Haute couture is a French term that literally translates to “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”. Haute couture clothing goes beyond being merely in season or on trend; it is the crème de la crème of exclusive fashion design. They are one-of-a-kind pieces designed and created by fashion houses for their elite clientele.
Haute couture brings to mind the high fashion of the runway; the very best that money can buy. Haute couture fashion houses are on the cutting edge of clothing design. Avant-garde and forward thinking, designers create pieces that are at the very least interesting, sometimes impractical, but always evocative. To design haute couture is to make wearable art.
The founding father of haute couture design was Charles Frederick Worth. His meticulous attention to detail and artisanal methods laid the framework for what it means to be haute couture – and very little has changed since the mid-19th Century. Only a select few fashion houses make the cut.
In truth, haute couture fashion knows no bounds when it comes to price and imagination. The obligatory twice annual shows provide an opportunity for designers to show off their creativity and technical skill and blaze the trail for trends for their ready-made lines.
While couture is definitely a niche market, its relevance shows no signs of diminishing. The talent of the designers and craftspeople who create these one-of-a-kind works of art can be appreciated by anyone.