A fashion show is an event where designer clothing is showcased on multiple models who walk down a catwalk. These models are typically chosen based on their appearance, body type, and how well they fit into the pre-selected clothing. The audience is normally seated; required to dress according to a dress code; and may even be offered transportation to the show, alcoholic beverages, and dinner. A fashion show’s clothing is generally the best the designer has to offer, kept in pristine condition throughout the show, and then sold or stored. These events have been taking place since the early 1900s, but the clothing, models, and the type of places the events are held has changed.
In general, fashion show clothing is not tailored to fit the model; rather, the model is selected to fit the clothing. Therefore, a model’s chance of being selected to model depends on his or her body and how the designer believes the fashion piece should fit. Backstage, models are dressed, and sometimes heavy makeup is applied for a dramatic appearance. Once they model an outfit, they return backstage to have it removed and, when modeling more than one outfit, are prepped to walk the catwalk again. The removal and application of makeup and complex outfits can take a while, so it is common for fashion shows to start late or run longer than expected.
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Depending on the popularity of a fashion show, the audience might have paid a significant amount of money to be there. Front-row tickets are often very expensive and sometimes come with dinner afterward, transportation in luxury vehicles, and beverages during the show. Fashion editors tend to frequent popular shows and may carry a notebook to jot down notes about new trends. Likewise, photographers from fashion magazines might also be in the audience to capture photos for an upcoming edition.
The clothing at a fashion show is carefully put on and removed to keep it in perfect condition. High-profile pieces occasionally find their way into museums or are sold to benefit a charity. More often than not, the pieces are sold to the general public or simply given to a model. In some cases, the fashion pieces go into storage for later display during a minor event like a store opening. For example, they might be placed in a store window along with the year they wre showcased and the name of the model who wore them.