10 reasons why Paris is still the fashion capital of the world
Paris has been ruling the high seas of fashion for more than three centuries. During this time it has attracted the world’s foremost designers and seemingly imbued its citizens with an innate sense of style. For these, and plenty of other reasons, Paris can still rightly claim its title of world fashion capital. Here’s why.
Paris fashion week
The Paris Fashion Week is the finale of the big four fashion weeks – the others being Milan Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week. Held predominantly in the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris fashion week helps dictate what the world will be wearing next season.
The world’s best designers have always operated from Paris. It is currently home to the headquarters of Rochas, Vuitton, Balenciaga, Céline, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Chloe, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hermès and Lanvin.
The concept of haute couture (‘high sewing’ or ‘high dressmaking’ or ‘high fashion’) was invented in Paris. Though it originally refereed to Englishman-in-Paris Charles Frederick Worth’s work, the term has become a ‘protected name’ in France, meaning that it can only be used by companies that meet certain well-regulated standards.
Some of the most stylish people on the planet were born in Paris. These include Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Anne Parillaud, Juliette Binoche and Jeanne Moreau.
Paris provides the ultimate dose in high-end fashion. In an area bordered by the Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue Marceau, visitors can find the world’s top design houses – from Dior to Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent.
The bikini was invented in Paris by the French automobile engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim in 1946. The item embodies French style in its timeless simplicity.
Fashion trade unions
Paris retains a powerful fashion trade union known as the Fédération française de la couture. Created in 1973, the Federation is dedicated to protecting French fashion and consists of three entities – the trade union of high fashion, the trade union of men’s fashion, and the trade union of women’s fashion.
Paris is home to the world’s foremost fashion school – the Ecole de la chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne. Immersing yourself within the fashion capital requires at least basic understanding of the language, schools such as ESL (http://www.esl.co.uk) give you the opportunity to learn French in Paris and make the most of an amazing city.
Parisians have the most experience of high fashion. Couturier houses were first established in the city in 1858.
Little black dress
The LBD was invented in Paris by Coco Chanel in the 1920s. The simple, relatively short and versatile garment is now considered an essential element of any woman’s wardrobe.
List of French fashion designers
Site dedicated to fashion’s biggest event
Website of the world’s foremost fashion school