9 September 2011

The Creation of Couture…

Haute Couture
n. French [ot kutyr]

[French : haute, feminine of haut, high, elegant + couture, sewing.]
High sewing or high dressmaking
The leading establishments or designers for the creation of exclusive fashions.
The creation of exclusive fashions.
The magical world of haute couture is a symbol of prestigious art, limitless creativity and intricate precision. The world of fashion is continually shaped and dictated by haute couture and without this creative force it would not be where it stands today, but what exactly does this beautiful term mean and what does it stand for and represent?

Haute couture originally referred to the work of Charles Frederick Worth, which was produced in Paris in the mid 19th century. By definition it means made to order for a specific person, made from high quality fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished using hand executed techniques.

Despite the fact that today the term is carelessly and loosely thrown around designers still have to earn the right to use the title of haute couture. The haute couture term is protected by law in France and defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. The criteria for haute couture was established in 1945 and updated in 1992 and under the rules of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris only the companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to use the label. Members of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris may only call them selves haute couture designers by meeting these specific requirements.    

Designs are made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at    least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
All haute couture houses also produce prêt-à-porter collections, which typically produce a much higher revenue.

For 2011 the official list of members is

Official members
Adeline André
Anne Valérie Hash
Atelier Gustavolins  
Christian Dior
Christophe Josse
Franck Sorbier
Jean Paul Gaultier
Maurizio Galante
Stéphane Rolland

Correspondent members (foreign)
Azzedine Alaïa (new in FW2011)
Elie Saab
Giorgio Armani
Martin Margiela

Despite some people’s interpretation that the importance and relevance of haute couture is wavering, it is important to understand the significance the craft has on the fashion industry today.
“Haute couture implies precision in lines. Haute couture consists of secrets whispered from generation to generation ... If, in ready-to-wear, a garment is manufactured according to standard sizes, the haute couture garment adapts to any imperfection in order to eliminate it.”- Yves Saint Laurent (August 01, 1936 - )

“I had the luck at 18 to become assistant to Christian Dior, and to succeed him at 21 and to meet with success from my first collection in 1958. That will be 44 years in a few days. Above all it was Christian Dior who was my master and who was the first to reveal the secrets and mysteries of haute couture.”

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