Tuesday, June 19, 2012

All about couture: Part 1 (History of haute couture)

The haute couture of today is a marriage between modern fashion and the classic sartorial arts, from precise tailoring to intricate embroidery. The term itself translates literally from French as "high dressmaking", a rather fitting name if you ask me. Couture is a specific form of of clothing design in which each piece is fitted for the private client's measurements and made with incredible craftsmanship. Today, couture houses we are most familiar with include Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Chanel.
Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012
Source: tomandlorenzo.com
Haute couture first took off in the second half of the 19th century. One of the earliest couturiers was Charles Frederick Worth, who is often considered the father of couture today. He was an Englishman who set up a shop in Paris and was not always taken very seriously. Another famous name in couture was Paul Poiret, who was active in the early 20th century. His designs reflected Oriental influences and a world of fantasy.
Dress by Paul Poiret, said to be the first couture dress without a corset
Source: chicagohistory.org
It was not long before women began to rise as top couturières, including Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Chanel was an important icon, notable for chic and innovative fashion.
Coco Chanel at work
Source: ninagarcia.com
The post-World War II period saw the continued success of couture, including the establishment of Christian Dior's couture house. This period of time was considered a golden age for couture as roughly 15,000 women were customers at the time. Today, that number has decreased to 2,000 and some suspect that haute couture will eventually fade away. I, for one, hope that it will stay around for a long time because the results can be truly beautiful and it's an irreplaceable art.
Haute Couture by Jean Paul Gaultier
Source: nymag.com
I will soon post up Part 2, which will focus more on the couture of today.


  1. Great post


  2. Pretty pictures! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment.


  3. Great post JPG never fail with his designs.

  4. Can`t wait for the Part 2, this is amazing!

  5. thanks for your comment, great run down :)


  6. Great pictures and loving this post!!!


  7. Got an idea about the history. Love it! :)


  8. Such a great post!! I love history!


  9. This is one of the only history lessons I actually enjoyed reading. SO amazing :D