A term often used to describe the critically acclaimed work of Olivier Theyskens' work at Rochas, this thread is dedicated to the pret-a-porter that has the fine qualities and hyper-expensive price-tag of Haute Couture.
Let's start off with a bit of Ghesquiere
Sasha Pivovarova wears embroidered silk dress, £42,900 ... Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere
Pleated crinoline dress embroidered with fringes of transparent pearls £63,165, Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere.
Scanned by member: ChanelNumber5from Vogue U.K. August 2009
Rodarte perhaps fit the profile, and this text gives some guidelines as well...
White organza, silk tulle, and feathers
Spring 2007, USA
The Museum at FIT, 2007.13.1, Museum purchase
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the design team Rodarte are known for extravagant, hand-crafted designs. Their work has been described as “demi-couture,” because it operates at an intermediary level between the artistry of couture and the accessibility of ready-to-wear.
It flung up momently the sacred river.
And Zang Toi is, apparently, another demi-couture designer...
Demi-Couture On The Rise
New fashion movement, ‘demi-couture,’ makes the richly detailed look of haute couture affordable.
By: Mari Davis
Photo below: A demi-couture gown from Zang Toi Fall 2004 collection. Photo by: Javier Mateo
DALLAS, May 20, 2004/ FW/ --- What exactly is demi-couture?
To understand this new term, we have to define the meaning of couture, haute couture, and ready-to-wear or prÍt-Š-porter first.
“Couture” as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women's clothing.” It came from the French word, “cousture,” which means “sewing.”
“Haute couture” literally means “high sewing” and its present day definition is “the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women.”
“Ready-to-wear” means off-the rack, ready-made clothes, and prÍt-Š-porter is a literal translation of ready-to-wear in French.
And “demi” means “half,” so “demi-couture” literally means “half-couture” or if you want a longer meaning, “half-custom-made women’s clothing.”
With that in mind, it makes sense why demi-couture is still classified under ready-to-wear in the fashion business.
The best way to explain demi-couture is to give examples, and New York, which is best known for its ready-to-wear designers, is a great place to find them.
Zang Toi, renowned for his exuberant designs that are richly textured and always bordering on couture thinks of himself as a ready-to-wear designer. Yet season after season, his gowns are always seen on the Hollywood red carpet, a testament to his artistry.
And he does not scrimp either when it comes to his creations. The pink & lacquer red hand loomed knit gowns with hand embroidered & beaded flowers & butterflies (see photo above) from his Fall 2004 collection took 3 artisans a total of 3 weeks just for the embroidery & beading. It took another 3 days for another artisan to knit the gown on a hand loomed machine and another day for his studio to do the finishing touches for each of the gowns.
The gown is still considered ‘ready-to-wear’ yet it took roughly a month to finish it. An haute couture gown takes approximately three months to create.
With the price of a Zang Toi demi-couture gown starting at $10,000, it is very affordable taking into account that it is hand beaded, hand embroidered and hand loomed. In comparison, haute couture gowns start at $80,000.
It flung up momently the sacred river.
but isn't there a difference between demi and semi? i mean when it has p-a-p approach wouldn't that be deemed semi whereas demi was more about the intrinsic rawness of handwork?
i'd consider labels like MMM,Gustavo Lins,Rodarte and the like demi.
i haven't heard of 'semi' being used but i would agree that a design that can be made-to-measure or customized doesn't equal to calling it demi-couture.. (i read a few jackets by balenciaga could be ordered this way). there really has to be that aspect of the hand, and time...
if we look at Dries van Noten a lot of his past pieces have so much work done to it.. hand-painting and embroidery. but he outsources mainly, no? maybe it has to be a small atelier, the designer and his assistants. that's why it becomes so expensive