Samstag, 5. Mai 2007
Almost French (pages 185-202)
I was overjoyed when I realised what is the topic on these pages of Turnbull's book namely fashion. Turnbull was appointed by an Australian newspaper to report on the Paris fashion week and although she had been unimpressed by fashion before, the fashion week turned her notion upside down and she suddenly became spellbound by it.
In view of the fact that Turnbull wrote on these pages a great deal about the glitzy world of fashion, I'm going to feature on this post all the terms that are useful to learn for someone who has a nodding acquaintance with this world, but is hungry to learn more.
1. What is a fashion week?
A fashion week is a fashion industry event where fashion designers or fashion houses show their latest collections. The most distinguished fashion weeks are held in the four major fashion capitals namely New York, Paris, Milan, and London. While in the past such events only ever used to be attended by "the people from the trade", today fashion shows are a magnet for the media, filthy rich Hollywood stars and budding starlets, and buyers from first-rate stores. Some fashion weeks are genre-specified, such as prê-a-porter fashion weeks or haute couture fashion weeks.
2. A fashion show is....
a show were a designer unveils his or her upcoming line of clothing. An archetypal show features models walking the runway dressed in the designers' clothing. Although a fashion show is as essential to a fashion week as air is to humans, the earliest history of fashion shows is indeterminate. Reportedly, in the 1800s the first "fashion parades" took place in Paris salons and in the early 1990s such "parades" crossed the pond.
3. prêt-a-porter or ready-to-wear is....
a fashion design term for mass-produced clothing by some fashion houses or designers that isn't one of its kind. Such clothes is much more profitable to make than haute couture clothes as the revenue is much higher. Ready-to-wear fashion weeks take place separately and earlier than the the haute couture fashion weeks.
4. haute couture (French for "high sewing") is....
the direct opposite of ready-to-wear fashion as it is tailored to a person's specific requirements from high-quality materials and dearly priced fabrics in a time-consuming process using intricate techniques. When such fashion is designed for men it is called "bespoke". Originally haute couture was only restricted to French fashion and it is still today protected by the French law. If a company wishes to call itself a haute couture house, it needs to follow the following rules to the letter:
Design made-to-order for private clients that require one or more fittings.
Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs full-time a minimum of fifteen people.
Present to the press in Paris each season (spring/summer and autumn/winter) a collection of at least thirty-five runs comprising outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
Despite of the bewitching beauty of the garments presented at haute couture shows, such fashion is sold rarely. Designers mostly make it to enhance the name of a fashion house.
A thing I need to get off my chest concerning this topic:
As exhilarating as I believe the fashion world to be, it must be said that fashion heightens the inequality between people. Only the stinking rich can afford to buy either ready-to-wear or haute couture fashion while we all others (typical people in the street) have to please ourselves with cheap copies of the genuine article. Fashion likewise many other things just goes to show that we are not living in an egalitarian society, but in a highly elitist one.