Know It All: Fashion Week
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You Better Work1 of 13
For the roughly 307 million people who have never been to Fashion Week—who may not even know that the biannual event begins, once again, this weekend in NYC—Glo has your guide to the style extravaganza. Beyond the top models and the over-the-top trends, here are ten surprising, funny and even a little informative runway tidbits from the past 65 years.
Showing Off2 of 13
In 1943, fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert welcomed top buyers and journalists to Manhattan for the first-ever New York Press Week, a precursor to today's Fashion Week. The event gave American designers a chance to take center stage, and by 1944 attendance had doubled with Lambert holding shows at two of New York's toniest hotels: The Plaza and The Waldorf Astoria (pictured, left).
What's New?3 of 13
On February 12, 1947, legendary French designer Christian Dior hosted his first show at his Paris salon. The landmark occasion featured 90 Dior creations and introduced the "New Look" to the world.
Fashion Statements4 of 13
Except for industry insiders, fashion shows were still relatively small-scale events, in the '60s. But designer Paco Rabanne gained national attention when he raised hemlines (with his miniskirts and dresses) and crossed color lines: The former jewelry maker was one of the first to feature black models on the runway. By the '70s, models including Naomi Sims, Pat Cleveland, Beverly Johnson and Iman would also take to the catwalk, paving the way for Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and others.
Legends of the Fall5 of 13
There have been plenty of spills on the runway, but the most memorable stumble goes to Naomi Campbell who lost her footing at a 1993 Vivienne Westwood show. But that didn't deter the fashion diva who walked in the 9-inch mock-croc platforms after the show alongside a very waif-ish Kate Moss. (Click here to see images of other major model topples.)
Pay Up6 of 13
By 1990, models had become supermodels, and Linda Evangelista famously said that she "won't wake up for less than $10,000 a day." But for the fashion newcomers that currently walk during Fashion Week, $200 is the going rate for shows, according to Modelinia.com.
Lights, Camera, Backdrop7 of 13
At Viktor & Rolf's 2007 fall show, catwalkers became their own portable fashion show, complete with scaffolding, tungsten lights and loudspeakers. The audience was on edge as they watched the weighed-down models/Sherpas tentatively make their way down the runway—in clogs, no less. Hey, nobody ever said modeling was easy.
Off the Wall8 of 13
The big four cities during Fashion Week are New York, London, Milan and Paris, but in October 2007, Fendi Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld made history when he moved the brand's spring 2008 show to the Great Wall of China. The price tag for the event was apparently $10 million.
Round & Round9 of 13
A year after his China show for Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld again reinvented the runway with this Chanel carousel during Paris Fashion Week in February 2008. The merry-go-round was a fashion devotee's dream, complete with supersized bags, shoes and signature Chanel camellia flowers.
Tall Tales10 of 13
Most catwalkers hover around 5'10", making Estonian stunner Tiiu Kuik tall—even for a model. (Here, she towers over designer Carolina Herrera during Spring 2005 Fashion Week .) At 6'1", she's part of a small group of glamazons who tip the 6-foot mark. On the other end of the spectrum, there's Bambi Northwood-Blyth, who has walked for Chanel, Balenciaga and others, although she's a mere 5'7".
Scary Skinny11 of 13
After the 2006 death of 22-year-old model Luisel Ramos from anorexia, Madrid banned models with a BMI of less than 18 from participating in the city's Fashion Week. To enforce the ban, medics were apparently present during the runway shows.
Ahead of the Curve12 of 13
There may be no shortage of rail-thin models on the runway, but designers are taking steps to include more shapely women. At the 2010 Louis Vuitton show, Bar Refaeli (left) and Laetitia Casta showed off their feminine figures. While they're hardly plus-sized, the models brought some much-needed voluptuousness to the runway. And more recently, Italian designer Elena Miro brought back the hourglass shape at her spring 2012 show.
Gender Neutral13 of 13
In 2011, model Lea T made headlines with her runway debut during Sao Paulo Fashion Week. The reason? The Brazil native was born a man. Discovered by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, Lea T also walked in Givenchy's fall show at Paris Fashion Week and, more recently, appeared on the December 2011 cover of Elle Brazil.
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