Fashion Week Explained

February 16, 2010

Daily Digest

Fashion Week Explained

I used to be daunted by Fashion Week and think it was for the likes of Vogue editors to report on weird and wonderful catwalk looks that us, the normal folk, could never wear.

Although sometimes the designer-wear seems unwearable for everyday life, if you read between the lines you can predict the upcoming season’s trends by taking key patterns, accessories, makeup and looks from the shows.

So, as New York Fashion week begins and the European Fashion Weeks (London, Paris and Milan) are due to kick off next week, here is the low-down as to what Fashion Week is all about.

Fashion week takes place twice a year in New York, London, Paris and Milan.  In February they show the autumn/winter collections for later that same year. Later every year in September, clothes designers showcase their spring/summer collections for the following year.

Models strut the designer´s collection while the fashion industry´s editors, writers, stylists and buyers are eager to interpret the shows into trends while socialites vie for front row seats and the paparazzi wait to take everyone’s picture.

Here we show you how to copy and find key pieces from a recent designer collection which has appeared on the catwalk.  Alternatively tune into our “Influenced By” articles where we do this for you.

Key things to look out for in a fashion collection


To copy a catwalk look, sometimes it’s as easy as wearing an item of clothing in a particular pattern. This could be polka dots, floral, animal print, stripes or check.


Look at the outfits on the catwalks and tune in to key accessories to translate the catwalk look. This could be a hat (like a trilby), belt, jewellery, handbag or shoe.

For example, studded sandals were a major part of Balmain Fashion Week last spring. The Oscar de la Renta (pictured middle) collection at New York Fashion Week this week was big on accessories; this image shows the emphasis on belts and hats.


A fashion show usually has a concept where the designer looks to different fashion eras, for example the eighties,  or influences such as flapper, punk, safari, and military.  They can also look to past historical times like Victorian, medieval and eighties.

For example at New York fashion Week this week  Marchesa (pictured right), who design dresses for the Hollywood elite, had a strong Egyptian influence as their theme.


Perhaps the easiest element of a designer collection to copy is colour. Nude or neutral colours were predicted this time last year and the fashion pack followed with a spring filled with nude shoes, handbags and clothes.


Look at what the designer has made their collection from: is it velvet, cotton, tulle? Other materials included sequins, leather, wool, linen, denim, lace and brocade.

Hair and makeup trends

It’s not just about the clothes either; hair and make-up trends are predicted from Fashion Week too.

Prada is known for it’s  hair and makeup trend setting  (remember Kate Moss wearing a Turban? Well that was influenced by a Prada fashion show!). In February Prada´s fuller, exaggerated eyebrows (pictured left) had people growing out their skinny eyebrows for a whole season.

A final Note

You don’t have to dutifully incorporate a collection as it’s presented, feel free to take a single element of a runway collection or to interpret multiple aspects – they are there to inspire you!

In the meantime, tune in next week to find out what they wore behind the scenes and some key trends for next spring/ summer inspired by Fashion Weeks in London and elsewhere.

Related articles

Influenced by Balmain

Influenced by Louis Vuitton

Trend we Like: Nude

Related posts:

  1. What She Wore: Paris Fashion Week
  2. What She Wore: London Fashion Week s/s 2010
  3. Editors Picks: London Fashion Week s/s 2010
  4. What She Wore: London Fashion Week a/w 2009
  5. X Factor Live Show Week 3
, , , , ,

4 Responses to “Fashion Week Explained”

  1. Aoifs Says:

    I find that trends seem to come around really quick now. Animal print for example seems to be in this autumn, but I think it may have been in last year as well. Maybe it’s just showing my age!

    Love the Oscar de la Renta jacket.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Wouldn´t mind the Marchesa dress myself! I think they did Coleen McLoughlin´s wedding dress? Very flowy style

  3. Jinni Says:

    “designer looks to different fashion eras, for example, flapper, punk, safari, and military.”

    You do know that these aren’t fashion eras right?

    there is no such thing as “the era of safari,military or flapper”

    there was sort of a punk era but that’s about it..

  4. Annemarie Says:

    The Flapper era was the flapper dancing girls of the 20s but yes you’re right about the others – military and safari are looks rather than eras! Glad there’s someone keeping tabs on me 😉 Cheers.

Leave a Reply