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Fashion Seasons vs. Calendar Seasons

The seeming insanity of the fashion world… Last fall, when fashiondom was all about Spring /Summer 2018, we mere mortals were all thinking about whether or not a new snow shovel was in style for the coming winter.

Just as we are beginning to thaw out from the most recent cold snap to imagine that spring may someday spring, the Fall/Winter 2018-2019 fashion week(s) are gearing up. Men’s Fashion Weeks have been running since the beginning of the month. Paris Haute Coture begins January 22nd, and the others follow on directly after. If you enjoy the spectacle, Fashion Week Online has complete listings of shows, not only the big 4 (Paris, New York, London and Milan) but of other Fashion Weeks all over the world.

I am often asked why fashion jumps so far ahead of the game. It’s not the insanity it seems. Fashion shows have become a media sensation reported on outlets all over the world, but that is not how they originated. Fashion shows were for buyers. Not you and I, but (capital B) Buyers who work for stores. Buyers would travel to attend the shows and then place orders for their stores. Lines would then contract with their manufacturers, fabric suppliers, etc. to fill those orders. The turnaround time from order to delivery was not the mere weeks we see today in the fast fashion stores, who steal a look from the runway and have it in stores in two weeks to a month. Pattern houses would send representatives to fashion shows to sketch their impressions, and create looks for the home sewer. Last, but certainly not least, were the fashion magazines who would send reporters and photographers. The two big fashion issues each year still take months to create, using material from those shows two calendar seasons before.

We take for granted the speed at which our modern world works, but quality manufacturing, publishing, and other ventures work on much longer lead times than our Amazon Prime habits would have us think. Today’s turnaround times for fashion are dramatically shorter than in decades past, but still require months of preparation. Imagine the stress of working for the fashion houses themselves… They were designing and producing the F/W 2018-2019 looks as soon as (and before) the Spring Summer 2018 shows last September were done and broken down!

How about you? Do you work in retail and see the trickle down from the runways to your shop? Do you enjoy the spectacle of fashion week (wherever it may be)? I love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts in the comments, below!

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