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Haute Couture 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Haute Couture. Chanel

Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”; pronounced: [ot kutyʁ]English pronunciation: /ˌoʊt kuːˈtʊər/) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothingHaute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit

The term can refer to:

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 ParisFrance. 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.

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 (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

Every haute couture house also markets prêt-à-porter collections, which typically deliver a higher return on investment than their custom clothing. These collections are often not for sale or they are very difficult to purchase.

Members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture

For the 2011 the official list of members is: 

Official members

Adeline AndréAnne Valérie HashAtelier GustavolinsChanelChristian DiorChristophe JosseFranck Sorbier —GivenchyJean Paul GaultierMaurizio GalanteStéphane Rolland

Correspondent members (foreign)

Azzedine Alaïa (new in FW2011)  — Elie SaabGiorgio ArmaniValentino

Guest members

Alexis MabilleAlexandre VauthierBouchra JarrarGiambattista Valli (new in FW2011)  — Iris Van Herpen (new in FW2011) — Julien FourniéMaison Rabih KayrouzMaxime Simoens


BoucheronChanel JoaillerieChaumetDior JoaillerieVan Cleef & Arpels


Loulou de la FalaiseMaison MichelMassaroOn Aura Tout VuBowden & Toms

Haute Couture. Dior

Christian Dior


Christian Lacroix

Elie Saab

Elie Saab