By Dom Borghino
The most ubiquitous art form is so often completely overlooked. Whether we want to admit it or not, fashion has an impact on the lives of everyone. It is the most common form of self-expression and makes up the larger part of how we present ourselves to the people around us. And for the small few who take fashion to the next step, that is make a career out of it, it can even be used to create works of art. Unfortunately, unless one proclaims oneself as “fashion-savvy”, or thereabouts, most people either do not think fashion is of any importance, or, what’s more, do not think of it at all. Consequently, fashion remains something only to be enjoyed by people who actively seek out ways of being in touch with it. At least for the most part…
For a few weeks each year,
fashion is awarded the attention
and respect it deserves
Enter the New York Fashion Week. This prominent celebration of the world of high fashion, held in New York City twice a year, is one of the most successful ways of creating a buzz around something that normally is only taken notice of by people in the industry. Although there are fashion weeks from Berlin to as far as Sydney these days, the New York Fashion Week is the oldest event of the “Big Four” Fashion Weeks (NYC, Milan, London, and Paris). NY Fashion Week has been running since 1943, mid-WWII, when the press director of the New York Dress Institute, Eleanor Lambert, grew tired of the lack of opportunities in the fashion industry in America; the major international hub for the world of fashion at that point was, of course, Paris. However the war raging in Europe at the time made it difficult for fashion journalists to get over there, and even if they did, they would be hard pressed see any recognition of the great strides being made by the fashion industry in the United States. So as a matter of overcoming this hurdle, Lambert put together “Press Week”, a function intended to draw attention away from French designers and towards American ones. These goals were achieved (Vogue began featuring more American designers), and Press Week was an undeniable success. Over the years, Press Week was passed through the hands of multiple commercial organisations, and rebranded several times, until it became the New York Fashion Week we know today.
The NY Fashion Week, along with all other international fashion weeks, is more important than some people would acknowledge. They are a way for designers to present their creations as what they truly are: art. Over the course of a Fashion Week, hundreds of designers put on shows in some truly marvellous locations, attracting crowds that are often spotted lavishly with celebrities and A-Listers. The event brings together designers from all around the world to present their work in ways that are simply not possible in magazines or in other advertisements, sharing and being inspired by each other’s work. But most importantly, ordinary people are able to have a peek into the fabrics of fashion industry and have an up-close and personal experience with it. For a few weeks each year, fashion is awarded the attention and respect it deserves. The hype over the Fashion Weeks is larger than ever before – Snapchat has even started giving it its own live Geo-Event.
New York Fashion Week broadens designers’ scope, letting them spread their names further than was before possible, and in kind, enables more people to have access to the inspiring world of fashion, all in all creating a celebration of an art form without which our lives would be very boring.
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