Ready To Wear: Contrary to all rhyme and reason, couture is alive and kicking
Fashion is fuelled by mythology and stories so lovely that one could be forgiven for thinking they are imaginary – or at least heavily embellished, just like the clothes that go with them. The haute couture, however, is the last bastion of such romance and, contrary to all rhyme and reason maybe, it remains very much alive.
It is a craft form realised not by superstars. Instead, while it takes a couturier to direct the skills of the petites mains who staff the Paris ateliers, many of whom trained under the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel and Hubert de Givenchy, it is they who are ultimately responsible for the sheer beauty of the finished garments. When Givenchy retired, he took his final bows alongside them. It was a poignant gesture.
These people are, usually, French-born and -trained although as the Italian designers behind Givenchy (Riccardo Tisci), Valentino (Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri) and Versace go to prove, that country has its share too. They study for years, at school and on internships with fashion's great names. They pass their skills down through generations. A younger contingent is growing steadily, meaning the future of what to some is an anachronistic discipline is assured.
That is a very good thing. We may not all be able to buy haute couture, but that doesn't stop us marvelling at such painstaking and lovingly performed labour.
The men and women in question, famously, wear little white coats. Once their work is done, it is handled with little white gloves to ensure its immaculate surface is not damaged in any way.
In a world that seems to speed up by the minute and one dominated by throwaway fashion all too often created in far from ethical conditions, haute couture is at the opposite end of the spectrum. More than anything else, it takes time to create such elaborate garments, and that is perhaps the most precious commodity of them all.
Life & Style blogs
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
Holi: Festival of colours honoured with Google Doodle – here's what you need to know about the celebration
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...