In the era of Instagram, we’ve all become accustomed to what Fashion Week looks like, whether you’re physically at the shows or not. But long before the front row was filled with iPhones, runway shows looked a lot different. From the first ever New York Fashion Week in 1943 to small shows held in designer’s ateliers to the golden age of supermodels in the ’80s and ’90s, we’re taking a look back at the evolution of Fashion Week over the last six decades. Here’s what the runway looked like before social media took over.
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A model wears a slit evening gown by Jo Copeland at the first ever New York Fashion Week.
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With the end of WWII in sight, service girls get a glimpse of their peace-time fashions with a Spooner and Co. Ltd. runway show full of bridal gowns and evening attire.
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Models walk the runway in a mix of evening gowns and tailored daywear as a room of fashion buyers watches on.
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A woman models a mink coat as a group of fashion buyers and editors look on.
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A model walks the runway in a two-piece skirt suit, a pair of gloves, and a stylish hat at the Pierre Balmain runway show in Sydney, Australia.
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A model walks the Christian Dior catwalk wearing a belted evening gown.
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A model poses backstage showing off a floral hairpiece before hitting the runway.
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Christian Dior poses with a group of models after his couture runway show in Paris.
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At a Balmain runway show, a model carries a poodle down the runway to match her tailored blouse and trousers.
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Models walk the runway wearing ball gowns and full-length gloves at the Third Italian High Fashion Show in Florence, Italy.
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A crowd of fashion editors and buyers packs into a Seventh Avenue showroom for a fashion show by Samuel Winston.
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A model hits the runway wearing a one-piece swimsuit with pockets.
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Christian Dior flew 172 gowns, eight models, and three dressers from Paris to Scotland for a 1955 fashion show at a ballroom in Gleneagles that raised money for the Friends of France charity.
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It was a tight crowd for buyers, editors, and photographers who packed into Maison Christian Dior in Paris for the designer’s 1956 collection.
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Coco Chanel gives one of her designs a final look before presenting it as part of a 1957 show in Paris.
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A trio of models wears swimsuits for a runway show in Paris.
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A model demonstrates how to make an entrance while walking the runway at W.F. Adlmueller’s fashion show in Vienna.
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A Chanel model dons the fashion house’s signature tweed suit and a matching cap for a show in Paris.
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A model poses on the catwalk wearing a suit and animal print newsboy cap in France.
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A model walks the runway at Mary Quant’s show in London. The designer, who invented the mini skirt, went on to shape the Youthquake fashion of the ’60s.
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Pierre Cardin opted to present his collection on models at the 50th Paris Car Show.
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Two models wear evening gowns by Yves Saint Laurent at the designer’s show in Paris.
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In the midst of the mod era of fashion, a model wears a mini stop sign dress and white boots at a runway show held in a Parisian hotel.
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A British model shows the latest mod fashions from London to a crowd on the streets of New York City.
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Twiggy fronts a runway show for her own namesake fashion brand of colorful Sixties designs.
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The era of space takes over in a galactic, futuristic-themed runway show by Pierre Cardin.
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A parade of models marches down the street in London.
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Twiggy leads a pack of models in matching outfits at a runway show.
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Naked dresses make their way to the runway: model Kalio walks the Zandra Rhodes show in a sheer dress.
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Anjelica Huston strikes a pose on the catwalk at a show in the Seventies.
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