The World’s First Fashion Week

In Fashion on June 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm
A Special Thanks to Eleanor Lambert!

A Special Thanks to Eleanor Lambert!

I’m sure most of you are like me and getting really anxious to see what designers will showcase for Fashion Week. Since it’s only June and we’re forced to count down the days, I’ve been spending my time reading what the insiders have to say about what we should expect for fall. While reading Marie Claire magazine, I started thinking about how much fashion has expanded and changed throughout the decades. How and who organized the world’s first Fashion Week?

The world’s first Fashion Week was  organized in New York City in 1943. At the time the event was called “Press Week” by American fashion public relations expert, Eleanor Lambert.

Why did Eleanor Lambert decide to organize a week long of fashion shows? The event was created to attract attention away from French fashion during World War II, when fashion industry insiders were unable to travel to Paris to see fashion shows. According to Finding Dulcinea, “She wanted to capitalize upon the possibility for New York fashion to leverage its standing on the global stage. Prior to World War II, French fashion was considered the sartorial standard to which all designers aspired.”

While France was busy at war, Lambert worked on having American designers show their collections to influential fashion editors and writers at a series of shows held at Manhattan’s Plaza and Pierre Hotels. High-profile reporters from publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar fell in love with the clean lines and structure presented by the U.S.-based look. Those designers began to receive respect and popularity that was once only accorded to the European designers.

Could this be? Did Press Week put American fashion on the global stage alongside Paris and Milan? Yes, Press Week was a huge success! Fashion Weeks continued in New York City with American designers showcasing their collections on the runway in the big white tents at Bryant Park. No surprise but the name of the event changed from “Press Week” to Fashion Week and now there are fashion weeks all over the world. Now I’m extremely excited for  Fashion Week Tampa Bay 2009 to make its fashionable mark in the fashion world!

The 1940s style during the world’s first fashion show:

How do you think fashion has changed from the 1940s to modern day fashion?

fashion in the 1940s1940s women fashion


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