You know the annual Victoria Secret's fashion show with the beautiful models strutting down the runway wearing crazy lingerie outfits in detail oriented wings? Yea, you know exactly what I am talking about. You won't ever see someone actually wearing that outfit in the streets if you were to take a second to think about it. Thing is, Victoria Secret's is not the first to come up with an idea to showcase a bunch of looks that are only for show. There are many designers dating back to the 1800's who have been doing something similar. These looks and shows were dedicated to the art of Haute Couture.
So, what is Haute Couture?
In a nutshell, it is made to order high-end fashion that are designed and hand crafted by skilled artisans. According to Wikipedia, for a fashion house to have the right to call themselves haute couture, they would need to follow the 3 rules administered by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
Each season (i.e. twice a year) present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
Many people tend to misinterpret the term Haute Couture. One of the reasons why is because many fashion houses tend to come out with a special collection line and because it is special, they think it is haute couture. Haute Couture is meant to showcase the art and beauty of fashion with its avant-garde and whimsical approach. It only applies to a handful of designer houses that meet the standards in the couture industry. Some of those designer brands include Chanel and Christian Dior who use to showcase their work on Couture week.
Couture week no longer exists, and most ready-to-wear looks are showcased during the two annual fashion weeks held in spring and fall. Many fashion designers especially from Haute Couture houses say that this art is slowly dying. Because we live in a world where demand is key, fast fashion houses are thriving in this century. The production and development of fashion has never been faster compared to the previous years and the couture industry is not able to keep up.
So the big question is, will Haute couture survive?