You’ll Never Believe What Paris Fashion Week Used to Look Like

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Paris 1955 by photographer Walde Huth
A model in Paris in 1955 | Photo: Courtesy of MessyNessyChic

Paris is the legendary world capital of fashion, having enjoyed such lofty status since the 18th century courts of Louis XIV and the appearance of the first celebrity designer Charles Frederick Worth. From inception, France’s skilled artisans have shown their work in one way or another, beginning with couture salon shows popularized in the 1950s and, later, organizing under the umbrella of Fashion Week in 1973.

Over the past 70 years, Paris presentations have gone from intimate gatherings in the designers’ own salons – where patrons could interact with the models and even touch the clothes – to immense and expensively staged industry-facing events. The scenes outside of the Paris Fashion Week shows today – with its cadre of stylish celebrities and influencers posing for a bank of photographers – pale in contrast to the quietly attended affairs of yesteryear.

In our throwback gallery below, Savoir Flair introduces you to the evolution of Paris Fashion Week over the decades, from the days before the front row was packed with celebrities to the decade in which the supermodel and the celebrity designer reached their peak.

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