Featuring runway garments from the spring and fall/winter collections of ten influential couturiers and designers, the exhibition explores the ideas and inspirations motivating Paris fashion today, and why, in an age of globalization and instantaneous communication, this venerable city remains the fashion capital. The city has been a magnet for stylish men and women since the seventeenth century, but the French fashion industry has evolved considerably over the centuries and never more than in the last few years.
Recent assessments of the current state of Paris fashion have varied widely, with some pundits announcing its death, and others claiming that it is closer to fine art than ever before. By using fashion, a medium which has always been associated with self-expression and personal identity, these designers seek to demonstrate how the use (or misuse) of technology and its modes of production have the power to stimulate, delight, and inspire in ways as yet untapped in the fashion world. In the 1800s, “fashion parades” periodically took place in Paris couture salons.
The first American fashion show likely took place in 1903 in the New York City store Ehrlich Brothers. By 1910, large department stores such as Wanamaker’s in New York City and Philadelphia were also staging fashion shows. By the 1920s, retailers across the United States held fashion shows. In the 1970s and 1980s, American designers began to hold their own fashion shows in private spaces apart from such retailers.
Models in a fashion show have to change their clothes all the time to present new items to the public. Models are supposed to influence us in a positive way. Models strutting catwalks at London Fashion Week should provide a certificate attesting their good health, but there should be no outright ban on wafer-thin women, the British Fashion Council said on Friday. Spain and Italy have recommended banning models with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18. The report acknowledged there was a problem with eating disorders among models and recommended a health education and awareness programme should be set up urgently. “During the investigation, evidence of the vulnerability of women in the modeling progression was startling and models are at high risk of eating disorders,” said Denise Kingsmill, chair of the inquiry. In a typical fashion show, models walk the runway dressed in the clothing created by the designer. Because the topic of fashion shows remains to find its historian, the earliest history of fashion shows remains obscure. Too many adolescent girls decide early on that they need to be “thin” like the models in order to be “pretty” when really they just need to keep themselves healthy.