Thursday, 21 January 2010

Haute Couture

Haute couture means ‘sewing at a high level‘. Only the best fabrics would be used in garments. The emphasis is on the fit and being individually designed for a customer. ‘With the help of a toile, every design detail is planned so that any motifs, stripes or checks are matched and positioned to the best advantage for the clients figure. At garments openings a motif will match so perfectly you have to look twice to discover the fastening.’(Fischer 2009 p110). In France you must belong to the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture before you can describe your work as haute couture. There are certain criteria to fill such as you must employ a minimum of 15 staff based in Paris in your own Atelier, secondly you must have designed and made a collection of both day and evening clothes to show to the press and you must offer a bespoke service for individual clients. With such expensive overheads most design houses produce a ready to wear collection as well, known as prêt-a-porter. ‘In 1946 there were 106 official haute couture houses. Over the course of the twentieth century this number dropped to 18 and today there maybe as few as ten;Adeline Andre,Chanel,Dior,Dominique Sirop, Emanuel Ungaru, Frank Sorbier,Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier and Jean-Louis Scherer.There are three correspondant houses: Ellie Saab,Georgio Armani and Valentino.’(Annette Fischer2009 p 111)

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