Haute Couture: Fashion as a true Art

Is fashion an art? This might be one of this eternal discussions that have no right or wrong answers. What do you think? For us, fashion is such a wide, complex concept that trying to label it just under a category fells short. Fashion can be an art but, obviously, not everything in fashion is art. If we want to find the art in it, we have to turn into one of fashion’s most elevated, aspirational and traditional forms: Haute Couture.

Analogias has had the pleasure and privilege to be in Paris for the last presentation of Haute Couture collections. We can tell it has been an amazing experience full of inspirational inputs and a great dose of know-how. But, what exactly is Haute Couture, and why is it so mesmerizing and necessary for the Fashion Industry? Here come a few hints that we hope will fascinate you just as it fascinates us.

Elie Saab runway. Spring-Summer 2019

In Italy it is called Alta Moda, and in Spanish it is Alta Costura. But the official use of the French term, Haute Couture, is an indicator of its origins and heritage. This type of couture comprehends    pieces that are created mainly through artisanal and handcrafted processes, with extremely rich, high quality and/or inusual materials. Only the most experienced couturiers and sewers are capable of carrying on with the time-consuming, hand-executed techniques required to make these dresses. Can you imagine a full collection of such awesome master pieces? These dresses are usually so priceless that they are impossible to buy, and are mainly an exercise of creativity, know-how and trend-setting for the brands capable to develop such collections.

Not everyone can make Haute Couture. The label is owned by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, and protected by law. This commission has the power to regulate and decide which fashion houses meet with the criteria to produce Haute Couture. Beyond the creativity and technique, other issues are taking into account when it comes to make such decision, like having an atelier in Paris that employs, at least, 20 technical members full time; designing made-to-order for private clients, with at least two fittings; or the ability to present a collection of at least 25 original designs to the public every fashion season (twice, in January and July of each year), of both day and evening garments (originally it was 50 original designs).

Elie Saab runway. Spring-Summer 2019

The official list is divided in the following categories: the Official Members (around 12 or 13 French houses) including Chanel, Dior, Schiaparelli or Jean Paul Gaultier among others; the Correspondent Members (around 3 or 4 foreign houses) including Armani Privé, Versace or Elie Saab among others; the Guest Members (around 8 or 9 houses that are invited every year to walk the French Haute Couture runway) with names such as Guo Pei, Ralph & Russo or Zuhair Murad among others.

Haute Couture is necessary in the fashion industry to keep an elevated flow of creativity, high level  of technique and inspire new trends. Each season we love to be aware of what houses present their collections, and what designs are they presenting. If we have to highlight one creator that always blows our mind and that, in our opinion, takes fashion to another level, he is Elie Saab, the Lebanese designer that conquered the French fashion world years ago. He is capable of delivering season after season such beautiful, amazing and well constructed designs. Such an inspiration!

Elie Saab runway. Spring-Summer 2019

And what about you? What are the Haute Couture designs that fuel your dreams?