Monday, January 24, 2011
HAUTE COUTURE WEEK
To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:
Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
However, the term haute couture may have been misused by ready-to-wear brands since the late 1980s, so that its true meaning may have become blurred with that of prêt-à-porter (the French term for ready-to-wear fashion) in the public perception. Every haute couture house also markets prêt-à-porter collections, which typically deliver a higher return on investment than their custom clothing. Falling revenues have forced a few couture houses to abandon their less profitable couture division and concentrate solely on the less prestigious prêt-à-porter. These houses, such as Italian designer Roberto Capucci, all of whom have their workshops in Italy, are no longer considered haute couture.