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Credit: Jessica Thurston | Contributing Editor Credit: Jessica Thurston | Contributing Editor

For those of us who follow fashion, February is a big month. New lines are released, stores stock for the new season, and shoppers begin adjusting their wardrobes for the spring. For fashion enthusiasts in New York City and several other cities, February translates to one thing: fashion week. Fashion week is when fashion designers and brands display their latest seasonal collections in various runway shows throughout the city. Many shows are invite-only and are often flooded by journalists, editors, buyers, stylists, and celebrities alike.

Historically, New York City, London, Milan, and Paris have often been regarded as the major fashion week cities. There are two fashion week seasons that are intended to anticipate trends in advance: From February to March designers showcase their autumn and winter collections, and from September to November their spring and summer collections. These early shows allow buyers and media representatives to preview the looks for the upcoming season and prepare appropriately. Retailers and publications can incorporate the trends into the upcoming months of preparation.

New York Fashion Week

So far, one of the most notable shows has been Marc Jacobs’. Jacobs is the creative director at Louis Vuitton, but he also designs and manages his own line. Throughout the years, Jacobs has consistently presented impressive lines for New York Fashion Week, and this year was no exception. However, peculiarly enough, Jacobs decided to ban celebrities from sitting in the front row of his runway show this year. Considering his past collaborations with Victoria Beckham and Sofia Coppola, this was quite surprising.

Jacobs’ most recent collection can be summarized in two words: pure and simple. He opened his show by tearing down a brown construction paper curtain to reveal his models, who then walked down the runway one by one to a Juliette Greco cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” His collection consisted of a neutral palette — including shades of gray, beige, and cream with flashes of sweet yellows. Fur was a key material in Jacobs’ collection, along with tipped Mary Jane shoes and knee-length skirts. Jacobs created pieces for the everyday woman. Joe Zee, creative director of Elle magazine, said in an interview with the Associated Press that Jacobs’ line was made of “gorgeous, real clothes that were beautifully done.”

On another note, it looks like New York Fashion Week will be subject to some change next year. Since 1993 the events have been held at Bryant Park. However, starting next year, New York Fashion Week will be in Damrosch Park at the Lincoln Center Complex.

London Fashion Week

The fashion industry lost a celebrated English designer with the recent death of Alexander McQueen. The death of McQueen, who committed suicide at his London home, seemed to take a toll on the hype and excitement of London’s fashion week. The week’s events opened with a tribute address to McQueen by Sarah Brown, the wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Despite the death of the designer, the label announced that his line will be continued.

One of London’s most impressive runway shows was that of luxury British line Burberry. Burberry’s show featured new technology that allowed people in London to watch the show from the Chelsea College of Art. The live show was simultaneously being streamed around the world, with 3-D showings being played to audiences in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. The collection is extremely sexy, featuring skin-tight lace and satin body-conscious dresses. Thigh-high leather and snakeskin boots were notable accessories. Burberry’s coats and jackets were eye catching, curling at the collar and reflecting a military influence. This year, London Fashion Week also featured many fresh designers such as Christopher Cane, Marios Schwab, and Louise Goldin. Stella McCartney also debuted her much anticipated collection.

Stay tuned, fashion enthusiasts. There is yet more fashion to come as both Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week are to debut in March.