With it being Haute Couture fashion week in Paris, I thought i’d spend the day using this as my inspiration.
It is common knowledge amongst fashionistas that Haute Couture at is the Highest End of fashion. It is the most expensive and the most desirable of the hierarchy.
With Haute meaning elegant, or high, and couture meaning dress making, it is clear what kind of garments we are expected to see. Haute Couture is the creation of custom fitted clothing in high quality and expensive fabrics. There is extreme attention to detail with hand executed techniques that take hundreds of hours to create. Skilled seamstresses, or couturiers, spend years mastering their craft so they can exact the highest quality to the fabrics.
Haute Couture is so sacred, that it is a law protected name which can only be used by Fashion Houses that meet certain well defined standards.
Haute Couture as we know it started in the second half or the 19th Century with the designer Frederick Worth. He was an English couturier who established the first ever Haute couture house in Paris. It was and always will be emblematic of the triumph of costume and fashion.
Couture took a dive when WWII broke out, fashion became unimportant and utilitarian styles became a necessity. With rationing and lack of funds, ‘make do and mend’ became the motto for all house holds. Then the fashion landscape shifted with the end of the war. Women had become so used to boring, useful clothing, that when it was time to rebuild a new future, the fashion industry boomed. Christian Dior reacted instantly to the situation and pushed forward the new look, which rebuilt the couture houses. It was all about expressing lavishness, expense, volume and excess.