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Fashion Week 101

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Everyone hears so much buzz around that elusive, mysterious event “Fashion Week,” but it seems no one ever gets down to what really happens at the actual shows.

Fashion shows, street style stars and parties come to mind when you first think about Fashion Week and you’re about 98.2% correct. What does it really mean and why are people literally at the brink of exhaustion when it’s over? Let’s break it down so that it can consistently and forever be broke. Love Jones.

Oscar De La Renta - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

Source: Slaven Vlasic / Getty

Let’s start with the basics:

What is Fashion Week?

Fashion Week is a weeklong fashion industry event held in the four fashion capitals: New York, London, Paris, and Milan. During this week, fashion designers display their latest collection for the upcoming season. For example, the Spring/Summer 2016 (SS16) Collection will be presented during this upcoming Fashion Week in September. It’s a little confusing but they present ahead of time so that buyers can place orders for the upcoming season and press can get ideas for editorials, fashion features and trend forecasting.

What is Fashion Month?

Fashion Month refers to the collective Fashion Weeks held in New York, London, Paris, and Milan because they occur consecutively between September and October and February and March.

Are the Fashion Week shows held in the same building?

Nope! That’s where you can feel the exhaustion creeping over your life. The majority of the shows take place in a centralized area, think Lincoln Center in years passed. However, there are a lot of shows that happen “offsite” better known as all around the city. I hope you’ve packed your flats.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK––FEB. 15, 2012 The design firm Proenza Schouler presents their Fall/Winter 2012

Source: Carolyn Cole / Getty

Are fashion shows long?

Surprisingly, NO! It takes more time to get to and into a show than the actual length of the show. They usually last up to 20 minutes. So, don’t look away or you’ll miss it.

What’s the difference between a Fashion Show and a Presentation?

Good question. A fashion show production occurs with models strutting down the runway presenting up to 40 looks and usually ends with a finale parade. The presentation, my personal favorite, is where the models serve as live mannequins by posing in the latest designs. There’s no traditional runway. Models are stationed around the room and this allows the attendee to get an up close and personal view of the designs. It’s hard to catch those models whizzing past you down the runway!

Some designers forego all of the hoopla and present their collections in a showroom.

Fashion Week 101

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Who attends Fashion Week?

Basically, anyone who is associated to the fashion industry will be in attendance: Magazine Editors/Journalists, Celebrities, Socialites, Brand/Retail Executives, Stylists, Buyers, Photographers, and, of course, Bloggers.

What should you wear to Fashion Week?

Your best and most creative looks!  I’ve heard that attendees used to show up to fashion week dressed in all black. Well, those days are ov-ah! Street style is just as intriguing as the looks coming down the runway. So, come correct or don’t come at all!

Fashion Week 101

Photo courtesy of The Werk! Place

The Nitty Gritty

So, you’re “in” the fashion industry and you want to know how to get into shows.

Well, things have officially changed. In years passed, you used to apply for a press pass, which really didn’t do anything on its own except get you inside the Lincoln Center tents. Then, you would contact PR agencies to get invited to the shows. This year, only major media outlets have been granted press passes. So, you really just skip the whole press pass process and go straight to contacting PR agencies to get into shows.

How do I find PR agencies?

Tap into your personal PR contacts. If you don’t have an overflowing PR Rolodex, Google is literally going to be your best friend.

What are PR agencies looking for?

I’m literally pulling this one out of the sky. I’m going to go with you need a reason to be at the show. For example, as a media outlet/blogger, they want to know about your readership statistics and influence.

How do I find out which designers will be presenting during Fashion Week?

Remember your best friend, Google? Yeah, you’ll be using her a lot. Check out the IMG NYFW Calendar. There’s, also, a more comprehensive list of shows here from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Fashion Week 101

Source: Getty / Getty

What happens if I can’t get into the shows? You have the option of live streaming the shows right from the front row of your sofa at New York Fashion Week Live. I should really try this option especially during the February shows. New York is very unkind during the winter.

If you have any other Fashion Week questions or other Fashion Week tips, please leave them below in the comment section. Follow Tiffany of The Werk! Place on Instagram and Twitter.


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