Tamari Ramishvili | Staff Writer
The Global Language Monitor, a non-profit institute that monitors the frequency of words in the media, has put together their annual list of the top fashion cities in the world. The results reveal the following in order:
New York has once again landed the number one position. Well, of course. New York has been the fashion center of the world ever since it beat out France five years ago, and has been holding down the title since. It represents the American style. It is the birthplace of all the brands, fashion magazines, major fashion labels, and fashion names we recognize so well. It houses many showrooms, major labels, and wholesale and design businesses, not to mention the Garment Center, which caters to every aspect of the fashion process, from design to production to selling.
It is home to major marketing firms, trade publications, and media outlets. The concentration of fashion and talent in the city of New York is unmatched by any other city. It hosts the semiannual fashion show that acts as a kickoff to other fashion shows such as London and Milan. It is the city where fashion constantly breaks all rules. Head-turning outfits dominate the streets. Styles vary with everything from classy to retro, quirky to just plain bizarre. Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg says of New York, “There’s a buzz, a creative energy in New York that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It’s an extraordinarily stimulating place for fashion.”
Rome came in second place, closely beating our Paris, who it has been rivaling since the fifties. Most people underestimate Rome in comparison to Milan, where the semiannual fashion show takes place. Most fail to realize the sophistication, the artistic and creative style, which the Romans embody, along with the impressive style and poise of the Roman people.
Rome is known for its haute couture, or “high fashion,” which refers to elegant custom-fitted clothing. Clothing is made with high-quality, expensive fabric, and sewn with attentiveness to detail, usually by the most competent seamstresses. Rome is also the home to many well-recognized fashion houses, such as Fendi and Valentino. It is home to fashion schools, boutiques, organizations, and shows. The “Donna Sotto Le Stelle,” or woman under the stars, is an annual show that takes place on the Spanish Steps and is open to all to see. Scott Schumann is a photographer that follows and tracks the style of Roman streets, which can be viewed on his blog, “The Sartorialist.”
Ah, Paris, the city which romanticizes everything, including fashion; the city that Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton call home. The Parisian style is renowned for its forwardness. The “au natural’” look is favored amongst the Parisian women, resulting in women who look well put together-yet simple. The hair is air-dried and worn messy, often pulled back into a chignon- it is rarely ever polished or styled. Same goes for makeup, which they keep to a minimum. Creator of a line of cosmetics Laura Mercier says, “French women are not flashy. They must be subtle. The message must not be, ‘I’m spending hours on my face to look beautiful.’”
Shoes are also simple, as Paris is made for walking the beautiful streets of Rue de Rosiers in Le Marais. When it comes to the clothes however, the elegant, sophisticated and polished look is noticeable. What is perhaps most admirable is that the Parisian woman dresses her age and does so very impressively. Elisabeth Fourmont of La Coquette, a Parisian fashion blog, describes it well: “Most countries fetishist styles only young people look good in, whereas in Paris there are interesting women dressing their age. That’s why designers find Paris so inspiring.” Inspiring indeed; imagine a city where everyone looks neat, elegant, and in style, while looking simple and beautiful. Simple beauty is an ideal Paris owns, but most other cities overlook.
We all knew Milan would make the list. The Italian city which hosts the semiannual fashion week subsequent to the New York fashion week is bound to receive recognition. For many years, Milan held the better ranking spot in fashion, but it has fallen behind. Nevertheless, it is still recognized as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals. The fashion week that takes place in Milan attracts thousands of people, fashion journalists, and other professionals that travel from all around the world for the traditional event.
Most of the major Italian fashion labels are based in Milan, including Gucci, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Missoni, Moschino, and Miu Miu. Milan is also the base for many fashion institutes and modeling agencies. Milan is applauded for its decadence and glamour, and many blogs and websites are dedicated to its style. The internet is flooded with photographs of the street style in Milan; walking around in Milan is like being at a fashion show.
The list wouldn’t be anywhere near accurate if London hadn’t claimed the final spot. Last but not least, London grabs the 5th position with its quirky and colorful, neat and coordinated street style. For people in London, dressing is an art form, and this statement makes perfect sense if we look at the odd combination of outfits that are showcased in the streets. Many describe the style as edgy and anything-but-ordinary.
London has only recently gained respect as a fashion city, but has already produced widely popular designers such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Gareth Pugh. London also hosts the London Fashion Week, attracting thousands of people worldwide.