Have you guys ever wondered what the term, “Haute Couture,” truly meant? I feel like I hear it thrown around all the time to describe any and all designer fashion. Then the other day, I was on Buzzfeed and watched this video (below) and surmised that perhaps the term had become widely misused. Instead, the video led me to believe that anything that is completely hand made fell into the category of couture. But then I thought back to that pillow I had hand sewn in Girl Scouts back in grade school and figured, there is no way that could possibly be considered couture. And so what else to do but Google to find the proper term!
On my search, I stumbled upon this great, although at times a bit snobbish (but who in fashion isn’t) blog, Dressful. In her post, “What is the true definition of haute couture?,” she very clearly states the three defining qualities:
1. Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
2. Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
3. 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.
She then goes on to explain that even within the Haute Couture world, their exists a hierarchy. There are the Original’s (Chanel, Dior), the Correspondents (Foreign houses such as Armani and Valentino) and the Guests, (newcomers). There are also divisions for jewelry and accessories. So there you have it. Who knew? Not you! But now ya do!
Also, be sure to check out the video below. It’s the one I mentioned from Buzzfeed that shows a bit of Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2013 Haute Couture show but also the insane work that goes into creating these beautiful designer garments, ALL BY HAND! You can also check out the rest of the show’s looks over at Vogue.com <— Click here!