There are several different kinds of fashion shows. Formal fashion shows, Department fashion shows, Trunk shows, and informal fashion shows. All of which are designed to preview to the public, or almost public, what a designers new look is for spring, summer, winter, fall, holidays, or special occasions like a wedding or proms. Knowing the difference between these different types of fashion shows can help a designer best preview their line to their target markets and save a little money in the process. Fashion shows are expensive, so save some time and money by deciding which one will best suite your needs.
A Formal fashion show is one where models are booked (and paid), lighting, and sound are arranged to music and theme of clothing. The stage and scenery are designed and constructed by crews. This all takes a tremendous amount of advance planning. It used to be the norm that these shows were reserved for charity events and while they are still done for this purpose, fashion has taken front-row, center-stage in the world today. Formal fashion shows are put on by-yearly to a captive audience of buyers and the who’s who in the celebrity circle’s. New York Fashion week is one of these event’s that lasts a week long. Where high end designers from all over, premier their latest lines to buyers in the hopes that this seasons collections will be purchased on whole or in part to be sold in department stores all over the world.
Department fashion shows generate interest ‘in store’ to the general consumer. Put on by the department stores themselves, these shows used to be the norm to advertise to the public the new season and the different combinations of looks that could be achieved. These types of shows are becoming non-existent. They are too expensive to put on and a wider audience can be reached through television rather than an in house fashion show.
Trunk shows are named just that because they consist of the designer traveling from the department store to department store showing the entirety of their collection, unedited by a buyer, to the general public. To stimulate interest, invitations are sent out to customers via records kept by sales associates. Customers can then order from the samples in their sizes. These shows are also fairly non-existent anymore. It is very rare to see a collection in it’s entirety any where except on the big runway. It’s very expensive to travel from location to location and present a fashion show two or three times a week.
Informal fashion shows are less expensive and a lot easier to put on. Co-coordinated with a special event or season, models can be timed to walk through a department store and visit with customers explaining about the current fashion they are wearing and answering customers questions. This too is hardly ever done anymore. It’s so much easier and cheaper to play fashion shows on a big screen in a department store than it is to pay a model to promote a line.
Fashion shows can be done in dozens of differing ways. It’s up to the designer and the retailer to decide what will best suit their needs. However, with the ever growing need for society to be entertained, bringing actual fashion shows to the public as a social event can further not only the designers, but hands on communication with the public. Meeting people and seeing their responses to the clothes designed can help a designer better gear his or her lines to the public who buy the clothing. While there is a great amount of trickle down effect from the high end Paris and New York fashion shows it seems as though designers are more and more out of touch with the general public. These are just observations. It is not the general overall status quo. But it seems that the economy is dipping, a boost in the entertainment value of clothing could be a boost to the economy as well. History has shown that social economy and political temperatures have played a major part in the development and sales of clothing.
So what to do with this knowledge? Have a fashion show! Of course. Make it fun, make it accessible to the general public and make it desirable. The creation of a need unknown is the creation of sales which in turn will create jobs and help repair the economy.