Haute couture is a french term for “high sewing”, “high dressmaking” or “high fashion”. Meaning it is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted, one-of-a-kind clothing. Haute couture also refers to fashion that is made by hand from start to finish. It is usually made from very expensive fabric and sewn by the most experienced seamstress with great attention to detail and quality….just like a Rolls Royce. It is common that thousands of hours go into Haute couture items like wedding dresses and other special evening wear.
Haute couture garments are usually made for a specific client where the clients measurements have been taken prior for a perfect fit. Couture fashions are also shown on the runway to entice buyers to place orders for the collection it represents. The runway pieces are meant to be memorable, provide buzz in the industry, and perhaps create a ‘scene’ to garner press for the designer.
Here’s an example of couture with a ready to wear look. This is a one-of-kind Louis Vuitton Crocodile, Python, and Suede Jacket. The item was worn by the model in the 2014 Louis Vuitton show then sold to a lucky buyer. It retailed for $60,000. Although the jacket is now previously worn, it still has great value plus often some people like leather that is broken in. A great example of sportswear couture and the model isn’t bad either.
Charles Fredrick Worth was known as the father of couture. Others that followed are Fortuny, Lanvin, Chanel, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, and Dior. Designers from these houses include Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, Ted Lapidus, and Emanuel Ungaro. More recently names like LaCroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Tierry Mugler were known for their couture but ceased the practice due to the extreme expense.
These three examples are all Haute couture. Even though they are preowned, they still carry great value. Anyone interested in selling couture or designer items should research for proper market value. You don’t want to let something go for pennies on the dollar just because you need room in your closet.