New York Fashion Week evolves ahead of the pack

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Get ready to toss your once-trendy high-waisted jorts and crop tops because New York Fashion Week starts on Thursday, September 4th. The huge fashion convention, slated to kick off Thursday at 9am, will be eight days packed with 93 different designers showing off their spring/summer 2015 lines.

The New York event is one of the elite five that take place bi-annually. Others include Paris, Milan, London and Berlin. The United States event has become a key point in determining what will be in style nearly half a year after the shows take place.

But this was not always the case. Prior to the 1940s, the U.S. had a difficult time breaking into the fashion world. 'Fashion Weeks' were taking place abroad in Europe with Paris as the main focal point.

That all changed during World War II. According to TIME, the fighting in France made it impossible for fashion journalists to make it to Paris in 1943 for the events. American fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert capitalized on the impassable situation by bringing together 53 designers in New York. She staged shows at The Plaza Hotel in New York and paid for journalists to come. The event was branded as Press Week and became an instant hit.

From there, New York Fashion Week took off. American styles were praised, while French couture fell to the wayside. The structure of the event itself has changed over the years. The shows moved from hotels to lofts, then moved again in 1993 to their iconic tents after the ceiling collapsed at a Michael Kors show in 1990. Smithsonian Magazine writes that the then executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America was quoted as saying, "The general sentiment was, 'We love fashion but we don't want to die for it.'"

Unsurprisingly, style has changed over the years as well. The simple, streamlined outfits that international audiences praised during Lambert's time have been forgone in place of bright colors and interesting materials. Diane Von Furstenberg made waves at New York Fashion Week in fall 2012 when she had her models wear a pair of stylish Google Glass. Audiences are anticipating more wearable technology this week, and outfits created with 3-D printers can be expected.

Anyone who has been through grade school knows that following fashion trends can be a whirlwind adventure and you inevitably made huge mistakes along the way. Check out how New York Fashion Week may have influenced some of your own clothing choices over the years by looking at the gallery.

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