Paris has the best and most expensive clothes in the world. In fact, when you think of Paris, you often think of the Eiffel Tower, romantics and clothes. There are a number of reasons, mostly dating back to the 18th century, why Paris is considered to be the fashion capital of the world.
Haute Couture began in the 18th century, but the French had been looked up to with admiration or disdain in their dress sense well before that. In the 16th century, Anne Boleyn was famous for wearing a French-style hood, which showed her hair and had a generally provocative style. Even then, the French were famous for their liberal attitude towards sexuality.
In the 18th century, couturier Rose Bertin was named the Minister for Fashion, and the position was still retained in the Napoleonic era. Initially, it was the rich and powerful telling the designers what they wanted to wear in clothes but in the 19th century this changed. It was, surprisingly, an Englishman working in Paris who became the father of modern Haute Couture when Charles Worth put his name on his clothing labels. He went a step further, creating designs based on his own ideas and displaying them on live models so that clients could approve or disapprove. The novelty was a success and designers then began to dictate what was fashionable.
From then on, it was understood that any designer who wanted to be a success had to be in Paris and either become part of a couture house or form their own. Paris was the home of fashion shows and all the fashion magazines were either based in or looked to Paris for their information. For women throughout the Western world, Paris was the be all and end all of clothes.
Paris provides the ultimate dose in high-end fashion. In an area bordered by the Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue Marceau, visitors can find the world’s top design houses – from Dior to Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent. When in Paris on our London/Paris tour, you will have plenty of free time to do some shopping on these famous fashion avenues!