Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week is an event held twice a year for Haute Couture and Ready to Wear shows and allows designers to preview their collections for the new season. Paris has one of the most recognised fashion weeks along with London, Milan and New York, (FWO.2012) featuring designers such as Balenciaga, Dior, Céline and Elie Saab.

Elie Saab Couture S/S 2017 Collection

The fashion week today can be viewed by those lucky enough to be in the audience or more recently shows have been live streamed so can be seen worldwide.However this was not alway the case as Katharine Whitehorn; ex fashion editor of The Observer reported for the Guardian recently where she said “In my  day the couture houses were paranoid about secrecy, about the fear of being copied – which they constantly were, of course. You weren’t even allowed to sketch, let alone photograph” (Katherine Whitehorn,2016).

Timeline of  leading fashion weeks including PFW

The first

fashion week held in Paris was in 1945 when the Chambre Syndicate de la Haute Couture decided that Couture Houses must stage a catwalk presenting their pieces for the upcoming season. Each year there are more designers who showcase their collections. PFW typically has a more chic style compared to other fashion weeks such as London, this is reflected in the Street Style worn by those attending. The style may be considered more sophisticated because of the designers featured in PFW, for example Christian Dior believed in highlighting a woman’s curves;”Thus I moulded my dresses to the curves of the female body” (DIOR, C. 1957 Page 23). and this was maintained by the ex-creative director Raf Simmons

“I want to try and convince women that couture can be worn in the day and theres a reality and relevance there, because thats what  Mr. Christian Dior wanted.”  – Raf Simmons (Dior and I 2015 Frédéric Tcheng)

Chanel Rocket from Fall/Winter 2017/18 Ready to Wear Show

One of the most sought after tickets is for the Chanel show where every season Karl Largerfeld creates an innovative way of capturing the audiences attention with the theme of the catwalk, recent example include an airport, cinema and also a casino.From the Fall‑Winter 2017/18 Ready to Wear fashion week one of the stand out moments is from the Chanel show where a rocket was created in the middle of the catwalk which actually lifted from the ground during the finale. This show relates to Gabrielle Coco Chanel’s fascination in astrology. (Chanel, Ready to Wear, Fall 2017/18 [Online])


FWO. History of Fashion week [Online]  Fashion Week Online, Available at:

Dior and I (2015) Frédéric Tcheng, France, CIM Productions.

Dior, C. (1957) Dior by Dior, An Autobiography by Christian Dior. France, Weidenfeld & Nicholson Page 23.

Ready to Wear, Fall 2017/18 [Online]  Chanel , Available at

Katherine Whitehorn, I was in awe of Paris then. And I still am [Online]  The Guardian, Available at


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