I’m not even close to the stratosphere of wealth required to wear couture—that would be a blessing beyond all measure! But $20,000 to $150,000 (e.g., Melania Trump’s wedding gown) for a dress? Even if I were hemorrhaging money, I’m still not sure I could legitimize a dress that costs more than my car.
However, a girl can still dream! It takes incredible talent and craftsmanship to produce couture—each piece is a masterpiece in its own right. Though a lot of couture shows are mostly pomp and theater, without many wearable clothes, I was pleasantly surprised by photos from the Spring 2007 Couture shows in Paris. There were the requisite fantasy pieces, don’t get me wrong, but there were also many, many dresses I could at least see a Hollywood starlet or two in.
(Photos by Marcio Madeira)
The term “haute couture” is French. Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture literally means “sewing,” but has come to indicate the business of designing, creating, and selling custom-made, high fashion women’s clothes.
To be called a haute couture house, a business must belong to the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, which is regulated by the French Department of Industry. Members must employ 15 or more people and present their collections twice a year. Each presentation must include at least 35 separate outfits for day and eveningwear.
Source: “Fashion—What is Haute Couture?.” Infoplease.© 2000–2006 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.24 Jan. 2007 http://www.infoplease.com/spot/fashionside1.html.