The Elitist World of Haute Couture
Visual arts have evolved with time, and as artists chose a new medium of painting and drawing. A new genre of visual art has emerged. Clothing design has got its name included in visual arts as a result of such evolution. Artistic creations are now expressed in fabrics and other clothing materials that have been recognized as fashion design. Modern fashion design can be broadly divided into two categories — ‘ready to wear’ and ‘Haute Couture‘.
The clothes that we wear and are widely merchandised belong to the former category. It comes in a wide price range as some premium brands also figure in this category. This kind of clothing design is considered to be the driving force of the fashion industry. It caters to the largest section of people who have the choice of picking according to their budget.
Haute Couture – the gold standard of fashion
The second category — Haute Couture is meant for the crème de la crème, the elitist, and celebrities. These are highly expensive clothing items that bear the signature of creativity of master fashion designers. This category of clothing design is created exclusively for the rich and the famous. Since it is sold to specific customers, it is never produced on large scale. Only a few exclusive pieces are produced that are shared with only a selected few. This clothing is therefore completely tailor made for the persons it is intended. It can never be for the common man who is fed on the ready to wear variety that is affordable. These are custom made clothing that is not available in the market. It is the type of clothing we see during Oscars and other red carpet ceremonies.
It has French roots
The world of fashion has been turned on its head ever since Haute Couture broke into the scene of fashion design. The name is derived from a French phrase that means high fashion. Literally speaking, Couture is related to the art of dressmaking, whereas Haute is the adjective that links it to high fashion. It epitomizes the excellence of fashion and artistry in dress making. The clothing construction of a Couture design house is all about handcrafted fashion design, created for special people. It is tailored to suit the measurements of a specific wearer. Therefore no two pieces of the same size are created. It is thus truly unique creation that displays high-quality art through needlework, embroidery, and embellishments.
Since Haute Couture is the last word in luxury, the fabrics that are used for such clothing are prohibitively costly. High-end fabrics like expensive silk, premium cotton, suede, leather, and linens are used for it. For renowned fashion designers, for the sake of exclusivity, the color of fabric could be reserved for proprietary use. The cost of the clothing is astronomical by any standards, even today.