Dior Haute Couture S/S 2013

Givenchy Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2011

Mariacarla Boscono at Givenchy Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2006

Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012

Maison Martin Margiela Haute Couture A/W 2012 photographed by Kasia Bobula

Inside the atelier for Christian Dior haute couture f/w 2009

Valentino Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2009 

Lily Cole for Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2006
Anonymous: what is haute couture? like I always here people talking about it but I don't actually know what it means.

Well in short, the term is used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, New York and Tokyo. Haute couture clothing is one of a kind and often made with the most intricate, expensive and high quality materials. What’s more, haute couture pieces are made by the most experienced seamstresses. Most collections are prêt-à-porter (which means ready to wear). This is a less prestigious label and  the collection cannot be known as haute couture. To earn the right to use the label ‘Haute Couture’, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture 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.
  • Must have 20 full time technical people in at least one atelier or workshop.
  • 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.