The next few days will be entirely devoted to something I hold very close to my heart, couture. This is the greatest art form in fashion, it is the medium in which fashion designers are their most creative and experimental.
First a definition to clear up a few misconceptions.
Haute Couture: French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”. It is custom fit clothing of the highest quality with the most expensive and luxurious fabrics and more often than not hand sewn, always with extreme attention to detail by the best and most experienced seamstresses. The term is protected by law in Paris and defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. And only companies listed by this elite group are technically allowed to call their designs “haute couture”.
The end. No Juicy Couture or Romeo and Juliet Couture. Only four designers are not French, and others show their collections as “Guest Members”. The members come and go, like Donatella Versace, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent no longer show couture collections but the houses once did.
There are also jewelry and accessories designers included in the group, but not too many.
The most famous current official members are: Anne Valerie Hash, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, and Jean Paul Gaultier. And the four foreign members are, Elie Saab, Giorgio Armani, Maison Martin Margiela, and Valentino.
The shows began this week in Paris and I have compiled my favorite looks from the collections. Some I found absolutely amazing (Dior and Givenchy) and others were underwhelming (Chanel) but each of them offered exquisite craftsmanship and beauty, which is rarely seen anymore with our fast-paced, over efficient, busy world.