What Is ‘Couture’??

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano

Couture Week is upon us! From June 30th-July 4th, 2019, the Fall/Winter 2019 Couture fashion shows take place in Paris. In addition to fashion weeks every February and September (which are actually a month-long series of shows in the four major fashion capitals), you also get Couture Week twice a year in January and July. Unlike Fashion Week, Couture Week is only a few days long making it closer to an actual week. However, that week is filled with fashion shows and presentations from the most major fashion houses in the world. There are only 15 fashion houses that are recognize as couture houses by the Federation de la Haute Couture, a governing body (if you will) for the fashion world. Of those 15 houses recognized, a few of my favorites are Christian Dior, Chanel, Giambattista Valli, and Alexis Mabille. These collections feature handmade pieces created with the highest attention to detail and craftsmanship. With all this amazing artistry comes a hefty price tag. The pieces shown at Fashion Week get mass produced and are widely available. Haute couture (French for ‘high dressmaking’) pieces are only affordable to the more wealthy shopper. Each item ordered is custom-made to fit that individual.

So that begs the question: what’s in it for us? Those of us buying t-shirts at Target and splurging on jeans at Express can’t quite drop the tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) you’d need to afford a couture piece. For me, the answer is that we get to see some of the most awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping creations from the world’s best and draw inspiration from those looks. While i can’t afford a Chanel couture jacket, I can draw inspiration from the color, shape, pattern, or texture the designer has used in it and dig through my own closet or my favorite shops to find something that aligns with that inspiration. Take note from the greats and find the cost-effective version that truly fits your personal wardrobe!

To see my favorite looks from Couture Week (and every Fashion Week), following me on Pinterest!

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