It’s Couture week in Paris and in my home those are the high holy days. Twice a year we gather around a nice meal and thank our lord Givenchy for the frocks he gave unto us. But what is it, this Haute Couture?
The words “Haute Couture” literally mean “high sewing” in french. The art of couture is, at its core, two fold. First, and most important, is everything is done by hand. No machine of any kind is used and this includes the making of the fabric. Second, couture is a blend of fashion and costume. This is what allows for the most exciting pieces in couture. And often the most misunderstood.
When people first really explore couture, their most common reaction is “where would I ever wear that?” Let’s be perfectly clear. You wouldn’t wear this. This wasn’t made for you. These dresses not only come with 5-6 digit price tags, but you’ve got to know someone to even get a look at them. The people buying couture are baronesses, oil tycoons, Queen Rania of Jordan… Even celebrities who wear them on the red carpet are only borrowing them. And those who do own them keep them vaulted or behind glass.
They are art.
Should you find yourself newly wed to a prince or suddenly the toast of hollywood, you can schmooze your way into a couture show in July, (for fall), or February, (for summer). You’ll have to go to Paris, though. “True” couture is only made at a handful of fashion houses approved by a counsel and must operate out of France.
After dropping anywhere from $10,000 to a few $100,000 on your dress, you’ll be given a number to call and schedule your fitting. The designer himself will literally sew this gown to within a cats whisker of your skin. You’ll need to maintain that exact weight till the day of your event, so try and schedule them close together and maybe stop eating.
But know this… No one will ever have that dress but you. Only one was made and you own it.
The whole process will cover most of your year and when it’s over it’s likely time for a new gown anyway. Back to gay Paree!
Enjoy some of my personal favorites from past shows and stay tuned this week for any current shows I find worthy of spreading around. (FYI, pulling just a few pics from my pinterest collection of 1000+ was my own personal Sophie’s Choice)