Couture is a words that is tossed around without knowledge or regard for it’s meaning. Most people have a general idea that couture represents expensive high end design and even though they use it to describe their most recent Walmart purchase. It can add to the list of diluted words along with genius and diva. Diva was never the same after VH1 got a hold of it. That’s why I decided to take some time to focus on the real world of Haute Couture. Simply defined:
Couture [short for Haute Couture] refers to hand sewn custom clothing using the highest quality and most expensive fabrics. In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. Their rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves” of the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and updated in 1992. (Wikipedia)
Couture week just wrapped up in Paris. Jean Paul Gaultier did a 50’s rocker themed show as a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Karl Lagerfeld’s runway for Chanel was turned into an airplane isle. I like the idea of an airplane set but the cloths were blah at best. I don’t know what Chanel was aiming for but the arrow missed the mark by a long shot. Couture should be over the top inspired evening wear not sequin stewardess uniforms. Donatella Versace presented was her first Paris show since 2004. The best way to describe Versace’s show is Kim Kardashian meets Judy Jetson. Although I like Kim, I don’t mean that as a compliment. [in case there was any confusion] The best came from Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli. The former was a collection that was made for the Oscar red carpet. I guarantee that we’ll see at least one Elie Saab couture gown on February 26th.
Couture creations are neither ment for real life nor real people and that’s beauty of it. I should also state for the record that couture doesn’t always mean cute. I’m talking to you Karl and Donatella. My final thoughts: You don’t need to stop using the word but if pressed now you can speak intelligently to the true definition.