February is a notable month for more than a few reasons. It's celebrated as Black History month, the month Saint Valentine and cupid have couples falling in love, and is the shortest month of the year. However, what most people don't know about February is that it is also fashion month.
Fashion month takes place twice a year, once in February to release the fall/winter collections and once in September to release the spring/summer collections. This year the iconic event began in New York on Thursday, Feb. 7, then will make its way through London and Milan, finally ending in Paris on March 6. Hundreds of different fashion designers and brands will be debuting their collections for the fall/winter seasons of this year, unveiling the future trends and fads that everyone will be wearing.
Due to movies such as "The Devil Wears Prada," television shows such as "Sex and the City" and even books, New York Fashion Week has been dubbed a very aristocratic event for only the nation's chicest women among the upper class who are known for their taste in fashion, and of course, their limitless bank accounts. Someone was lucky if they knew a friend of a friend who was getting an invitation to a show, even if they were only assisting the models backstage. But in this day and age, fashion month is so much more than limited to just a select few people in the fashion industry.
Among the front row of the Burberry show in London last season there were a number of magazine editors, including Vogue US editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and celebrities such as cabaret dancer Dita Von Teese, "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul and One Direction band member Harry Styles. Their seats at the front row must have been pretty cool, but I was sitting on my couch watching the show from the privacy of my own bedroom via a live feed of the show from Burberry's website.
As the models strutted down the runway in fluorescent, metallic trench coats, it dawned on me that high fashion, what once was a luxury of the upper class, was now available to anyone who had internet connection. Not only could I watch the fashion show live as it was happening overseas, I could also tweet about it in the same window and connect with other people on Twitter on the same web page.
Technology is great for many reasons, but I must admit that the fact that I can watch the Chanel fashion show live from Paris in Knoxville really makes me appreciate these new initiatives. I am a huge fan of fashion and style and I am constantly checking websites for the latest updates and news and reading through magazines for the latest trends and styles. When I was younger, I considered the types of people who would get invited to the shows and parties I read about, and I got discouraged. The fashion industry has always been so exclusive and I wondered how any of the designers would even sell their clothes if only a few people got to see them.
I bet if you asked Karl Lagerfeld five years ago how he would feel about his show for Chanel being broadcasted live on the Internet, he would have said a curse word in French. Probably only a stereotype, but a widely recognized one, is that fashion is for the elite -- but not anymore. Today, I can find every single Haute Couture collection that premiered last month, I can reblog my favorite backstage photos from the official Vogue Tumblr account, I can retweet direct quotes from Marc Jacobs in an interview minutes after his show on Twitter and I can even follow the popular shoe designer Christian Louboutin on Instagram and see his sketches for the accessories he created for the Marchesa show.
What once was limited for only royalty and industry insiders is now completely available to anyone willing to access it. With websites, social networking sites, apps and even blogs, fashion has taken full advantage of technology and in turn created it into something everyone can take part in. Sure, Tom Ford shoes are still not affordable and you can only dream about carrying a Celine handbag, but considering how fast fashion became something so easy and convenient to keep up with, it has come a long way.
Fashion may still just be a luxury for most people, but with technology, Fashion Week is something everyone can attend — even if you're not in New York or Milan. This month I know I'll be on top of my Instagram and Twitter in between classes and I am excited to see runway looks on my dashboard on Tumblr. I still dream of the day that I'll get to sit front row at the Michael Kors show, but until then I'm completely content with hanging out in my pajamas and watching the show on my laptop.
— Melodi Erdogan is a freshman in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.