Although such a concept as "haute couture" is known to many, some still do not fully understand what it means, and even more so for what it is needed, in general.
In order to find out how the “haute couture” was born, what has the right to be called “haute couture”, and how it affects fashion in general, you need to go to Paris, and only to Paris, because that is where it exists. Paris Syndicate High Fashion.
From haute couture it originated in the middle of the XIX century, when the first Fashion Salons began to appear.
English fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth conquered Parisian society with his masterpieces. His gorgeous products were quoted so high, not only because of the expensive material, handmade and magnificent performance. Each Worth masterpiece was signed by the master himself, and the lady who wore this dress opened the way to high society.
In 1868, the Paris Committee of the Garment Industry Union was created, and already in 1943 a law was passed, according to which fashion designers “from haute couture” received equal rights with literary and art workers.
What creations of designers has the right to be called "haute couture."
According to the Paris High Fashion Syndicate, haute couture products must be made by hand, not less than 70%. This is mainly achieved using embroidery and appliqués. All products are made of specially made fabric for them, which is extremely expensive and of high quality. That is why things from haute couture are so expensive.
Each Fashion House has an artisan staff, the number of which should be at least 20 people. Thanks to the work of these highly skilled professionals, unique laces, pleatings, ornaments, buttons, jewelry and other accessories are made. The creation of a single outfit can take approximately 100–150 hours of intense manual labor. Creating an evening dress with embroidery requires several thousand hours of handmade work.
Twice a year, the Fashion House is obliged to submit to the international press a show of at least 50 "haute couture" models. High Fashion Weeks usually avoid any connection with pret-a-porter shows, although they represent them in the same house. Shows are held in January and July, as a rule, in the complex "Croiselles du Louvre".
High Fashion Weeks are attended by the richest and most famous people in the world who can easily afford to buy a dress for 100 thousand dollars and even more.
To get a "haute couture" certification, the fashion house should be located in the French capital. Belonging to the Haute Couture House is protected by law, and the list of Haute Couture Homes is compiled by a special commission at the French Ministry of Industry. Foreign Couturiers can only be members of the Syndicate. For example, at the Versace Fashion House, Valentino may be invited to the High Fashion Week, but due to the fact that they do not meet all the criteria, they are not called “haute couture”, but simply “haute couture”.
What is “haute couture” for?
I’m sure many have asked this question, because most of the dresses are absolutely unbearable, and because of their astronomical price they are still not reachable!
The whole thing is this: the hype and the spectacularity of such events gives an excellent opportunity for designers to raise the image of their homes and attract as many customers as possible. After weeks of high fashion, Prét Porte shows follow, which bring the main income. Striving for the luxury, brilliance and glamor seen at fashion shows, admirers of the designer's talent buy up his ready-to-wear collections.
And of course, High Fashion is preparing a springboard for ready-to-wear creations, it is from there that designers draw new ideas, images, colors and silhouettes.
Dresses "haute couture" gladly demonstrate the stars on the red carpet.
Dior Haute Couture Spring 2010
Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2010
Valenyino Haute Couture Spring 2010
Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring 2010
Givenchy Haute Couture Spring 2010
Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2010
- The workshop (atelier) must be a member of the High Fashion Syndicate organization. Today they include brands - Chanel, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and others.
- Modeling and design of clothing is focused, including on the orders of private clients.
- In the Workshop (studio) at least 15 people work, the schedule of their work is full-time.
- The total number of employees of the Workshop (atelier) is at least 20 people.
- Every 6 months at the Paris Fashion Week, the Workshop (atelier) presents a new collection of clothing that contains at least 35 variants of day and evening dresses.
The history of "haute couture"
What is haute couture today? To answer this question, it is important to delve into the history of the emergence and development of this concept. "From haute couture" is not just something unique, exclusive and incredibly expensive. In order for a couturier to have the opportunity to create clothes from haute couture, he must receive a certificate and become a member of the Paris High Fashion Syndicate.
The latter is exclusively French trade union, which operates according to rather strict rules. For example, such clothing must necessarily be 70% hand-sewn, and the fabric for its creation is selected exclusively from those models that were presented at the High Fashion Week.
It is believed that the first real couturier is Ch. F. Worth, who specifically moved to Paris in 1858 and opened his fashion house there. Why precisely he? Yes, because it was Worth who first began to dictate his rules to his dear clients, which they appreciated and accepted. It was he who began to distinguish between collections, depending on the seasons, his models were live girls, and not rag dolls, as was customary earlier.
He first sewed inscribed ribbons to his outfits, which testified to the true origin of each model that came out of his hands. It must be said that all the innovations put forward by Worth were quickly adopted by other designers, who called him a real revolutionary in the fashion world.
Today, in order to join the Haute couture series, it is necessary to submit an application to the High Fashion Syndicate, where it will be reviewed and scrutinized. For example, to get the coveted status, which, notice, can be obtained only with the main production in Paris, at the same time, at least 20 full-time employees should work for it, among whom there are high experts in silk, cut, and also permanent models.
Fashion House every year is obliged to produce at least 2 collections, in which 50 fresh models are presented. In addition, you must pay a considerable entrance fee, but what status is acquired through difficult conditions!
"From haute couture" in the modern world
Surprisingly, the majority of fashionable traditions, which were dictated by Worth more than 100 years ago, continue to be observed in the world of High Fashion today! As then, the dresses are created solely on the figure of the customer, and all models presented on the catwalk are nothing more than samples.
Like many years ago, such things are very expensive, sometimes a fortune, which is inherited or, over time, put up for auction. As a rule, such clothes are worn only a couple of times at extremely significant and pompous events that are of particular importance in the world.
Designers from this Fashion House approach each new image with special attention and vigilance, with each order asking a lot of questions so that two dresses from the same collection cannot “meet” at one event.
In general, not all wealthy people will be able to afford such a luxury, each of the Houses, on average, serves about 150 privileged permanent clients. Someone says that haute couture is a relic of the past, however, be that as it may, this is the cultural heritage of France, a storehouse of centuries-old experience and ancient knowledge that distinguish such clothes from stamped “made in China”.