paris fashion week
February/March and September/October
Paris Fashion Week occurs twice a year, February/March for the Fall/Winter collections and September/October for the following year’s Spring/Summer collection.
The scheduled shows change annually but you can guarantee all the biggest names in fashion and their loyal band of fans and muses will be there.
Paris Fashion Week is divided into three categories: Men’s Fashion, Haute Couture, and Prêt-à-Porter.
Haute Couture is so protected in France that only a few fashion houses are actually eligible to present at these shows. Most modern fashion houses will present a prêt-à-porter collection.
Long before New York Fashion Week, “défilés de mode” or fashion parades were shown in Paris couture salons. Items were displayed on mannequins, showcased for purchasing clients. In the 1800s, designers began to show multiple collections together, opening their showings to the public and even hosting parties afterwards.
It wasn’t until 1973 that the first recognized Paris Fashion Week was held as a fundraising event. Held at the Palace of Versailles and overseen by the founder of New York Fashion Week, Eleanor Lambert, the estimated $60 million USD raised from the show was used to restore parts of the palace.
The first show consisted of both American and French designers, with the American show marking the first time African-American models had walked a French runway.
Now one of the “Big 4” fashion weeks across the world, Paris is usually the closing show. It has made headlines over the years for banning size zero models, and recommending no model under 18 years of age should walk.