Once upon a time, fashion week was restricted to a chosen few.
Initially, they were just for fashion designers’ best customers. Then the press was allowed in. Later, store buyers were granted access. For more than a century, it was invitation-only.
Today, attending fashion week in person still requires an often hard-to-come-by invitation, but thanks to the internet, you can catch the latest collections online any time – if you know where to look.
This post will show you 23 sites where you can see everything for free.
The “Big Four” Fashion Weeks
Let’s start with the basics.
While there are fashion weeks all over the world all the time, the four that get the most attention – and that turn fashion week into fashion month – are New York, London, Milan, and Paris, in that order.
These are the designers’ ready-to-wear collections, the clothes that you can buy online or in stores next season. They occur twice a year, in February and September.
Here’s where you can find the “Big Four” fashion week schedules:
Haute Couture Fashion Shows
Haute couture collections are only shown in Paris every January and July. These are the clothes designers custom make for you in their ateliers, many of them works of art…with a price tag to match. Couture clothes require custom fittings, and garments can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to make, depending on the level of detail required.
You can learn more about haute couture shows here:
See Every Fashion Week Look
So where can you see all the shows in one place?
There are just a few sites that cover every look.
Because just as it costs a fortune for designers to stage a fashion show, so too does it cost publishers a bundle to pay reporters and photographers to go to every show and record every look.
The upside of seeing every look is that you can discover new designers you never heard of before.
The downside is that with dozens of designers showing dozens of looks each show, it will take you hours to go through all of the pictures. But you’ll get a VERY clear idea of what each design house is all about so you can find the ones that suit your personal style best.
Here’s where to look:
Vogue Runway has the largest archive of fashion show images on the web. You can look by season, designer, or latest shows, whichever you prefer. They also offer commentary on each collection, tell you who’s in the front row, and describe what it’s like being in the audience.
They go beyond the “Big Four” fashion weeks to show you what’s happening all over the world in places like Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Kiev, and Sydney.
This gives you a bigger picture and allows you to see “what’s out there” beyond the big-name fashion houses. They also cover couture, resort, bridal, and menswear, so you can find everything all in one place.
Finally, they also have limited coverage dating back to the early 1990s, so if you want to revisit Naomi, Cindy, and Linda working the catwalk “back in the day,” Vogue Runway‘s got you covered – all for free. You’ll notice that cameras, lighting, and photo quality have come A LONG WAY in 30 years.
This entertainment and lifestyle site has an impressive archive of fashion week collections dating back more than a decade. It’s just pictures, no commentary, and its main focus is on “The Big Four,” but it still has a lot to offer.
Just try not to get too distracted with everything else they have going on, including celebrity gossip, quizzes, horoscopes, and the like. The fashion is enough, IMO, so I encourage you to stick with that.
Women’s Wear Daily also has fashion week collections available online for free. But if you want the commentary, inside dish, and related articles, you’ll need a paid subscription.
They do offer a neat feature that Vogue doesn’t: closeups of the pictures. So if you want to see a particular garment detail, just hover over the picture to get a closer look.
WWD doesn’t have nearly the same historical archive as Vogue, and it’s not as easy to navigate, IMO, but that closeup feature is awesome and allows you to see details almost as clearly as if the garment was right in front of you. A must-see if you’re into details.
Like WWD, The Business of Fashion shows you fashion week collections for free, but if you want commentary or to read most of the related articles, you’ll need a paid subscription.
Since BOF is geared toward fashion industry professionals, its tone and coverage are very different than consumer publications.
They analyze collections from a business perspective and will give you eye-opening background information about designers and fashion houses with links to things like company bios, retail data, luxury conglomerates, etc. If you want the real inside scoop, BOF will deliver.
Watch the Fashion Shows
Prefer to watch fashion week videos instead of flipping through thousands of pictures?
Then check out these sites:
Vogue gives you both fashion show coverage and behind-the-scenes videos that look at designers, models, and what’s happening backstage. You could totally binge-watch these for hours.
The Fashion Channel covers many of the popular “Big Four” fashion shows, as well as a few others from around the world. They also have videos about fashion trends and featuring model interviews. There’s a lot to see here.
Organized by season, the FF Channel also covers many of the popular “Big Four” runway shows.
If a New York designer has a live stream for his or her fashion show, you can catch it here during New York Fashion Week.
Watch Your Favorite Designers
You can also catch your favorite designers’ shows on their individual websites, YouTube channels, or Facebook pages. Not every designer has these, but many do.
Since it can be a little tedious to go from site to site, be sure to follow your favorites on social media and sign up for their email alerts to make it easier to keep up with what’s happening.
Get Fashion Week Roundups
Want fashion week updates but don’t need to see every look?
Then visit popular fashion magazine sites for a roundup of the best looks and emerging trends. These aren’t updated as frequently as the sites listed above, but they will give you a good summary of the shows.
See Street Style
Part of the fun of fashion week is seeing what attendees wear to shows.
These sites have you covered:
The original street style blog is still going strong. Scott Schuman travels the world, recording what people wear – including at fashion week. Gorgeous photos.
Started by a female Belgium photographer named Acielle in 2008, Style Du Monde (French for “world style”) brings you amazing street style and behind-the-scenes shots you won’t find anywhere else.
Vogue‘s street style blog gives you a roundup of the best fashion week street style looks from around the globe. Some of these looks should be on the runway, IMO.
Fashionista‘s streetwear posts cover fashion week, streetwear trends, people on the street, and more. Lots of great photos.
Roundups of the best street style of every fashion week.
Shop The Looks
So now that you’ve seen the shows and know the trends, how can you buy your favorite looks?
Lots of different ways, many from the comfort of your own home. If you can pre-order a piece, do so to make sure you get it. Popular pieces don’t last long.
Here’s where to shop online:
1. Individual Designer Websites
Most big-name designers have their own online stores on their websites, so you can shop directly from them. Look for a shopping cart or bag in the upper right-hand corner of the screen on sites like:
Since runway pieces may not be immediately available after the show (it can take months), sign up for email notifications and/or any reward programs they have so you can earn bonus points, get free shipping, and get an early-access notification when the new season becomes available.
2. Luxury Clothing Sites
Want to shop a variety of designers all in one place without going from website to website? You can do so at places like:
Buy or pre-order the looks you saw during fashion week by clicking the “Trunkshow” link in the menu.
Buy runway looks at they become available by clicking on New In > What’s New.
Buy runway looks as they become available by clicking on Just In > Runway.
Buy runway looks as they become available by clicking on New Arrivals > Runway Edit
Buy runway looks as they become available by clicking on What’s New > Runway.
3. Luxury Department Stores
Some designers only sell through their boutiques and luxury department stores, so you’ll need to hit up one or the other in order to buy their stuff. You can visit the department store in person if you have one nearby, or you can shop online. Some of the best include:
Order or pre-order your favorite looks by clicking on What’s New > New Season.
Order or pre-order runway looks by going to Women’s Clothing > New & Now > Current Season.
Order runway looks as they become available by going to Designer Collections > Current Season
Buy runway looks as they become available by going to Women > New Season.
4. Online Publications
Some online publications both report on fashion week and give you links to buy your favorite looks, including:
If you’re perusing the seasonal collections and see a little shopping bag next to a designer’s name, it means you can shop that designer’s looks straight from Vogue. They’ll send you to a third party store where you can complete your purchase. It may take them a few weeks after the shows to add the latest season’s links, but it’s quick and convenient.
Why You Should Follow Fashion Week Coverage
Now you may read this and think that you would never buy runway fashion, that you would never spend that much money on clothes, so there’s no reason to follow fashion week.
Hey, I get it. Some of those clothes are ridiculously expensive.
But believe it or not, fashion week isn’t just about the clothes or even the designers.
It’s about keeping abreast of what’s happening in fashion.
Why is that important?
Because wearing outdated fashion is a lot like driving an outdated car or using outdated technology: it marks you as behind the times and maybe too broke to afford anything newer. This may very well be the case, depending on your situation, but probably not the impression you want to make – particularly if you interact with high-income clients.
So am I saying you should go into debt to follow fashion?
I’m saying that you should keep an eye on trends and replicate the ones you like at a price point you can afford. Or, stick with classic styles in classic color combinations and just update your hair and makeup each season. It’s an easy way to look current without spending a fortune.
So what’s the bottom line?
Following fashion week is an easy way to keep abreast of what’s happening in style, whether you buy runway clothes or approximate them at a lower price point. Your goal is to look current and turn heads so you can get the attention, respect, and income you deserve.