With the launch of Paris Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2011, haute couture is again all over the fashion blogs and news sites.
We take it for granted that the outrageous and inconceivable will be sent down the runway, encasing nervous looking models who try to keep a straight face as they’re trussed up in some of the most complicated and painful looking creations ever. Some might say, what’s the point?
Haute Couture (translated to mean high fashion) exists only in Paris where it’s protected by strict criteria, such as the amount of work carried out by hand, the limited number of pieces and the size of the fashion house’s workforce. It can only be afforded by a small handful of women around the world, for who each garment is painstakingly, handmade to suit her specific measurements, and it makes the fashion houses almost no money at all, but without it, fashion wouldn’t be the same.
Many critics think of it as fashion’s ultimate frivolity, but without it we wouldn’t get to see a glimpse of a designer’s fantasy bought to life by some of the world’s most skilled seamstresses. It’s a feast for the eyes. It’s everything that’s outrageous and inspirational about the fashion industry and we can’t get enough!
Paris Haute Couture 2011 is set to be another over-the-top, eccentric feast for the eyes. And while it’s not cost effective for an increasing number of fashion houses and every year people question it’s relevance in modern society, it still provides a peek into a whole different level of design and a whole different society, where women happily drop 20 000 euros on a dress for one special night.
As Coco Chanel said, “Luxury is the necessity that begins where necessity ends”.
Do you think haute couture is still relevant to today’s fashion buying society?