Fashion shows and the media

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Fashion show

potential clients  


mass-market producers ready-to-wear designers elevated runways
couture designers couture houses designers’ ideas latest fashions department stores

Fashion designers and manufacturers promote their clothes not only to retailers (such as fashion buyers) but also to the media (fashion journalists) and directly to customers. Already in the late 19th century, Paris (1) ____________________ began to offer their clients private viewings of the (2) ___________________. By the early 20th century, not only couture houses but also (3) ____________________ regularly put on fashion shows with professional models. In imitation of Parisian couturiers, (4) ____________________ in other countries also began mounting fashion shows for an audience that combined private clients, journalists, and buyers. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, fashion shows became more elaborate and theatrical, were held in larger venues with specially constructed (5) ____________________ (“catwalks”) for the models, and played an increasingly prominent role in the presentation of new fashions.

By the early 21st century, fashion shows were a regular part of the fashion calendar. The couture shows, held twice a year in Paris (in January and July) by the official syndicate of (6) ___________________ (comprising the most exclusive and expensive fashion houses), present outfits that might be ordered by (7) ____________________ but which often are intended more to showcase the (8) _____________________ about fashion trends and brand image. Ready-to-wear fashion shows, separately presenting both women’s and men’s wear, are held during spring and fall “Fashion Weeks,” of which the most important take place in Paris, Milan, New York, and London. However, there are literally dozens of other Fashion Weeks internationally—from Tokyo to São Paolo. These shows, of much greater commercial importance than the couture shows, are aimed primarily at fashion journalists and at buyers for department stores, (9) ____________________, and other major markets. Extensively covered in the media, fashion shows both reflect and advance the direction of fashion change. Photographs and videos of fashion shows are instantaneously transmitted to (10) ____________________ who produce inexpensive clothing copied from or inspired by the runway designs.

(Adapted from, 17 March 2016)

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