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Fashion Shows: What Are They and How to Analyze

Check out the step-by-step guide on how to analyze fashion shows and identify trends.


Fashion shows are key events in the world of fashion. They play a central role in showcasing trends, ideas and innovations.

Fashion shows originated around the 19th century, when a designer first used a live model to present their collection in Paris. The aim was to present it to a select audience.

With the evolution over time, including cultural revolutions and social changes, fashion became bolder and more diversified, and fashion shows began to stand out for their presentations. Even with all the changes in the industry, however, the primary objective of a fashion show is still to present new collections through a conceptual and visual narrative.

The Importance of Fashion Week in Creating a Collection

Fashion shows play a fundamental role in the process of developing a collection, especially for smaller brands. Fashion weeks can allow us to anticipate the trends that will be popular in the coming months.

Besides being an excellent outlet for creative expression, fashion weeks impact how people perceive and interact with clothing. They provide inspiration for exploring new concepts and ideas, such as products, settings and more.

How to Analyze a Fashion Show

Analyzing a fashion show requires keen observation and attention to detail. It involves evaluating various aspects, from the aesthetics of the clothing to the visual narrative presented during the event. Analyzing a fashion show goes beyond understanding the clothes being showcased.

It’s essential to set aside personal preferences to interpret the context and images that a brand is conveying. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to efficiently analyze a fashion show.

  • Preliminary Brand Research

Before watching the show, conduct research on the brand, designer or stylist presenting the collection. Find out what is the brand’s DNA and its creative direction, as well as who its consumers and designer or creative director are.

Knowing the brand’s history and previous inspirations will provide more context for you to better understand the show.

  • Context: Theme and Concept

Fashion weeks present both conceptual and commercial shows. Brands typically base their creations on specific stories, ideas or themes.

Ask yourself the following questions. What should I observe? How are the different elements of a show presented and how do I identify them? What is the theme and inspiration of the collection? What is the style and how are the pieces coordinated?

Based on the above, analyze how the theme is conveyed on the runways through the garments, set design and the show’s soundtrack. Consider general fashion trends and which ones will be most relevant to your business.

  • Aesthetics and Garments

Evaluate the pieces presented on the runways, such as color palettes, cuts, materials and garment details. Identify if there’s visual coherence and whether the style aligns with the brand or designer’s identity.

Consider these key points in no particular order:

  • Identify the most-recurring colors

  • Understand the use of materials

  • For prints, analyze the types of patterns used, their scales and color combinations

  • For cuts and silhouettes, identify whether pieces are fitted or loose, voluminous or elongated, and other details related to shapes

  • For key pieces, identify the most commercially appealing and conceptual pieces to serve as inspiration

  • Look at the details, such as trims, embellishments, embroideries and specific design elements

  • Consider the entire aesthetic. Footwear, bags and accessories are also part of the narrative created by the brand, along with make-up and hair

Analyze a Show with START

Paying attention to all these details is not an easy task, considering there are over 690 shows during a season.

Having a trained eye to analyze collections is crucial to identifying key pieces, aesthetics, finishes and colors, which are essential for creating a collection with high commercial potential.

Through specialized methodologies, START provides insights into key trends related to colors, prints and other directions for different markets.

Join START by WGSN and gain access to images and reports on upcoming trends, as well as tools to assist in the creation and optimization of your business.


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