Couture: What does it mean?

Topaz ?
Author Topaz ?

Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. They rule haute couture. But what does haute couture really mean and how is it changing? 

In homage to the recent Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, the NYT covers the meaning of the word in case you're wondering what haute couture is and the surprising fact that it posts no profit in spite of it being super expensive that only several hundred people can own and wear.

Fact: Nothing is actually haute couture unless it’s made by a fashion house approved by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the Parisian regulating commission that has its roots in the medieval guild system. The fashion houses must pass the strict rules to be allowed to call their clothes couture. They must have a workshop in Paris which employ at least fifteen full-time staff members, design made-to-order clothes for clients with at least one fitting, and publicly present two collections per year with at least 35 pieces for day and evening. There are also houses  that are invited to be part of couture and some are not Paris-based. 

At Chanel, an original member of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture, fancy and feminine dresses adorn the hangers post-show. It's likely that they will never be seen again except on a handful of women who will pay a fortune to have them custom-made and fitted. 

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