Cult Shows of Paris Fashion Week History
1973: the Beginning
The first Fashion Week was held in New York in 1943, in Paris thirty years later. The grand historical fashion show took place on November 28, 1973. It was organized by the founder of the New York Fashion Week, Eleanor Lambert, and a curator of the Palace of Versailles, Gerald Van der Kemp. The main purpose of the show was raising funds for the restoration of the famous Royal Palace and the surrounding area. The show was called "The Battle of Versailles" and, in fact, it was as such: French and American designers, the representatives of completely different fashion concepts, were invited to participate in it. Trendsetters of bourgeois chic, Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin and Emanuel Ungaro appeared at the same stage with the creators of American pret-a-porter, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Anne Klein, Bill Blass and Halston. For the American designers, the show became a turning point in the history: American fashion finally got a chance to come out of the shadow and make a statement in Europe. It is officially considered that the "fashion battle" was won by the Americans, but Europe won as well: since that day, the history of Paris Fashion Week has begun.
1996: Alexander McQueen and Givenchy
In 1996, McQueen headed Givenchy Fashion House. Known for his unconventional ideas, the designer continued to impress everyone: McQueen brought a girl with a disability to the catwalk, covered the catwalk with gravel, and even refused to employ models at all, replacing them with mannequins on rotating supports. He was honored the title of the Best British Designer of the Year three times. At the last ceremony the designer came to the podium on a scooter and was dressed in a wide blue overalls; he puzzled with this Prince Charles who handed him the award.
1997: Stella McCartney presented a new vision of Chloé
In March 1997, the daughter of Paul McCartney was appointed as a creative director of Chloé, succeeding Karl Lagerfeld. By the way, the latter reacted to this very skeptically, having said that the fashion house had become famous in the music world, but not in fashion. However, Stella quickly introduced her first collection. The debut show was so successful that the next day there were no any negative comments in the press about her collection.
1997: John Galliano and his debut in Dior
The first collection of the bodacious designer literally blew up the fashion world. It was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Fashion House and was called "Africans". Galliano brought to the catwalk fashion models with hairstyles and make-up, which reminded primitive tribes. The young designer, who hated simplicity and minimalism, boldly joined motives of "Art Nouveau" historical costume and chic of the 30s' intertwined with ethnic motifs. Galliano successfully revived Dior's style; he made it modern and trendy. Celebrities have begun to wear Dior clothes again.