Paris Fashion Week (French: Semaine de la mode de Paris) is a series of designer presentations held semiannually in Paris, France with spring/summer and autumn/winter events held each year. Dates are determined by the French Fashion Federation. Paris Fashion Week is held at venues throughout the city.
In addition to ready-to-wear shows, there are men’s and haute couture shows, which are held semiannually for the spring/summer and autumn/winter seasons. Also, every year, famous brands like Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, Givenchy, and Céline host their shows in historical places such as the Carrousel du Louvre and the Grand Palais.
Paris Fashion Week is part of the global “Big 4” fashion weeks, the others being London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. The schedule begins with New York, followed by London, and then Milan and ends in Paris.
Although the first fashion week was held in New York, the event itself derives from “salon shows” (“défilés de mode” in French, literally “fashion parades”) in Paris couture salons.
A fashion week consists of a week of organized events of multiple designer’s collections. Before this organized event was recognized in New York City, fashion showings were being held in Paris as early as the 1700s. Some earlier showings were presented on mannequins which made it difficult for clients to see fashion pieces fully since they lacked the mobility of a model. These early showings were only to clients purchasing items and were shown on mannequins. In the 1800s, showings began to change. Charles Frederick Worth, noted for haute couture, began showing multiple pieces together and of a higher design. These designs were showcased to get the customer’s attention in buying the pieces. Jeanne Paquin is the first designer to make her showings public and Paul Poiret is the first to host parties after his events.
In the mid 1800s Mme Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian Princess and wife to the Ambassador of Paris, saw one of Worth’s sketches and employed him to make her a gown. He gained much recognition through his powerful clients and opened his own haute couture house in Paris in 1858, which sold luxury fashion to upper-class women.
According to the French law, Fashion Week does not allow models of a body mass index size zero to attend. Most seeking to get into the fashion world confuse the size 0 law, as a law that does not allow models in a size 0 to walk in shows. and Age limits Paris Fashion Week prohibits models under 18 years of age. After steps taken by luxury brands like LVMH and Kering, it is stated that “No model under 16 years will be recruited to take part in fashion shows or photographic sessions representing adults.”