What is Haute Couture?
The history of clothing and fashion would not be the same without haute couture.
Haute Couture is a French phrase for haute couture. Haute couture means tailoring, sewing or couture and haute means elegant or high, so the two combined imply an excellent art with making garments. Buying a couture model garment is on the top level of custom fashion design by hand and building clothing made by a couture design house. A couture garment model is made specifically for the measurements and body posture of the wearer. Exclusive bespoke garments are made virtually by hand, carefully woven, glued and fitted perfectly for each client.
High Fashion: High Cost of Haute Couture
Depending on the Haute Couture design house and the garment, the cost of a couture item ranges from around £ 10,000 for a plain blouse to £ 40,000 and often beyond that figure. A Chanel couture suit, for example, in 2002 could have cost £ 20,000. In mid-2004, an evening dress cost £ 50,000. If you are not rich, it is difficult for a person to understand why the price is so high, but it is because of the service, the workmanship, the originality of a unique design and the excellent materials of the best quality.
Additionally, the client would get a perfect fit that would only be achieved by painstaking methods of cutting and fitting the client’s body. The manual labor required to produce a garment in this way takes between 100 and 150 hours for a suit and up to 1000 hours for an embellished evening dress. The evening gown can have thousands of hand-sewn beads, probably made by the expert and famous Parisian embroidery and rhinestone firm Lesage, founded in 1922 by Albert Lesage.
A haute couture house like Chanel, for example, will have around 150 regulars who buy haute couture and a house like Dior will produce about 20 haute couture wedding dresses a year.
Exclusive Expensive Haute Couture Fabrics
The fabrics available for the haute couture house would be very luxurious and would include the latest in expensive fabrics and silks, fine wools, cashmere, cottons, linens, leather, suede, other furs, or furs. In the case of a famous designer house, the design and color of a fabric may be reserved exclusively for that couture house.
External specialists manufacture accessories either by design or inspiration. Hats, trims, buttons, belts, costume jewelery, shoes and innovative pieces are finely crafted to complement the fabrics and fashion ideas that are being created. Excellent craftsmanship, a new idea, and advertised internationally renowned names are priced to match. Those who can afford haute couture are happy to pay for the exclusivity and privacy the system offers.
Toiles are Sample Garments
Designers create their initial designs using muslin, which drapes well for flowy designs or using linen or calico canvas for more structured garments, such as tailored garments. These sample patterns are called toiles and save by using very expensive fabrics that can cost £ 100 or more per meter. The toilet can be manipulated, marked, and adjusted to fit a particular living model until the designer and his sales staff are satisfied.
The finishing touch of a design idea is a precise interpretation of the line or cut to the button or hem location the designer is looking for. Once satisfied, the designer instructs his staff to make the garment with selected and exclusive materials. A seamstress or tailor will work on the garment from start to finish. Cutting and finishing is done in one room and the shop manager is responsible for everything that is produced in that room.
Haute Couture: Appointments Only Please
When a customer decides to order a haute couture garment, they must first make an appointment with the design house before any visit to Paris. The model garments in the collections are sometimes out of the country and presented elsewhere. Some haute couture houses offer a video of the collection to serious buyers.
The Haute Couture Order
Once an appointment has been made, the customer is served by a saleswoman, an important saleswoman responsible for the customers, their orders and the supervision of their accessories.
The vendeuse receives a commission on clothing from its own particular group of customers.
From the moment she meets the client in the salon, she helps and encourages the client through all the stages of adaptation and sudden difficulties. A difficulty could be, for example, another customer from the same city who wants the exact same garment design and color for a prestigious function. The vendeuse solves those problems knowing full well what could be a disaster for two women to pay large sums for an exclusive haute couture item only to meet the acquaintance in the same place in the same outfit.
Each ordered set is made according to the requirements of each individual customer. After choosing the model that she wants, the client measures herself and has to be prepared for 3 adjustments, sometimes more.
After a noticeable adjustment and adjustments, the garment is placed mis à plat. This means it lays flat on the table, disassembles, adjusts, and reassembles, ready for the next adjustment.
The vendeuse maintains conversations between the warehouse, embroiderers, furriers and the client. Final inspection of a garment from her and her expectation of the highest standards ensure that it is approved as haute couture and suitable for delivery to a customer. Over time, the garment fits like a glove, highlighting the customer’s good-figure points and diminishing the poor-figure flaws.
Haute Couture Caters for an Exclusive Clientele
Sometimes designers work for their own brand, and sometimes they work for a famous haute couture house. Very few haute couture model sales are made in a year and they rarely add up to more than 1,500 sales per home. This is not surprising when you learn that only around 3,000 women around the world can afford to buy clothes at the highest level, and fewer than 300 shop regularly. See fashion theories
Selling the Haute Couture Dream
Because of this, Haute Couture really runs at a loss. Design houses host expensive, million-pound fashion shows of often dubious, but outrageously remarkable designs mixed with exquisite supermodel garments. The couture house sells only a very limited percentage of couture clothing models to a contracting number of customers. The profits from this activity are negligible, amounting to less than ten percent of the gross profits of the haute couture name or sometimes even a loss.
So you might be wondering what the point of all this is for such a low percentage of sale relative to effort and timing. The answer is in the phrase “sell a dream”. Fashion shows attract a lot of media attention and get huge publicity for haute couture houses. They sell an intangible dream. A dream of elegant prestige, of beauty, desirability and exclusivity that the common person can buy.
If a consumer can afford the perfume bottle, scarf, designer boutique jewelry, seasonal handbag, haute couture cosmetics or ready-to-wear ‘designer label’ products, they will be convinced that They are as exclusive as the 1000 women and supermodels who regularly wear Haute Couture model dresses.
It is fair to say that the products are usually very high quality, so many people are happy to pay a price that they feel reflects the image and the standard. However, if this is beyond your means and part of fantasy land, why not grab one of the many online catalogs that feature clothing for real people. Or try The Body Shop Invent Your Scent here.
Couture Front for Ready to Wear, Beauty and Perfume
Haute Couture is the prestigious front of French creative fashion and original design. Ultimately, this translates to the lowest-priced, but still expensive, designer label known as Ready-to-Wear or Ready-to-Wear. In turn, the ready-to-wear and haute couture home beauty industry employs a huge workforce for the many lower-end perfume and accessory sales. This generates huge profits for the haute couture design house through mass market international sales volume.