While we wait impatiently for the Paris and Milan Fashion Week to take us by a storm, let us look at how far we have come since the concept of a fashion week originated. Way back in time in Paris, it was a popular practice among marketers to hire women to wear couture to different social occasions in order to promote them. When they turned into independent events of their own, marketers from other parts of the world started noticing and imitating. That is how the concept traveled all the way to New York in 1903 and Ehrich Brothers organized the country’s first fashion show in order to introduce high end fashion to the middle class. By 1920s, it was not unusual for retailers to put up shows to promote their stores or brands, but it wasn’t until 1943 that the first fashion week of the country was put up. It was a major breakthrough in the fashion industry as it offered every fashion enthusiast an alternative to the near monopoly of the French fashion. But you cannot omit Paris when you talk about fashion. Instead you could consider how Milan, New York and London rose up gradually to become recognizable as irreplaceable hubs of fashion. Together they came to be known as the Big Four.
By the 1990s, Fashion weeks had begun to be held twice a year-- over six to seven months prior to the upcoming season-- which is why we see the dynamics of the industry particularly conforming to Spring fashion week and Fall fashion. This was primarily to maintain a slower retail cycle, to give buyers enough time to buy the newly launched products and designers to come up with season-specific apparel or accessories for the next fashion event. However, that changed too. In the past two to three years, the shows also started showcasing in-season items. With retail moving online, the fundamentals of the industry rapidly evolved into a see now-buy now model.
So, the Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, Spring 2018 that happened around September last year witnessed a few phenomenal designs, not just from well-known and well-established fashion houses like Versace, Gucci, Marni, and Botega Veneta but also relatively newer brands like Fausto Puglisi, and absolute newcomers like Attico and For Restless Sleepers. All of them undeniably had something new to offer in terms of relevance in the current season and the coming ones. Both Attico and F.R.S made incredible impact on the industry with rather amusing offerings. By now you must be wondering exactly when we are going to talk about the whisky that the title mentions. It is now that we tell you that practically all the incredible single malts and blended scotch that you can think of are available at the after parties of the events. So are craft whisky brands that have sponsored the events, along with champagnes, wines, vodkas, gin and of course beer.
Here’s another secret. Much takes place behind the curtains. There is tremendous pressure to perform not just on the models who walk the ramp but also the designers, makeup artists, organizers and the like. It is perhaps unsurprising that they manage to keep their nerves calm with a splash of whisky and a couple of smokes. You would too, if you were a part of the fashion weeks and we know you wish you were. As striking as the shows are (and when we say shows we refer to the apparel), the accessories, the music and choreography, and of course the sets, so are the after-parties. It is here that the collaborations between labels and retailers or models and designers take place over ample amounts of whisky. It is also here that fashion bloggers and lifestyle journalists, who manage to get an invite for the after parties, get the opportunity to take their career a notch higher, while also having the time of their lives.
Truth be told, even if you do buy a ticket to either The Paris Fashion Week or The Milan Fashion Week, unless you are closely associated to the fashion industry, chances of receiving an invitation to the after party are slim. We recommend you make friends in the industry or just sit with a dram in front of the television and watch the shows!