From the atmosphere to the brands showcasing their collections, New York and Paris fashion week couldn’t be more different. Two of the dominating forces of the fashion industry entirely, their differences make them all the more powerful, and the street style is the ultimate proof.
With origins spanning decades, Paris has always been at the forefront of fashion. Designers, buyers, and industry professionals all over the world have looked to Paris for well over a century to see what their new collections would hold. But New York itself initiated the formal concept of fashion week, cementing its spot as the first of the big four fashion capitals, setting the tone of each fashion month to follow.
Heritage Brands and Shifting Gears
What NYFW may lack in heritage brands and brand longevity (when compared to the powerhouses of other cities like Milan and Paris’ Chanel, Prada, and Givenchy), it makes up for with an intoxicating atmosphere and pure showmanship. As fashion month rushes on from New York to London and from London to Milan, Paris then sweeps in with what always feels like the perfect, and sometimes bewilderingly long (marathon-esque?), closing act.
More subdued in its street style, the looks adorning the streets of Paris during fashion week are more classic, neutral, and chic, while the looks parading through the iconic streets of New York City are colorful, trendy, and loud. After several weeks of nothing but fashion, the looks that flood Paris often feel like a palette cleanser, a gearing down before everyone reverts back to some sense of post-fashion month normalcy.
In the way New York seems to kick off fashion month like a giant, non-stop party, Paris feels like back to business, like let’s get this sh*t done so we can all go back to our lives (and prepare to do this all again in 6 months). Paris invented fashion shows, Paris is fashion, and there’s a lack of need to prove anything at all. From the designers to the industry insiders, everyone knows what they’re doing; It’s effortless, it’s, dare I say, quiet luxury.
The Big Picture
Of course, there are outliers in either fashion capital, spectators and show-goers in New York that keep things low-key (maybe they’ve been doing this for years and can’t be bothered to venture from their regular everyday street style, adopting a Parisian attitude), and newcomers in Paris that go big in hopes of going viral, but after photographing each city, when you step back and take a look at the catalog of looks each city produced (take a trip through some of the most recent NYFW and PFW PurseBlog street style round-ups), the difference is stark.
New York Fashion Week is about color, profuse color, especially in the lead-up to Spring, and Paris is cool. It’s neutral, with pops of color adding whimsy where needed (in handbags, especially). Neither is right, and neither is wrong; they’re just different.
Besides, opening and closing acts should always bring something different. And on that front, NYFW and PFW always deliver.
photos via @bykylemark for PurseBlog