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Fashion 101: Magazines and their Advertisers

Fashion 101: How Haute Couture Works

Fashion 101: Magazines and their Advertisers

By Alexandra SUHNER ISENBERG
Editor-at-Large


I thought I'd write a Fashion 101 post about 'Haute Couture', as I often find that it is a sector of the fashion industry that is often most misunderstood.



The term 'Haute Couture' is controlled by France's governing body of fashion, La Fédération Française de la Couture. (I studied at their school in Paris, Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where I learnt all about the beautifully intricate yet scarily tedious traditions of haute couture construction.)

Haute Couture was a much bigger industry in the 50s and 60s, when most wealthy people bought haute couture.

Luxury ready to wear didn't really exist at the time, and haute couture was somewhat more affordable. Brands also made money by charging American buyers from mass market brands upwards of $3,000 to attend the haute couture shows. They would sketch all the designs as they came down the catwalk, and go back to the States and make cheap copies.

That all changed when Yves Saint Laurent opened his Rive Gauche store, which was considered to be the first luxury ready to wear brand. Nowadays the luxury fashion market is dominated by ready to wear, haute couture makes up a very small portion of the market.

In order to officially produce haute couture, you must be approved by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, and follow their regulations, which include some of the following:...read more

Photo courtesy of style.com



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