in France, a term exclusively reserved for the members and guest members of the Chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne. to earn the right to call oneself a couture house, a member of the Chambre syndicale must design made to order fashions that involve at least one fitting, have a workroom in Paris that employees at least 20 full-time workers, and present a collection of at least 50 designs twice a year to the press in Paris. *
|a master at work:|
Pierre Balmain in 1947
These gorgeous garments are mostly made by hand--as in no sewing machine--and require a team of sewers to accomplish the look. Some of these precious and detailed pieces can take well over one hundred hours to complete. A process that has barely changed since the 1850's...my dream has always been to visit a couture house and just watch the process. No one has to even acknowledge my existence. And I promise I won't touch. But Oh! to be in the presence of that kind of beauty...I would probably keel over from over stimulation right then and there!
Below, a few highlights from the fall 2012 couture shows...
jean paul gaultier
Stunning. A true art form and my constant source of inspiration.
* Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer