Friday, January 25, 2013

A Look Back: The First Fashion Week

An interesting bit of fashion history.

Runway look from Calvin Klein’s Fall/ Winter show in 1973.

With France under German occupation during the early ’40s, European fashion was forced to take a backseat to the harsh realities of life during wartime. Stateside, legendary publicist Eleanor Lambert, who would go on to found the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 1962, saw an opening to bring American fashion to the forefront of the global conversation for the first time. Lambert launched Press Week—a series of events beginning on June 20, 1943—with 53 designers showing looks at The Plaza Hotel to an international group of journalists. Even Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia saw the value of fashion in spite of the war. “We have kept up with our cultural activities, with education and all that goes to make life better and happier,” he said at the inaugural Press Week. “Along with the vast war contributions that are being made, New York seeks to keep alive the beautiful and splendid things of life.” Now called Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, the event unites the world’s couture communities each February and September, kicking off the season, which then moves to London, Milan, and Paris. This year, Fashion Week celebrates its 70th anniversary with events at Lincoln Center, February 7 through 14. Designers like Calvin Klein—whose acclaimed 1973 looks (pictured) established palettes and silhouettes that would come to define American sportswear— will exhibit looks from the Fall 2013 collections. While the designers have been tight-lipped about any plans to celebrate the anniversary, everyone knows that this important week will define the way we will dress for the season to come. (

No comments:

Post a Comment