Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.
Fashion designers work in different ways. Some sketch their ideas on paper, while others drape fabric on a dress form. When a designer is completely satisfied with the fit of the toile (or muslin), he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit.
Most fashion houses in the United States are based in New York City, with a high concentration centered in the Garment District neighborhood. On the US west coast, there is also a significant number of fashion houses in Los Angeles, where a substantial percentage of high fashion clothing manufactured in the United States is actually made. Beverly Hills, particularly on Rodeo Drive, is globally renowned for its fashion design and prestigious shopping. Burgeoning industries in Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and especially San Francisco have developed as well. A semi-annual event held every February and September, New York Fashion Week, is the oldest of the four major fashion weeks held throughout the world. Parsons The New School for Design, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City, is considered one of the top fashion schools in the world. There are numerous fashion magazines published in the United States and distributed around the world for global readership. Examples include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan.
A vibrant fashion style is reserved for the lady who wants to say “Hey, look at ME, world!” This energetic and intense fashion style typically features garments with wild patterns and exaggerated embroidery as well as asymmetrical designs and tons of colors. Most of her wardrobe will be lined with super light and pastel colors that draw the attention of everyone’s eyes, no matter where it’s worn.