Hi, scatman-ga !
Well, First View is probably as comprehensive as it gets, but here are
The different fashion houses vary in what information they make public
- they are rightly very concerned about copying of designs, especially
cheap overseas look alikes. You would probably have to contact them
individually for catalogue details of the collections.
Ready-to-wear prices, are of course usually set by the retailer, and
Haute Couture one-offs by the House itself quoting directly to the
purchaser. Not all countries have "recommended retail prices".
When you were exploring First View, did you notice that on some (not
all) designers' individual pages, their contact details are posted
right down at the bottom of the page (scroll down). For others, like
Versace, the retail outlets are listed.
I am a little confused by first View's claim that all photos on the
site are copyright to them. I would have thought the photographs were
copyright to the photographer and/or the fashion house concerned.
Also, while their free archival material is invaluable, it is possible
to access much of the current material for free - see below.
Kent State University has a page which you might find useful. Part of
their Library and Media Services, it is dedicated to Fashion Design
It links to many of the Fashion Companies own home pages.
From there, for example I found the Chanel website which has excellent
photos of the current Karl Lagerfeldt ready-to-wear and high fashion
collections (Autumn/Winter 2003)on the catwalk. Each photo can be
enlarged, and then details can be zoomed in on. Unlike First View, you
do not need to subscribe or have a password to view the current
collections, and the numbering system is clearer. Start from:
Go to "Mode" on the gray bar at the top, and then on the next screen
choose "pret a porter" for ready-to-wear, "Haute Couture" for high
(There is also a collection of casual and young party wear wear called
On the next screen click on "Decouvrez la collection."
The photographs are numbered and seem to be in order as presented at
the show, which should make identification easy if you were to speak
to a company representative about a particular model. The very little
arrow buttons help you scroll through very quickly.
Sorry, I can't put the correct accents on the French.
Also from the Kent University list I found Louis Vuitton's site - in
English as well as French - at:
Here you will find the current ready-to-wear collections (Women
Fall/Winter 2003, Men Spring/Summer 2003) available as video clips as
well as catwalk stills to click through.
Similarly, you can avoid First View's fee for viewing Ghost's current
collection by going direct to:
where you can view th collection for free as well as mail ordering
some of their products (which will give you the retail prices).
At a high street fashion level there is the British Website UK250 at:
This links to designers such as Ted Baker and Paul Smith at
(Note, ".co" not ".com")
Seeing a pattern here, I typed "dior.com" to the address bar of my
browser, and sure enough found the Christian Dior website, which links
for the current Galliano collections, available in stills, video and
"Twice a year, John Galliano creates an Haute Couture collection for
Dior and presents it at a fashion show expressing his unbridled
The Haute Couture garments are inspired from the models showcased on
the catwalk, but each is a unique, bespoke creation, tailored to the
taste and personality of individual Dior Haute Couture customers.
The creativity of our Haute Couture collection is then adapted to our
Prêt-à-Porter and Accessories ranges, which are made available to the
public at Dior boutiques"
The collection featured was presented on July 8th this year, so it's
right up to date - and free. Again the pictures are numbered and
appear to be in order as presented on the catwalk.
A small amount of Dior ready-to-wear can be e-shopped from the site
for US residents, if you fancy spending $145.00 on a sleeveless
So quite a successful search strategy for the major houses seems to be
to type in the name of the fashion house (NOT the individual designer)
and try to source their company website.
(However, trying "armani.com" redirected to a site promoting holiday
accomodation in Whistler !!)
Younger designers and independents tend to have a website using their
own names. A good example is Australian Jenny Hoo at:
where you will find contact details as well as some pictures.
I am sorry that there does not appear to be a "catch-all" website with
all the information you require - but I hope I have given you some
useful strategies of how to go about finding it. First View is
excellent for the archival material, but there's probably no need to
pay their fees to view the new collections when they are freely
available at the fashion houses own sites.
Have fun with it - some of the new collections look marvellous.