Couture Co-Tour 101

Pronunciation.(co-tour), the word has become a fashion statement all it's own. Trend for $500 Alex reads "correctly say and use the word Couture in a sentence." Problem is, they'd probably be out of $500. To the general public's demise, many are confused or slightly missing some pieces in the scheme of couture things. There is a cause for this effect. The industries certified couture houses dabble in making pret-a-porter (off the rack/ready to wear) styles to expand their consumer base which in turn causes intentional massive confusion among buyers. They are keenly aware of the prestige and desire a couture garment has, even if all you did was slapped those 7 letters on it's tag.  Then of course you have those companies who hacked the word and it's entire meaning for the good of their profit margin, Juicy Couture comes to mind. Understand this important fact, anything purchased off a rack (even in Saks Fifth Avenue) will never be couture.

The word couture is French and a modified version of the term haute couture. In the French language the literal meaning is "sewing" with the term haute meaning "high," the words compound together to articulate a concept of "high sewing." The term alone contributes to the assumption many consumers make that high fashion and couture are synonymous, much to the pocket lining advantage of the firms. The French take this matter far more seriously though, having determined specific qualifications a garment must meet to be considered couture. First, it must be produced by one of the members of the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris (of which there are only 9 plus 7 invites). Second, the garment must be fitted to a specific client, with at least two personal fittings. In addition to these requirements, any firm desiring to certifiably make couture clothing must maintain a workshop in Paris with French staff, and present a collection during both annual fashion weeks. As of 2008, some notable couture firms include Chanel, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Christian Lacroix, among others. In few words or less, couture garments are custom made and custom fitted by a reputable high fashion designer.

 Haute couture can sell for as much as $40,000 (US) and take months to complete. The garment's details such as embroidery or embellishments are always done by hand utilizing time-consuming techniques and the material used is of finest quality. This is the closest to unique your clothing could ever be, short of designing and sewing garments for yourself. This tradition of "high sewing" began in the mid-1800's and it's successful long run has led to the markup in value that we see today for the purchase of these garments. As couture houses delved more into ready-to-wear fashion, the rich and fashion enthusiast have expressed less interest in this custom. Even still, as long as there are high culture, elitist events (think Academy Awards), there will be a need for couture. In 2003, Couture got it's very own Fashion Week with the first tour beginning in New York in September. For as little as $50.00 you can  catwalk your way into the Waldorf Astoria to watch a high fashion couture show where the experience will be just as unique as the garments. If you can afford to make a purchase while there, please don't forget about your fashion crazed, loyal FASHIONIZER over here at FashionizeHaus. For more information on the fab Couture Fashion Week, click here [ Couture Fashion Week ] and treat your eyes to a few of the ultra luxe one-of-a-kind pieces from last years Couture Fashion Week.


Sara Louise said...

Just found your blog on IFB –
Please check mine out at

so pleased i found it

N Nicole said...

Very informative fashion article that needs to be circulated widely! Especially in a world where everybody is a stylist because they carry a designer bag! LOL Another great post Fashionizer!

Sara Louise said...

You have a mention & a link on my blog post : )

Post a Comment

Thanks for your feedback!