Before many of us fell into the world of fashion design the term couture was so misused and literally mispronounced often.
Couture: noun | \kü-‘tür, - ‘tuer\ \ the business of designing, making, or selling women’s clothes; also: women’s clothes in general.
Thank you, Webbie!
Today anything weird and runway-esque is considered couture. As long as the item looks expensive and absolutely alien you’ve got couture!
And then there is Haute Couture which is high end fashion measured to be made entirely or mostly by hand from high quality and expensive fabrics.
Both terms originated from the French. Paris, in the mid-nineteenth century, is supposedly where the term was coined. At the time haute or couture was not used so loosely but designated for the upper-upper crust who could afford fabrics shipped from different parts of the world and constructed to fit ones bodice. [These garments are created by incredibly skilled creative directors/designers, couturiers, seamstress, and tailors. They are creating clothing at the highest level.] In modern day the terms are used more freely despite where the garment was created; but still reserved for those clients who can afford high-fashion-custom-fitted clothes.
So what to do when a fashion designer, dress maker, wedding gown designer or any clothing designer slaps the terms on their brands and demands an arm, leg and first born as payment? Let’s be serious, we have all peeped a price tag and immediately pulled out our phones for a look-a-like on Amazon. Ask for their certification! A designer must be certified by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and adhere to the following: design made-to-order within two fittings, employ 15 full time employees within an atelier in Paris and showcase at least 35 day/night looks a season. Designers such as Christian Dior and Chanel are registered designers for the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
[You can tell a fake once you know your Haute Couture. The craftsmanship is unprecedented.] It has aged itself from the fashion world with a dying clientele. [Fast fashion has really made a grave impact on the fashion industry.] Millennials, and the like, are looking for socially buzzing up and coming designers with an eye for comfort, swag and the ability to pull off an expensive look for less. It seems some no longer care for costumes and perfect postured restrictions. [New can be good, but its important to appreciate the workmanship and the need to keep it relevant for future generations. Great things take time, so if you can't afford Haute Couture find a local courtier, designer or dress maker to create that something special just for you.]