Hoping to get fashion week explained to you? You’ve come to the right place. With London Fashion Week and fashion weeks across the world taking place this month, are you left feeling clueless on what the hell is going on?
The terminology to us mere mortals can often be overwhelming. What are they talking about when they say ‘FROW ‘? And what do they mean when they say a show is off-schedule – surely it’s on someone’s schedule? They are words that are second nature to the fashion community but leave the rest of us wondering what they’re chatting about. You too? Great. No need to feel stupid asking, because we’ve got all your fashion week questions answered right here.
Fashion week explained…
What is fashion week?
It is actually really fashion weeks because there are more than one. Summarised, is is when some of the best designers across the world showcase their upcoming clothing collections and new designs.
How many fashion weeks are there across the world?
The fashion industry refers to ‘the big four’ which are the key four fashion weeks in the world. They are located in London, New York, Milan and Paris. But the actual answer is there are hundreds. Too many to count and they are ever expanding.
Why does September fashion week show summer clothes and February fashion week show winter clothes?
It’s because designers always work several seasons ahead. Years in advance they might start predicting the trends happening all over the world and then base their collections on those generic trends. In September, they show the next year’s spring/summer clothing to give people a heads up on what trends are coming and get them excited over what will be available to purchase the following year and likewise with February showing the following winter’s trends. It allows people to plan, especially magazines.
How do they decide which designer shows where?
There’s not any set rule on this, but typically designers tend to show wherever their studios or headquarters are based.
What does FROW mean?
FROW literally means ‘front row’. It’s a shortened version of those two words. The FROW is considered the most prestigious place to sit and you’ll normally see celebrities, other designers and huge fashion names in magazines sitting there.
Who is Anna Wintour?
While we’re on the FROW topic, you may as well be told about Anna Wintour. You might have heard her name in the press before, or seen a woman in the fashion press with a short bob wearing oversized sunglasses ALL THE TIME. She never takes those bad boys off. Anna is a journalist and editor. Most notably she is the Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue and has been since 1998. This is considered the fashion bible by many.
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#throwback✔️ ⚜️Ms Wintour who was special guest at the University of York described social media as an "incredible tool" but added: "You don't want to spend your entire life clicking and liking. ⚜️I'm struck these days by how often people come up to me and ask to take a photograph, instead of shaking hands, meeting one's eyes and having an actual conversation. ⚜️”Even at the shows, people are so busy documenting the moment, they forget to actually look at the clothes in front of them. ⚜️”Social media is great but don't let it be a substitute for living." She also told the students they should not seek fame. ⚜️”To be famous these days with no grounding and no substance is not especially difficult," she said. "I urge you instead to seek to be relevant, to be agile and educated." ⚜️Ms Wintour, who is editor-in-chief of American Vogue and artistic director of Conde Nast, advised the students to get experience and training in their chosen fields but not to become too specialised. She said: "These days, in the world of media for instance, it is important to have multiple interests and skill-sets, to have tried and possibly failed at many different undertakings. ⚜️”The young people we hire today at Conde Naste are fearless polymaths, hard-working and passionate, creative and curious." #annawintour #vogue #fashion #education #university #students #york
What is the difference between ‘ready-to-wear’ and ‘haute couture’?
The first thing to know is that there are two different types of fashion week. The regular fashion week is ‘ready-to-wear’ and at a different time, couture designers will show their couture collections.
At the normal fashion week, designers are showing you pieces you will then be able to buy (or a variation of) around six months later. It is still luxury, designer fashion that is pricey, but it is accessible to the public.
However, Haute Couture fashion is not something you can pick up off the shelf and buy in a shop. It means high fashion and a lot of additions to the garments will be made by hand. It is made-to-measure for a client and will fit their measurements. There are only 14 brands considered to be Haute Couture and they are all based in Paris – that is one of the requirements to be a Haute Couture brand. The Fédération Française de la Couture safeguards what it means to be haute couture and only this federation can decide if a brand meets requirements. There are a lot of rules, one being you must produce at least 25 outfits per season and you must have a workroom based in Paris with a minimum of 20 employees. The list goes on.
What are on and off schedule shows?
On schedule shows are the main shows at fashion week where you’ll see more well known designers. They will likely have more of a budget to spend on their show. Off-schedule will be in a different venue to on-schedule and doesn’t need to be in fashion week, but designers often do it as there will be more buzz. It will showcase the industry’s newest designers and sometimes equally as exciting talent that just haven’t been as discovered.
Can anyone go to Fashion Week?
If you are not a celebrity, in the fashion industry, the press and you’re not a well known blogger it is likely you won’t get tickets. There are only so many spaces and designers offer their tickets to people who will write about them. They often ask well-known faces to sit on their FROW (you totes know what that is now) too as the show will get more buzz and press as a result. You can apply for tickets but you will likely be unsuccessful. You’re better off trying to score tickets to some of the off-schedule shows with lesser known names.
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