Definition: Exclusive custom-fitted fashions that are the pinnacle of the fashion industry. Haute couture, which is French for high sewing or dressmaking, has become a global industry that drives clothing retail and a significant part of magazine sales. Haute couture garments are made to measure and are typically produced from high-quality materials, which are sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often by hand. Haute couture originated in 18th-century France when fashions of the court at Versailles were imitated across Europe. The modern industry was begun by Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), who created one-of-a-kind designs and prepared designs shown on live models.
Today there only 11 official Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture designers. To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members must follow these rules:
- 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 (ie-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.
- Juicy Couture, Wildfox Couture, or other casual lifestyle brands.
- Any expensive fashion.
- Any designer, collection, or runway show.
- A term to use when you want to make something sound elegant, chic, or exquisite. It is a renowned term to be reserved for exclusive members that earned the right to be part of the Chambre Syndicale.
Credit: The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design, Ambrose & Harris, Wikipedia