Couture Still Needs Love

Couture, in my opinion, is the closest thing to art in the fashion industry. Everything that is couture is 100% hand made and custom-fitted. It is very meticulously done and time consuming. Couture items are complete masterpieces that have no price and still cater to the fantasy of fashion design not the commercial aspect that has become so important. Rather than being produced in a factory or done on an assembly line, the most experienced seamstresses are assigned a single dress that may take them more than 100 hours to produce. The term was invented in the 19th century by Charles Frederick Worth coined the first fashion designer. He revolutionized a pre-designed collection of beautifully intricate evening gowns that customers could make a choice on what they wanted. Once the decision was made, the dress immediately went into production. It was custom-fitted and many complementary details were added.

There was no room for drastic changes after production began either. Today couture is a very sacred concept and only designers that meet the highest standards in their designs are allowed to be considered couture designers. Other criteria include having an atelier in Paris with at least 15 full time staff members and at least 20 specialized craftsmen. One also has to have publicly presented a 75-piece collection of original day and eveningwear at Couture Fashion Week every January and July. In my opinion there is a lot of effort that still goes into couture that should not be going unnoticed. Of course there are very few of us that have the opportunity to even be in the presence of couture but it is where fashion essentially started. Without couture, where would the modernization of fashion design have come from? The effort to adjust high fashion was first thought of by Yves Saint Lauren who launched his first RTW collection in 1966. Gradually the issue of modernization came up for this distinctive form of fashion. Couture will always be relevant in my opinion. It is fashion’s history. Even the newest emerging designers still pull some of their inspiration from the early couture days. It may no longer be important to invest a lot of money and time creating new couture anymore but it will always be the perfect occasion to study and appreciate how it influenced past and future designers. Couture is the beginning and one should never forget where they came from.