Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Fresh, New Start for Couture Fashion Week

WHEN Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week folds up its tent at New York, the action travels across the pond for London Fashion Week, which cranked up on Friday with Antoni & Alison ( Milan follows (, then Paris (

For those in the fashion world all thoughts of The Big Apple are forgotten until February. Nevertheless, over the last nine years, another fashion extravaganza has called New York home (Palm Beach and a few other cities, too.)

It is known as Couture Fashion Week and it goes down at the Waldorf-Astoria this evening through Monday. CFW brings together lesser-known couture and luxury designers from around the world, including Spanish designer Isabel Zapardiez. She shows at 6 p.m. Luxury brands and fine arts are exhibited during the three-day showcase; performances figure in the mix, too. (See highlight reel above from 2011 edition and video of IZ's Fall 2012 show below).

Most of the designers are not household names, therefore wrongly perceived as amateurs and dilettantes; many show attendees must purchase tickets, rather than receive complimentary invitations in the post or at check-in. Celebrities known to U. S. audiences are not omnipresent. Absent are blockbuster sponsors disseminating swag. While there is at least one after party/reception after each day’s shows, there is often no open bar. Talk about a buzzkill!

These are among the major reasons that CFW has suffered the designation as a country cousin to New York fashion week. Major U.S. fashion media outlets simply ignore it. That's too bad.

Still, CFW soldiers on and may be on to something with this latest edition. Instead of starting the day that New York fashion week ends or the day after, it is starting two days afterward.

Whose to say what kind of traction CFW will get from this alteration?

Visit to learn more about Couture Fashion Week, including ticket and show information.

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