The runway was the began the rise of the American consumer culture as we know it today. Fashion show history unlike the history of they little black dress, the high heel, the corset or the little black, the history of the runway is hard to find. The mainstay of promotion in the multi-billion dollar fashion industry. The fashion show was the center of the American department store development.
When you think about fashion, you think about what’s next. The cheif curator and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology says “The topic of fashion shows remains to find its historian.” The fashion world says “why hash over yesterdays’s clothes.”
What does have a history is New York’s Fashion Week. The week long fashion celebration takes place twice a year. Fashion week began in 1943 as an attempt to overthrow the French. Press Week was organized by a well-known fashion publicist by the name of Eleanor Lambert. The PR realized that 1943 was an advantageous time in fashion. American designers used to rely on the French culture for fashion inspiration before World War II. Due to France being occupied by the Germans in 1940, editors, buyers, and designers were no longer allowed to travel to Paris in order to be present at fashion shows. The fashion world was chafed by this.
Aside from not having the influence of the French culture, American fashion was still making great strides in the fashion world. The American fashion was using homegrown techniques and materials. Press week was held between the Plaza and Pierre Hotels.
Just like Press Week, Fashion Week has given a platform to American writers and editors in order to reach an international audience by showcasing America’s greatest work at one given time and place. It is said that the same way movies belong to Hollywood, fashion belongs to Manhattan. The first fashion show in history is believed to have been organized by former Vogue editor, Edna Woodman in 1954.