is more important than ever.

Updated on: 20-Dec-2022


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