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07-01-2011
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I know haute couture is known is a "dying" industry but I look forward to the showings every year, even more so sometimes then the regular sportswear collections. Maybe because I'm more of a hands on person and love sewing with details and beading, that I just love seeing these creations that have had so much work put into them. Even though houses do seem to be downsizing, I don't see a death of it anytime soon. It's like an art form, and there will always been people who'll practice and admire it.

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07-01-2011
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i think HC is already dead. certain names will stay forever and they keep spirit alive, but thats about it.
and its not just that there isn't enough money, or was, its more about people not appreciating art in general. we live in a fast moving, instant world and act like we've seen it all.
just like we will always know there were Mozart and Chopin in music, we'll have Valentino, Chanel and Dior to remind us what fashion was.

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08-01-2011
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^ I have no idea how you can say it's dead when it's still being made, sold, worn

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10-01-2011
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i wanted to say that but I thought it would be A hole-ish of me

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10-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markese91 View Post
i wanted to say that but I thought it would be A hole-ish of me
it wouldn't be, cos we all have opinions, tnx God!

i just think that there are some leftovers but basically HC is dead, just not buried. HC is wide term. dunno if someone will agree with me, but what is called HC today i see as some futuristic way of expressing creativity though clothing pieces. this could become a really big discussion so best is to agree not to agree.

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10-01-2011
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futuristic? i think it's alot about the past and the integrity of the design world.

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11-01-2011
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I think it's certainly evolved significantly. It used to be for nearly the same audience that designer is today. It was within reach of the well to do--you didn't have to be superrich. So that has definitely changed. And along with that, it has to offer something more to justify the huge price tags. But apparently some of the collections are actually making money.

It's so different from what it was even relatively few decades ago that I'm not sure it should still be called the same thing.

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11-01-2011
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Quote:
It's so different from what it was even relatively few decades ago that I'm not sure it should still be called the same thing.
i agree with that.

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16-01-2011
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i've never heard that the wealthy could afford Haute couture... I've always been told it was the super rich... they saw it as an investment, people don't see it as that anymore.

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17-01-2011
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Don't say HC is dead... giving people in the industry and beyond a dream is important. HC is that dream. HC is something of another world...its creations are fantasy...

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27-04-2012
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Quote:
The Return of Haute Couture

With a new global clientele, fashion's highest art is on the rise

By CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO

Today haute couture is the most modern way to dress because it's very individual," says Pier Paolo Piccioli, who with Maria Grazia Chiuri designs Valentino's ethereal gowns. "It's like customizing your life; it means uniqueness."

There is no argument that haute couture is supremely beautiful. To think of it as the apex of modernity, however, goes against conventional wisdom. In fact, for several years, haute couture has been repeatedly declared on the brink of extinction. But perhaps reports of its death were premature. The strictly governed French craft of handmade and custom-fitted clothing, which is more than a century old, is undergoing a renaissance. In the past few years, six new labels have been awarded the official haute couture designation and entered the fray, bringing the total number of couture houses to 12. Long-established couturiers like Chanel and Valentino are reporting healthy sales. And new customers from emerging markets like China, Brazil, the Middle East and Russia have stepped in to bolster the ranks of the fading old guard.

The current state of couture has emerged from the ashes of economic turmoil. "Couture seems more relevant now than it was in the boom years," says designer Donatella Versace, who this season returned Atelier Versace to the official couture runway after eight years of low-key presentations. "The global downturn has made people think about the value of things. Couture may be expensive, but as a reflection of the designer's art, and as an expression of pure creativity in fashion, it is unsurpassed."

As a rule, couture houses are secretive about their clientele. Purchasing a custom-made, five-figure piece of clothing comes with the gift of discretion, a rare commodity in our publicity-crazed world. But executives describe many of their new clients as relatively young working women—doctors, lawyers, executives—who spend their own salaries, often on daywear and not merely for special occasions like weddings and black-tie galas. One of Valentino's recent couture clients, for example, is an equestrian enthusiast who wanted a bespoke jacket to wear with her riding pants.

Where you can really see a marked shift is in many of these houses' post-show itineraries. Up until just a few years ago, most clients were in the U.S. and Western Europe, and after the runway shows in Paris, designers would take their collections to New York City and Los Angeles for additional presentations. Now Dior, Chanel and Armani Privé all go to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai, and do private appointments in many other cities. The atelier heads also travel for individual fittings, maintaining the personalized relationship the houses have long cultivated with their clients despite couture's recently globalized nature.

This all evokes a culture very different from that of traditional haute couture: wealthy socialites in grand dresses from idolized designers such as Christian Dior and Jeanne Lanvin. For many years, that's certainly what it was. After World War II, these houses outfitted a newly prosperous class of society ladies, heiresses and royalty, from Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli and Grace Kelly in the '50s and '60s to Nan Kempner, Lynn Wyatt and Dodie Rosekrans in the '70s and '80s. Meanwhile the '90s saw the rise of prodigious and quite public couture buyers like Mouna al-Ayoub, then the wife of a Saudi businessman, and Suzanne Saperstein, a former Swedish model who was the wife of a Texas billionaire. They stand in stark contrast to the discreet shopper of today. Now it's difficult to find women who so openly display their membership to the couture club.

But couture also began to get stuck in the past. Women entered the workforce and discovered the efficient pleasure of buying off the rack; ready-to-wear itself became a glossier commodity. It was previously the domain of department stores, which traveled to Paris to visit couture salons and buy the right to produce cheaper versions of their collections on an industrial scale. Yves Saint Laurent changed that second-fiddle reputation when he created his first full ready-to-wear collection in 1966 in an attempt to democratize high fashion. When Cristobal Balenciaga shuttered his couture atelier in 1968, it was clear that times had changed.

Couture seemed to hit rock bottom in the middle of the last decade, when Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro and Christian Lacroix all showed their final collections. For the labels that remained, couture became a way to stand out amid the clutter of hundreds of ready-to-wear lines. For the likes of Dior, Chanel and Valentino—which all typically reserved a sky's-the-limit budget both for dramatic staging and the collections themselves—the image of haute couture provided a halo of luxury around the label to help peddle mass-market items such as perfume and makeup.

As haute couture undergoes the process of revival once more, its insular and quintessentially Parisian nature is changing. To wit, many of today's practitioners are not French. Italian designer Giambattista Valli debuted just last year, joining Giorgio Armani, which launched couture label Armani Privé in 2005, and Versace, which began in 1989 as part of the Milanese contingent. And there's Lebanese designer Elie Saab, who does a robust business for his gowns. Perhaps it's only fitting for what appears to be couture's ever more global future.
wsj.com

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27-04-2012
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This issue comes and goes every now and then.

But one thing for sure is that the crisis and the geographical change of the have acted as a recycling of the concept of haute couture and an adaptation to the moment we live in.

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27-04-2012
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"It's like customizing your life; it means uniqueness."
Coming from the man who designs the same dress for every collection.

I think it's good that couture is supposedly having a comeback, but I can't help but worry that it will be trivialised and the taste levels of the new money clientele may effect the design.

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27-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crying Diamonds View Post
I think it's good that couture is supposedly having a comeback, but I can't help but worry that it will be trivialised and the taste levels of the new money clientele may effect the design.
I find that statement ignorant and ridiculous. True, there are plenty of new money folks who truly have no notion of taste, ie the Kardashians. However, it was the new money movers and shakers that made many art movements acceptable while old money folks were turning up their noses and gagging: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, etc, etc.

Same goes for fashion. Babe Paley, Jackie O, and Grace Kelly didn't come from old money families. All of them came from families who only the previous generation had joined the respectable social registers. Yet, none of them are considered tasteless by any measure. It's also worth noting, all 3 did their OWN thing and didn't follow the fashion conventions of old money woman.

So, frankly, I'm not worried about the future of haute couture. And if the new tastemakers force the designers into "trivializing" new directions, that's fine by me too because that's the way change happens and art stays alive and refreshed.

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27-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crying Diamonds View Post
"It's like customizing your life; it means uniqueness."
Coming from the man who designs the same dress for every collection.


It's amazing how I manage to customize my life and dress in a modern way without ever coming within a lightyear of haute couture.

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