Elusive and exclusive but definitely not egocentric nor flashy, what haute couture really feels like only the wearer shall fully know. But any fashion forward person can and should definitely appreciate this dying art form. Pret-a-porter has definitely revolutionized fashion and the way people perceive fashion by sort of making it more available to more kinds of people but as a result the mysteries of fine clothes making, couture has suffered. This probably adds to its beauty and mysticism. If fashion is a religion then couture is its Bible.
What is couture? Many don’t actually know. Couture is basically made-to-order specially tailored clothing that incorporates only the finest of the finest materials available on our earth. Specially crafted in ateliers in Paris passing regulations set by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, these clothes clothe only the wealthiest women.
“A designer who is not also a couturier, who hasn’t learned the most refined mysteries of physically creating his models, is like a sculptor who gives his drawings to another man, an artisan, to accomplish.” – YSL.
For me, names like Pierre Balmain, Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior all evoke feelings of intrigue, fascination and wonder. I have a handful of favourite couturiers but at the top of this list lie Christian Dior, Ralph Rucci and Azzedine Alaia. Couture is more about the woman that lies in the clothing than the clothing on it’s own. Fashion can indeed transform but couture accentuates. It works like a megaphone through which the wearer dictates her personality.
It may be surprising to hear that couture isn’t about money. In-fact it really isn’t. Money in-fact tends to tarnish the true quality of creativity by commercializing it. This aspect of clothing is an art and always has been. Just like you’d collect a De Kooning or a Degas one would collect a Christian Dior couture dress or an Azzedine Alaia.
Just like an enchanting dream couture calls my name drawing me into its intricacies and deep realms. Sometimes it would seem so wonderful if we could transport into the times when people like Cristobal were busy sewing away in their ateliers for secret clients.