Haute Couture has always been,by definition, a matter of exquisite design,excellent stitching and taking care of individual clients’needs.’Haute Couture’ is also a term that enjoys protection of the French Law,since the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris determine which fashion houses are eligible to be ‘ haute couture houses’,with this privilege being strictly protected by the Chambre Syndicale.Generally,we find that in order for an atelier to use the term ‘couture’,there must be : ” a couture fashion house that creates unique pieces designed to directly fit on a client’s body or on a dress form replicating hers, with a number of individual fittings being carried out on each client. They must have an atelier in Paris, with at least 20 full time employees, and the fashion house must present a minimum of two 25–piece collections to the Paris press each year.”
Impressive.But,in the era of fashion shows’ live transmission via web and with trends being originating through Instagram “influencers” and pop culture,is there place for Haute Couture to serve its elitist purpose?There is,we think.Karl Lagerfeld describes this evolution as a matter of just changing times:“There is now a different kind of couture for what different circumstances permit. Luxury ready-to-wear is not so far from what couture used to be … The new couture clients are beautiful, young. We have Russians, Indians, Chinese, South Americans. Women from the Gulf countries don’t even come to Paris; the première flies the collections to them.”Can that be Haute Couture? We asked three friends ( and mostly)fashion insiders for their view over this interesting yet critical issue-the future of Haute Couture.
”As long as there are those of extreme wealth there will always be Haute Couture. The question is what will Haute Couture look like in generations to come and who will be responsible for carrying the torch. IMHO the future is not in the hands of a Raf but in the hands of Vauthier, Lemaire, Saab and Valli as it they who understand and remain committed to the tenets and practices of the craft.”
(JF is the international fashion editor for the examiner.com as well as a book reviewer for the New York Journal of Books with the focus being on all aspects of fashion and style.)
”Some brands like JP Gautier stop ready-to-wear to focus on haute couture only, which appears to be much more profitable.Although Haute Couture is not always lucrative, it offers a few brands a worldwide recognition and becomes attractive to Middle East, Russian and emerging market countries clientele.Thanks to these new customers, young brands newly labelled as haute couture brands, start becoming profitable.Today, fashion houses move to the most important capital cities in the world, in order to establish closer ties with their customers.Haute couture goes on evolving with a new generation of designers and keep on attracting journalists and bloggers. It definitly needs to go on seducing this clientele to continue and make people dream.”
(.Monsieur X’s goal is to make discover or rediscover forgotten or badly represented artists.Specialized in the world of Luxury and Fashion, Monsieur X has collaborated with the following brands Dior Fine Jewellery, Chanel Fine Jewellery, Cartier, Boucheron, Chaumet, Kenzo, Céline, Fendi, Balmain and also the young talented designer Alexis Mabille.)
”Nowadays, even though financial crisis forced many Haute Couture designers to either close down their ateriers or make a 360o diversion to Ready to Wear, I still believe that Haute Couture is surviving. Maybe on a smaller scale but definatley it is not vanishing. Yes, Haute Couture is that special creation, the unique piece that is designed for a client’s figure with a special care, hand made, hand embroideries, etc…but that is its whole beauty and magic!!!.I still believe that there is a demand for it even worldwide economy goes through tough times.”
(Fashion designer in both men and women wear. http://www.mariaristidou.com Her last project was a Limited Edition Scarf Line A/W 2014-15. She is now working on her next capsule collections as well as for the collaboration with LIVE AID Symphony Orchestra at the at the SGM Conference Center Roma for a charity fashion show in 2016.)