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Editors, bloggers, models, and the fashion-obsessed public brace for the two month-long periods each year in which designers present their latest collections in what are recognized as the world's established Fashion Weeks: New York, London, Milan, and Paris. But with formidable labels springing up in in places like Berlin, Shanghai, Stockholm, and Johannesburg, other cities are beginning to host their own fashion events throughout the year—and the Museum at FIT has taken notice.
Global Fashion Capitals, which opened to the public this morning, takes a look at how fashion weeks began and evolved in 20 major places. "We really wanted to investigate the idea of these new fashion capitals emerging," explained Ariele Elia, the museum's assitant curator of costumes and textiles that organized this show. "So we first started the chronology with Paris and New York" on the left-hand side of the exhibition, "and then started in Europe and radiated outwards," onto cities like Mexico City and Lagos.
Each city's fashion week is illustrated with examples of the city's top designers. And while you'll likely recognize names early on (there's original pieces from Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga, plus more recent fashions from Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane), the most interesting part is learning about new labels that are paving the way for their country's emerging fashion economies—many of which have never previously been featured in an American exhibit.
Take a look at the gallery above to see examples of the 70 garments on display at Global Fashion Capitals, and be sure to check it out for yourself at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street before it wraps up on November 14th.