Haute Couture is the prestigious front for French creative fashion and original design. Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”; refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted fashions. Haute Couture is a French phrase for high fashion.
Armour-clad medieval knights at Christian Dior led the fashion assault against critics of the rarefied world of Parisian haute couture at three days of spectacular shows for next autumn-winter. Ironically, the couture flourished in the postwar period, beginning with the immense popular appeal of Christian Dior’s “New Look” in 1947.
While French couturiers like Christian Dior and Jacques Fath were pairing down their couture designs and championing them as ready-to-wear garments for American department stores and New York boutiques alike, only Italian fashion artists understood the desperate need for more accessible, comfortable, and yet equally refined and tailored collections.
From dressing entire wedding parties (Dior), to outfitting the new European wave of female business power brokers (Armani Privé) to flying their personnel to the client for in-person fittings, where a five-dress-per-season order is considered the minimum to qualify for such elite customer service (at Valentino Couture…which has one client who orders a mind boggling 25 to 30 new dresses each season) – the Couture is enjoying a Renaissance. It was the height of refinement; it reached the summit of haute couture but was in no way the Dior spectacle of the previous evening at Versailles.
“Zemire,” with its long Edwardian fitted jacket, is a splendid example of Dior’s dream: recreating the grandeur of his mother’s gentle fin de siècle elegance. It is natural that Dior should dominate the exhibition, which shows how the British designers adapted to the new direction taken by the French master, although Wilcox points out that French couturiers studied traditional British tailoring and used British fabrics. This anniversary also marks’ Galliano his 10th year as Dior’s creative director. The presentation also marked the 60th anniversary collection of Christian Dior.
The toile can be manipulated, marked and adjusted to fit a particular live model’s measurements until the designer and his sale staffs are all satisfied. The final toile of a design idea is an accurate interpretation of the line or cut right down to the button placement or hemline that the designer is seeking. Once satisfied the designer instructs his staff to make up the garment in the selected and exclusive materials.
Sometimes designers work for their own label and sometimes they work for a famous Haute Couture house. If a consumer can afford the bottle of perfume, the scarf, the designer boutique jewellery, the bag of the season, the couture named cosmetics or the ready to wear ‘designer label’ products they convince themselves they are as exclusive as the 1000 women and the supermodels who regularly wear Haute Couture model gowns.
Haute couture deals in millimeters– everything is measured so that the fabric hangs correctly and follows the contours of the body perfectly without hugging it. Haute couture, which is French for “high dressmaking” isn’t just about strange clothing on super thin models. Haute couture is that impossible fashion dream.
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