Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

A history of Fashion Week

By Anna Wright and Emily Ardizzone

Vivienne Westwood Autumn/Winter 1993/94, photograph by Niall McInerney, Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive
Fashion weeks showcase the latest trends, which often blend dazzling technical innovation with traditional craftsmanship, and from a design point of view present a heady mix of the classic and surprising, of newness and renewal. The first Fashion Week of 2013 has been no exception, with surprises including John Galliano’s controversial return to the fashion world working in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta — which may suggest the beginnings of the designer’s own reinvention — watch this space!

The fascinating new collections currently on show reveal the often cyclical nature of fashion, drawing on classic designs and reinventing them for a new age. Burberry’s new metallic/fluorescent take on the traditional trench coat, for example, is the perfect fusion of traditional design with a modern twist.

Moschino’s use of tartan for their 2013 A/W collection is a particularly interesting example of this, drawing on traditional Scottish heritage fabric and design. Tartan has featured throughout many designer collections over the years, and is favoured by designers such as Vivienne Westwood, whose A/W collection shown at the fashion week of Feb 1993 included tartan garments modelled by Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (pictured).

Whether taking inspiration from the past or present, fashion weeks always bring with them a buzz of excitement. If you are keen to read more about the history of fashion weeks, read an exclusive free article from Berg Fashion Library.

Informed by prestigious academic and library advisors, and anchored by the 10-volume Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, the Berg Fashion Library is the first online resource to provide access to interdisciplinary and integrated text, image, and journal content on world dress and fashion. The Berg Fashion Library offers users cross-searchable access to an expanding range of essential resources in this discipline of growing importance and relevance and will be of use to anyone working in, researching, or studying fashion, anthropology, art history, history, museum studies, and cultural studies.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only Art and Architecture articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.

Recent Comments

There are currently no comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *