What is Couture?

Is it Couture?

The popular description of high fashion or glamorous fashion is “Couture“. What is couture really?

Couture is probably one of the most misused words in the standard fashion community. In fact many can only be classified as high fashion. To be truly considered couture designers have to meet certain criteria and be approved to bare the name.

By Definition: couture – 1. fashion design:the design and production of fashionable high-quality custom-made clothes 2. high-fashion clothing: high-quality clothing made to order by a fashion designer.

But, there is more to being couture than just a nice designer name. Few are the elite designers who actually get to wear the badge of honor to be called couture and/or houte couture. In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris based in Paris, France. Their rules state that only companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945.
To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:

  • Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  • Have a workshop in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each fashion season present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

Haute couture originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth‘s work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. In modern France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, New York and Tokyo Reference: Claire B. Shaeffer (2001). Couture sewing techniques

Couture designers spend many a strenuous hour creating what can only be described as art. Completely hand sewn, only the best in quality fabrics, and hours of hand placed jewels. No machine work and short cuts here. Some designers gowns can take days and weeks created with a team of seamstresses. True Couture can be the most costly garments to create as well as purchase.

The 2011 the official list of members is: From Wikipedia.

Official members


Correspondent members (foreign)


Guest members



One thought on “What is Couture?

  1. Pingback: Haute Couture — 24 Hours a Day, Everyday | La Sciamía

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