For the die-hard trend setter and designer devotee, nothing is more exciting than Fashion Week, a twice-yearly event that takes place in the four major fashion capitals of the world: Paris, Milan, London, and New York. As fashion publications, media outlets, and followers have grown, so has the weeklong extravaganza. The Fashion Week schedule is not a simple formula; it involves multiple shows in multiple cities for multiple fashion disciplines.
Fashion Week in the big four cities
Creativity and new horizons aside, "Fashion Week" typically refers to the twice-annual shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Showcasing seasonal wardrobes from the world's top couture designers, these multi-day events represent the pinnacle of style and the birthplace of trends.
The women's collection
By far the most popular of all Fashion Weeks are those that debut women's clothing. Ever since the haute couture industry emerged in the salons of Paris in the mid-19th century, it has always been women's clothes that have generated the most interest.
Although the exact dates vary from year to year, the first Fashion Week of each calendar year features the autumn/winter collection. It always takes place in New York in early February, followed by London, then Milan, and, finally, Paris in late March. Likewise, the summer/spring shows for the following calendar year begin in New York each September and follow the same order, ending in Paris sometime in October.
The menswear collection
The menswear collection for each of the two seasons takes place in all four fashion capitals except New York and starts before the women's shows each year. Each year in January, the autumn/winter menswear collection premieres in London for less than a week, followed by another few days in Milan and then Paris. The same schedule starts in June for the summer/spring collection.
The haute couture collection
Immediately following the short menswear Fashion Week in Paris, another highly-anticipated show premieres. Haute Couture Fashion Week only includes those designers and fashion houses that are legally designated by the French Ministry of Industry as "haute couture". The pieces they show are all handmade originals that bear the mark of the designer him or herself. General Fashion Week shows display the ready-to-wear collections that retail outlets sell the following season, but haute couture designs are more like artwork that inspires the mass-produced lines.
In addition to the two major seasons, many designers think outside those typical designations. These so-called inter-season or pre-season shows offer fashion houses the chance to showcase niche garments, such as swimwear and bridal collections that consist of wedding dresses and bridesmaid attire.
There are two specific sub-seasons dubbed Resort/Cruise and Pre-Fall. Large design houses, such as Chanel, have featured these inter-season collections and generally show them any time before the formal seasonal presentations with which they match. In addition, inter-season shows usually take place outside of the big four cities. For example, previous shows have taken place in Monte Carlo and Los Angeles.
Australian Fashion Week
Australians who want to follow Fashion Week in their home country can keep their eye on the once-yearly event that takes place in Sydney each April. Australian Fashion Week only showcases the spring/summer collections of each designer, although the focus is on garments that suit Australia's temperate year-round climate. Dedicated specifically to Australian and Asian-Pacific designers, the Sydney events have helped designers such as Lisa Ho, Collette Dinnigan, and Toni Maticevski gain notoriety outside of their home countries.
Other Australian fashion weeks
In addition to the main events in Sydney each year, smaller Australian Fashion Weeks also take place. The largest of which, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane, is directly related to the Sydney show and takes place in late August. Shows also occur yearly in Melbourne in mid- to late March and Perth in mid- to late September.
How to buy Fashion Week styles on eBay
Whether you are looking for the perfect evening dress for an upcoming party or you need a great wardrobe for your next beach holiday, shopping on eBay is a great way to find Fashion Week styles that fit your needs, once they are available to the public, of course. Type keywords describing the duds you desire into the main search bar, and filter the results by brand, colour, size, and more to target exactly what you want. When perusing designer merchandise, ask for up-close photos that confirm authenticity. Reliable sellers offer the season's hottest trends, from suits to sundresses.