Haute couture is considered superlative fashion. The most exclusive fashion houses transform exquisite materials into handmade works of art, with the finished products comfortably costing €200,000. But it is only when you look at “couture by numbers” that you realize just how much effort goes into each piece.
Only 14 fashion labels are members of the elite society that is the Parisian Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Custom-made dresses, 50 looks per year and a Parisian atelier with 20 full-time employees (an exception is made here for smaller couture houses) are musts.
Making a dream from fabric is no off-the-cuff hobby. 150 hours of needlework per dress are the absolute minimum. Add embroidery and the number could soon exceed 1,000.
Shows for summer 2018 in Paris
The two haute couture labels Armani Privé and Valentino have once again mustered a veritable feast for the eyes on the catwalks of their latest shows. This year, couturier Giorgio Armani took inspiration from the clouds. Multilayered silk in delicate shades dominated here and is intended to remind us of cloud paintings by the Expressionists.
At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli combined haute couture with casual and played with feathers and strong colours. Instead of dreamily romantic dresses, he even presented wide-legged trousers on his couture catwalk.
Haute couture in the Instagram universe
The final look of the #ValentinoHauteCouture Show embodies the work of the Atelier as an art of time, a continuous dialogue between the one who imagines and the one who completes. ‘Giada’ an emerald faille and organza oversize cape worn over a black silk slip with floral applications. Headpiece by milliner @philiptreacy