Haute couture ; French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking” or “high fashion”) is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is high end fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture translates literally from French as “dressmaking” but may also refer to fashion, sewing, or needlework- Fashion-Era and is also used as a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.
Haute translates literally to “high”. A haute couture garment is often made for a client, tailored specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. Considering the amount of time, money, and skill allotted to each completed piece, haute couture garments are also described as having no price tag: budget is not relevant.
They have a society of the the firms which are allowed to use the word Haute Couture, called Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
Members of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture
Christian Dior SE, commonly known as Dior, is a French luxury goods company controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads LVMH – the world’s largest luxury group. Dior itself holds 42.36% shares of and 59.01% voting rights within LVMH. Founded in 1946 by the eponymous designer Christian Dior, today the company designs and retails ready-to-wear, leather goods, fashion accessories, footwear, jewelry, timepieces, fragrance, make-up, and skincare products while also maintaining its tradition as a creator of recognized haute-couture (under the Christian Dior Couture division). While the Christian Dior label remains largely for women’s offerings, the company also operates the Dior Homme division for men and the baby Dior label for children’s wear. Products are sold throughout its portfolio of retail stores worldwide, as well as through its online store.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent YSL ; also known as Saint Laurent Paris) is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. Saint Laurent Paris revived its haute couture collection in 2015 under creative director Hedi Slimane. The new collection, “Yves Saint Laurent Couture” or “Saint Laurent Paris 24, Rue de L’Université” is the French house’s first couture collection ever since the retirement of its legendary founder in 2002. Founded in 1961 it has been considered one of the world’s most prominent fashion houses and known for its modern and iconic pieces, such as its tuxedo jackets for women. Today Saint Laurent Paris markets a broad range of women’s and men’s ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes, and jewelery. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté also has a notable presence in the luxury beauty market, although this is run independently through L’Oreal Paris that licenses the name.
Giorgio Armani born 11 July 1934) is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer that Italy has produced,with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a personal fortune of $8.5 billion as of 2013. He is credited with pioneering red-carpet fashion. As of 2009, Armani has a retail network of 60 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 11 Collezioni, 122 Emporio Armani, 94 A/X Armani exchange, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessori, and 13 Armani Junior stores spread over 37 different countries.
Balenciaga is a Spanish luxury fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a Spanish designer, born in the Basque Country, Spain. He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as “the master of us all” by Christian Dior. His bubble skirts and odd, feminine, yet ultra-modern shapes were trademarks of the house. The House of Balenciaga is now owned by the French multinational company Kering. Balenciaga defiantly resisted the rules, guidelines, and bourgeoisie status of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture parisienne, and, thus, was never a member. Although he is spoken of with immense reverence, technically, Balenciaga couture was never haute couture.Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his fashion house in 1968 and died in 1972. The house lay dormant until 1986. Today, the brand is most famous for its line of motorcycle-inspired handbags, especially the famous “Lariat”. All of the boutiques employ dynamic architecture, with white paneling, marble, and glass work as well as black leather seats and light green, black and navy carpets or white tiles, emphasizing the brand’s lean toward avant-garde and the drama of fashion.The brand is mentioned in the single New Americana by Halsey. Nicki Minaj references the brand in her first single from the Album ‘Pink Print’ “Bed of Lies” “Balenciaga’s on my boot with the python strap” The brand is also referenced to by Bronx rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie in his song Not a Regular Person with the lyrics “I’m done with these Balenciaga’s, they keep on fucking my socks up.”
Gianni Versace S.p.A., usually referred to as Versace, is an Italian luxury fashion company and trade name founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. The main collection of the brand is Versace, which produces upmarket Italian-made ready-to-wear and leather accessories, while other diffusion lines are Versace Collection (mainly in the US), Versus Versace and Versace Jeans. The Versace logo is the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological figure. The logo came from the floor of ruins in Rome that the Versace siblings played in as children. Gianni Versace chose Medusa as the logo because she made people fall in love with her and they had no way back. He hoped his company would have the same effect on people. The Versace brand is known for having flashy prints and bright colors. Versace partnered with the Mind Group firm in China in 2015. The two companies designed luxury residence towers called the “Versace Residencies.” The goal of the creators were to combine Versace’s luxury home elements with elements of traditional Chinese culture.This same year, Versace partnered with the ABIL Group in India to develop another residential project. These luxury homes are located in South Mumbai.In 2015, Donatella Versace was featured in Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy campaign.
Elie Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer. His main workshop is in Lebanon, with additional workshops in Milan and Paris. Elie Saab’s style is a unique fusion of western and eastern culture. He uses noble materials such as taffeta, organza, noble and satin paired with more fluid and light fabrics.In 1998, he started ready-to-wear in Milan, and in the same year, he held a fashion show in Monaco, which was attended by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.In 1999, Queen Rania of Jordan wore Elie Saab for her enthronement.In May 2003, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture invited him to become a member, and he showed his first haute couture collection in Paris in July 2003. His first ready-to-wear collection in Paris was the Spring-Summer 2006 collection.In 2010, Saab dressed 102 celebrities for events, up from 40 in 2009. The figure for 2011 up until March was 88. The brand has boutiques located in Beirut, Dubai, Doha, Paris, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York, and Mexico, 100 retail outlets total. In 2011, Elie Saab launched his first fragrance “Le Parfum”.
Valentino SpA is a clothing company founded in 1960 by Valentino Garavani. It is a part of Valentino Fashion Group. Since October 2008, the creative director is Pier Paolo Piccioli. Alessandra Facchinetti was Valentino’s creative designer from 2007 to 2008. Valentino is headquartered in Milan. In 1998, Garavani and Giammetti sold the company for approximately $300 million to HdP, an Italian conglomerate controlled, in part, by the late Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat. In 2002, Valentino S.p.A., with revenues of more than $180 million, was sold by HdP to Marzotto Apparel, a Milan-based textile giant, for $210 million. It was rumored that HDP was displeased with Garavani’s and Giammetti’s personal expenses, a claim at which Giammetti has bristled. Valentino’s international debut took place in 1962 in Florence, the Italian fashion capital of the time. Valentino has also specially designed wedding dresses for Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Cox, Sophie Hunter and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.
Ralph & Russo
Ralph & Russo is a British luxury goods company and haute couture fashion house. It became the first British brand to be elected in almost 100 years by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show its collection on the official schedule at Paris Haute Couture Week, alongside brands such as Chanel, Dior and Valentino. The Chambre Syndicale’s former president, Didier Grumbach was quoted as saying “We expect savoir faire, which is being lost, and they Ralph & Russo have it”.The house was founded in 2007 by duo Tamara Ralph (Creative Director) and Michael Russo (CEO) and within a very short time established itself as one of the world’s fashion houses.In 2013, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo were jointly listed at #39 Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg on Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40.In 2014, the privately held company controlled and run by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo was valued at an undisclosed nine-figure sum.
Pierre Cardin is an Italian-born French fashion designer. in San Biagio di Callalta near Treviso. Cardin is known for his avant-garde style and his Space Age designs. He prefers geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. He founded his fashion house in 1950 and introduced the “bubble dress” in 1954.Pierre Cardin was also designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. On 16 October 2009, Pierre Cardin was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and began showing his collections in his own venue, the “Espace Cardin” (opened 1971) in Paris. In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philippines by opening the front, removing the cuffs that needed cufflinks, flaring the sleeves, and minimizing the embroidery. It was also tapered to the body, in contrast with the traditional loose-fitting design; it also had a thicker collar with sharp and pointed cuffs. A straight-cut design was favored by President Ferdinand Marcos.Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.