The word “couture” is French for “dressmaking” or “sewing”, and refers to the high end of the fashion spectrum. It’s the haute couture, or literally “high sewing/dressmaking”, that’s the pinnacle of fashion. In order to be considered a true couture house, a brand must design and create its garments in-house, from start to finish.
This level of commitment to craftsmanship and artistry is what sets couture apart from other fashion design houses. While some may see it as excessively wasteful or elitist, there’s no denying the impact that couture has on fashion as a whole. The intricate designs and painstaking attention to detail shown by couture houses inspire other designers and fuel trends that ripple through the industry.
Couture is also a valuable source of income for many cities with a strong fashion presence, like Paris or Milan. The annual Paris Couture Week is one of the most important events on the fashion calendar, attracting buyers, journalists, and celebrities from all over the world.
This year’s Couture Week was held from January 22-26, and featured 49 different designers from all over the globe. France was represented by 14 designers, including heavy hitters like Chanel, Dior, Valentino, and Givenchy. Italy had six designers showing their collections, led by Versace and Armani Privé. There were also shows from Japan, China, America, Spain, Lebanon, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary， Denmark，Austria， Russia， United Kingdom， Greece， Ukraine， India， Romania， Portugal， Croatia， Lithuania & Serbia
One of the most talked-about collections this year was Givenchy’s return to Haute Couture after a 12-year hiatus. Designed by Clare Waight Keller, who joined the house in 2017 after stints at Chloé and Ralph Lauren., the collection was inspired by Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work for Givenchy in the 1950s. It featured voluminous silhouettes in luxurious fabrics like velvet and satin, with intricate details like hand-embroidery and crystal beading.
The collection received rave reviews from critics and buyers alike., with many praising Waight Keller for her modern interpretation of Balenciaga’s iconic style. This is just one example of how couture can serve as a source of inspiration for contemporary designers working in other parts of the industry.
While some may see couture as an outdated relic of a bygone era,, it remains an important part of the fashion landscape– both as an art form and as an engine of trendsetting ideas.. In an ever-changing industry,, couture will always have a place at Fashion Week..