Fashion and Your Italian Vacation

If you love fashion and everything to do with it then on your Italian Vacation you will be able to witness the best of it. Along with the other important fashion capitals such as London, Paris and Rome, Italy is also able to hold its fort in the fashion world.

The Italian Vacation will allow you to not only see the best of the countryside and architecture but the most fashionable stores. You will have brands like Armani, Versace, Fendi, Prada and Valentino all vying with one another for your attention. The best of shoes and clothes come from here. If you are a Fashionista then you can pick up the best of fashion on your Italian Vacation. There are several fashion exhibits and shows held and you can find out if there are any. Most of them are held in Rome or Milan.

This is the place wherein you will find all the great stores of Italian designers. Even before they hit the stores in other countries you can pick them up out here. Every Italian man or woman is extremely fashion conscious and they go all out to ensure that they are well turned out at all times.

When on your Italian Vacation you must go to the world famous shopping strip called the Via Montenapoleone in Milan. This is the place that houses all the famous boutiques for Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi. The best of haute couture can be bought out here. You are certainly going to have a lot to carry back home.

A Week Full of Fashion

Fashion week is a week-long event that is held to commemorate the fashion industry and the cogs that keep the wheel moving. Fashion designers, brands and houses display the latest and best of their collection via runway shows. Buyers and the media are prominently present during this activity and this helps the designers to showcase and sell their work. Fashion week is an important event in the lives of the fashionable since it is here which determines the trends that are in Vogue and those which are passé. The most popular and well-known fashion weeks are held in the four major fashion capitals in the world namely New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Fashion has stormed the globe in a big way and some other countries which also host other important fashion weeks in the world are; Madrid, Australia, Rome, Dubai, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Toronto, Jakarta, India, Berlin, Barcelona, Seoul, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Fashion week is a seven day long entertainment cum business event where people from all walks of life fraternize with those from the fashion industry. This event is bi-annual in nature and is held in the major fashion capitals in the world like London, New York, Paris and Milan. Fashion weeks are held several months prior to commencement of the fashion season so that it allows the buyers and press a better chance to preview the trends and designs for that season. January to April hosts fashion shows to showcase the autumn and winter collections. On the other hand, September to November showcases the spring and summer collections. This gives ample time to the buyers, retailers and purchasers to assimilate and include the fashion designers into their stores.

Latest innovation, flamboyant designs and striking new trends are showcased during these fashion weeks and all the latest collections are compiled into a special report and covered in all the leading fashion magazines in the world as well as the websites which cater exclusively to fashion. The first ever fashion week was held in 1943 with the purpose to distract attention in World War II from French fashion when workers from the fashion industry were unable to travel to Paris. It was believed that designers in America relied on the French for their inspiration and design. A fashion publicist by the name of Eleanor Lambert had organized an event called Press Week to showcase the works of American fashion designers. Magazines such as Vogue began to feature more American designers in their features and stories.

In the year 1903 a New York based shop held the country’s first ever fashion show to lure middle-call socio economic groups into the store. Close on their heels, in 1910 major department stores were holding private fashion shows of their own. Along with promoting fashion these shows had elements of entertainment and were very theatrical in nature. It was theme based and accompanied with a narrative commentary. Fashion weeks helped in integrating all aspects of the fashion industry and bringing it under one roof.

Is New York the Last Fashion Capital of the World With a Functioning Garment District?

If one looks only at the Western World, Europe inevitably predates the US in the establishment of a garment industry. In the UK, whereas textile production became industrialized in Northern England during the industrial revolution, the garment industry remained very firmly in London. The East End Rag Trade became iconic in the early 20th Century, populated by immigrants who settled from Eastern Europe to ply their trade. Paris also saw a major growth spurt around the same time in an industry formalized back in the 1840s. By the turn of the 20th Century, up to 300,000 workers were beavering in garment production, where Le Marais was arguably the epicenter of immigrant workshops. In Milan, the relatively high concentration of retail designers stores isn’t quite matched by manufacturers, who now seem located in a diffuse pattern around Lombardy.

In New York, as in Europe, garment manufacture migrated from a home task to a mechanized industry in the mid 19th century. And the workers were, by necessity, immigrants. The same diaspora from Eastern Europe, but also Italians, came to New York where the sidewalks were apparently paved with gold. What distinguished New York is that the area of design and production was well delineated, and whereas European production suffered a severe set back during the 1929 crisis and the second world war, New York merely suffered a hiccup but thrived thereafter, obviously taking share from the war ravaged cities of Europe.

The Garment District grew and is claimed to have had its hey day in the 1970s. As Meghana Gandhi, Assistant Director of Fashion and Retail Team at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, commented, “The main hurdle is external. [After the ’70s] the cost of production overseas diminished… and drove big designers to produce abroad.”

Perhaps there is something ironic and plaintive to the closing lyrics sung originally by Liza Minnelli in the 1977 Martin Scorsese film “New York, New York” when re-framed in a garment manufacturing context. “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, Come on come through, New York, New York..”

Whereas New York was once the center of production, it had been demoted to a testing lab and launch point for outsourcing to other (and cheaper) centers of production. Garments were being made less and less in New York New York but merely were “come on and come through”.

In 2010, the mayor’s office and some grass roots designer cooperatives kicked off Fashion NYC 2020, a program to determine how to foster growth within the fashion industry. There was the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, and the recognition that a less price-sensitive industry, removed from fast fashion, could emerge from the ashes.

I have made New York my home for design, production and distribution over the last couple of decades. There are just huge advantages in having all steps of the garment process in one central location when making small scale boutique and exclusive product. Many entrepreneurs like myself continue to produce in the canyons of Broadway and the Garment District in New York – for me, it’s an historical legacy that is stitched onto every piece of lingerie I make.

Time to start spreading the news.