Haute couture means "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion". It is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Also mentioned: high-end-fashion. In either terms, most important is the fact the clothes are constructed by hand from start to finish.
Haute couture is made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabrics. The outerfabric but also the linings, interfacing and all the notions as. well. We are talking about real Silk, real metal, wooden or pearl buttons and the best of the best notions: zippers, hocks, the label-material etc. It is in the detail, so even the price-labels, size-labels etc. are full of details, copyright protected names etc.
Work, and work....
Haute couture is sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers. They are often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. The difference between basic sewing and couture sewing is a big difference. Mainly the time invested, the location of the ateliers (or factories) and mostly the seamstress. The couture houses are working with very skilled seamstress. Before somebody is allowed to cut the expensive fabrics or to sew an ordered piece of couture by a very wealthy client: they have to be big professionals.
Haute OR couture?
Haute is the name. Haute refers to 'high 'the best' , 'the most professional' etc. Haute couture means the best of the best. Haute translates literally to "high".
A haute couture garment is:
But what about Prêt-à-Porter ?
The real difference between Prêt-à-Porter and Haute couture: Prêt-à-Porter = ready-to-wear. The same beautiful couture garment is not created for an exclusive client but in standard-sizes. The clothes are for sale for those who can afford them. Well, it still means the cloths are extremely expensive, but they are for sale....
Chanel couture, if you win the lottery?
Yes, it is expensive with capitals. We all know a lipstick costs already 30.00 euro even though you can buy a perfect lipstick for 10.00 euro of the other brands. Mainly you pay for the label-name, the package, the smell, the luxury image and above all: a special feeling to have a CHANEL-lipstick!
We all know about the handbags. If you own a real 2.55 Chanel handbag, you are walking around with a real investment. Most handbags starts around 5.000 euro and for some (new) models you have to get on a list, wait for months, maybe even years.
And now: imagine the couture: Day wear usually starts at around euro 10.000, though it does depend on the brand Chanel Haute Couture usually cost between euro 50.000-100.000, while bridal can easily cost euro 100.000-150.000. So start saving money, or better: start to learn how to create couture yourself.
HAUTE COUTURE YOURSELF!
Couture houses or labels don't mass-produce. They'll make 100 garments a year instead of 1.000, or even instead of mass production to sell the clothes allover the world.... So now you understand WHY the real Haute couture is so extremely expensive.
The choice between real couture and mass-production cheap clothes is easy. you have to get dressed, so you have to buy what's available down the streets or on the internet.
BUTTTT...... start sewing yourself and you are able to create your own Haute couture.
13 reasons why you should make your own Chanel-style jacket
How to know if you have a real Vintage-Chanel jacket or a fake one?
How to recognize Vintage Chanel couture?
How do you know you have find a real Vintage couture piece of art or just a fake copy? On first sight they look exactly the same, they feels the same and it seems too good to be true. It is quite difficult. These days fakes are on first sight as good as the real onces. There is a whole (black) market on luxury brands on couture, jewelry, toys, games and even make-up. Even Vintage and authentic goods are made with such an knowledge and technical materials; it seems almost impossible to recognize real Vintage these days.
We talk about couture on this website/blog and specific the French Chanel Couture. More specific the famous jacket and skirt.
It is too easy to say that fakes are mostly made of cheaper materials. The quality of the materials, fabrics in this case, are key. Even though fakes can look quite identical, the real couture of course has the luxury of using the best fabrics in the world. But.... the materials of the fakes are coming close; think about leather versus pu-leather. Even though they look the same, leather behaves differently in time and feels like leather should feel.
Read all about the sewing-magazines in Europe.
This article is in the Dutch Language. But soon we will update the article in the English Language and attach even more sewing-magazines.
You al welcome to send information about them all.
How do you make your own Chanel-inspired jacket? There is a simple answer to that question: read the books by Claire Schaeffer! This American lady has written many books about the history of Haute couture, how to make your own couture and in particular everything about Chanel couture.
Her books are for all seamstress or hobby-sewers. But they are also interesting for people who are not interested in sewing.
The history of Haute couture
Claire Schaeffer is an expert in Haute couture. She has a wealth of knowledge and an own collection of vintage couture. She gained her knowledge by looking around in museums and studying couture in detail. Couture houses often do not reveal their secrets. However, Claire has unraveled many couture secrets by studying original vintage items. These literately inside studies enabled her to gather a lot of information that normally remains behind closed doors.
Think of it as recipes from special menus from top restaurants. It is not only about the ingredients of a menu, but also about the specific cooking techniques that suddenly make eating a plate something very special. Apart from detailed sewing techniques, the books contain many beautiful photos of special vintage clothing.
Classic and timeless chic!
A beautiful Chanel jacket worn on trendy jeans. Who doesn't want this? Or a beige tweed coat for the winter? Just as timelessly beautiful as the perfectly fitting business blazer you would like to wear on occasions where you need to look beauty and brains. Everyone likes photography and information about the fashion of the past and the fashion of today. The only difference between a Vogue or Hapaar's Bazaar magazine and Claire Schaeffer's books is the idea to make these great pieces of clothing yourself. Perhaps you should first start with making potholders or pajama pants, but after a few years of practice it will probably work...
Claire Schaeffer & Chanel Couture
Anyone who says 'Chanel jackets' in the sewing-world, says Claire Schaeffer. Conversely too. Claire Schaeffer is a Chanel expert par excellence. Her books: The Couture Cardigan Jacket, The Couture Skirt and Designer trims deal specifically with the phenomenon: the Little French Jacket.
The books are about how-to instructions and inspirations for color combinations, choices of fabrics and the very specific decorative trims and fringes of these jackets. A very nice ode to Coco Chanel. Some of her books were reissued in 2013, exactly one hundred years after Coco Chanel opened its first store in Deauville.
A gift or a "silent" hint!
If you have a girlfriend who likes to work with needle and thread: the books for this special lady are nice to give as a gift. Perhaps the silent hint is understood. You hope she will make a DIY Chanel jacket for you some day....
The word "day" is misplaced here. It is known that the "making time" of the Chanel jackets is on average 80 hours. And don't forget to add a lot of reading hours too, because you will soon loose the time if you step into the world of Haute couture through the eyes of Claire Schaeffer.
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Pardon my English